ThorSport gives Kimmel new view of old school Mobile
By Official Release On Mon, Mar. 04, 2013
Frank Kimmel – Mobile International Speedway
ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
Race 2 of 21
Frank Kimmel No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota Camry
Mobile International Speedway – ARCA Mobile 200
Date: March 9, 2013
Race: 2 of 21
Location: Mobile International Speedway
Track Details: 0.5 miles
Race Length: 200 laps / 100 Miles
ARCARacing.com for Live Timing & Scoring
Current Point Standings: 4th
Crew Chief: Jeriod Prince
Engines: Triad Racing Technologies
SANDUSKY, Ohio (March 4, 2013) — Frank Kimmel knew he had a great possibility to score his first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory with ThorSport Racing at the 2012 ARCA Mobile 200.
But three laps from the end of the series’ inaugural event at the half-mile short track, Kimmel was spun out of a top-five finish in a race won by popular local driver Cale Gale. Kimmel ended up 17th, part of a disastrous beginning to last season that ultimately doomed Kimmel’s chances for a 10th career title before they really got started.
In 2013, Kimmel has several reasons to eagerly anticipate Saturday afternoon’s second annual Mobile ARCA 200 — and Gale not being on the Mobile entry list isn’t one of them. First, Kimmel and his ThorSport team came out of the series’ opener, three weeks ago at Daytona International Speedway, fourth in the championship.
But even more important, he’s got a full season working with crew chief Jeriod Prince, who engineered two victories for Kimmel in the second half of last season.
“Mobile is just your absolute, classic short track,” Kimmel said. “Last year was my first time there and that was my first short-track race with ThorSport, so there were a lot of variables going on with that deal.
“But we came off the truck really fast. We ran good the whole night and actually had a really good opportunity to win the race. Late in the race we were right there and was passing for third up on the outside and we got spun out.”
The contact cut down the left-rear tire on Kimmel’s No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota Camry and when the dust settled and the checkers flew Kimmel was 17th in the final running order.
“That was a disappointing end to what could have been a really, really good finish,” Kimmel said. “So I can’t wait to get back there. It is your typical short track that we’ve all come from and it brings back a lot of memories. That’s why I’m really looking forward to it.”
After he got done gritting his teeth at the memories, Kimmel had to smile when he looked at that Mobile-style action from the fans’ perspective.
“That uncertainty — never knowing what’s gonna happen — is absolutely part of the attraction of any short-track race,” Kimmel said. “That’s why there’s such popularity with Bristol and Martinsville and all the other stuff for the big guys (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series) because anything can happen.
“We had a really good car and was looking at a really good finish and everything was in line — we just didn’t get it done. But that’s what makes short-track racing so exciting. Everything’s so close and anything can happen on any lap.”
Right off the bat, Kimmel hopes to improve his qualifying performance. He started the 2012 Mobile event 11th and at the next short-track race, at Salem, Ind., he did the same. The difference was, Kimmel finished second at Salem.
“Based on how we went through the year in 2012 I think this trip can be really good,” Kimmel said of Mobile. “I think we learned a lot at Mobile and on into the season. Our cars got faster and faster as we went.
“There are things that we need to work on — that I need to work on — and qualifying is definitely one of them. We need to start further up front so we don’t put our stuff in jeopardy. The pit stops were excellent last year and I’m sure they’ll be even better this year and I feel like we’re gonna be a force to be reckoned with any place we go race this year.”
Kimmel hopes to participate in at least part of an ARCA fan event at the USS Alabama battleship at Mobile Bay on Thursday evening, when a driver autograph session is scheduled from 5-6 p.m. CT. Practice for the Mobile race begins at 2:30 p.m. Friday and Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is at 7 p.m. in conjunction with races for Mobile’s local divisions.
The main event is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Another ARCA driver autograph session will precede the ARCA Mobile 200, from 12-1 p.m.
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ABOUT THORSPORT RACING:
ThorSport Racing, based in a state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot facility in Sandusky, Ohio, is the longest-tenured active NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. Thorsport, which has run full-season Truck Series schedules annually beginning in 1998, in 2013 will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by Matt Crafton, the No, 98 Carolina Nut Co./Curb Records Toyota Tundra driven by Johnny Sauter and the No. 13 Mattei Air Compressors Toyota Tundra driven by Todd Bodine in the Truck Series and the No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota Camry driven by Frank Kimmel in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.