No. 44 Ansell/ Menards Toyota Camry
ARCA RACING SERIES – RACE 19 OF 19 – KANSAS SPEEDWAY
A differential of 85 points separates Frank Kimmel from a record 10th ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards title. Kimmel and the #44 Ansell/Menards Toyota will look to erase that deficit on Friday night over the course of 99 laps at the Kansas Speedway. While the majority of Kimmel’s success this season has come on the short tracks, his statistical history at Kansas shows he is more than capable of pulling off a miracle in the Kansas Lottery 98.9. Kimmel has visited victory lane twice at Kansas, in 2002 and 2006, both years en route to winning the championship. With losing last week’s race at DuQuoin to weather, Kimmel and team are left with one opportunity to track down the championship lead.
Of the 19 races on the ARCA Racing Series schedule in 2012, Kansas and Chicagoland Speedway are the only 1.5 mile tracks on the most diverse schedule in stock car racing. In July, Kimmel finished 3rd as a result of Thorsport Racing’s constant improvement on the intermediate track program. Finishes of 6th and 4th at Pocono, and a 7th at Michigan, have the Ansell/Menards team optimistic they can improve their results on the fresh asphalt at Kansas.
Kimmel has started more ARCA races at Kansas than any driver entered in the field, and has been in all 11 events since the track’s opening in 2001. In the first six races at Kansas, Kimmel notched two victories and finished in the top three in all six events, leading a combined 295 laps. His average starting position of 5.3 and two pole awards bodes well for not only starting up front Friday night, but also gives Kimmel a chance to tie Iggy Katona’s record of all-time pole awards of 43.
While the ARCA Racing Series has been known for driver development and a surge of young talent, Kimmel has been a constant mainstay in the series, and 2012 has seen a career resurgence for the Clarksville, IN native. Since moving to Thorsport Racing this year, Kimmel’s performance has been elevated to a level he has been accustomed to throughout his illustrious career. Kimmel broke a 75 race winless drought in August at Lucas Oil Raceway Park, and followed it up with a dominating win on the mile dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. With ten top ten finishes to this point in 2012, Kimmel has equaled his combined number of top five finishes from 2009 and 2010. In addition, with 290 laps led, Kimmel has surpassed his combined total of laps led from the previous two seasons. With the performance the #44 Ansell/Menards team has shown this season, Kimmel is focused on making sure the championship goes down to the final lap at Kansas.
TOP TEN STREAK: As a result of finishing 4th after being nearly two laps down at Salem Speedway on September 15th, Kimmel extended his streak of top fen finishes to nine races. Kimmel is in the midst of his longest streak of consecutive top ten finishes in 2012, which dates back to a 7th place finish at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
POINTS REPORT: After 18 of 19 races, Kimmel currently sits second, 85 points behind championship leader, Chris Buescher. To this point in 2012, Kimmel has scored two victories, ten top fives, and fifteen top ten finishes.
CHAMPIONSHIP SCENARIOS: In order to have a mathematical chance to win his 10th ARCA title, Kimmel must finish at least 12 positions ahead of Buescher. Kimmel must gain at more than 85 points to overtake Buescher, as Buescher holds the tie-breaker with four wins. For the championship to be mathematically in reach, Kimmel must finish 28th if all 40 cars entered take the green flag.
CHASING THE RECORDS: Kimmel can tie Katona’s all-time record of 43 pole awards this weekend during Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell on Friday evening at 5:35 pm CT. Kimmel’s 76th career win at the Springfield Mile in August moved him to within three wins of Iggy Katona’s all time ARCA Racing Series win record of 79.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Thorsport Racing will bring chassis A-4 to the racetrack for the second time in 2012. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, Matt Crafton, piloted this chassis, with #88 on the door, in the ARCA event at Lucas Oil Raceway Park after capturing the Menards Pole Award presented by Ansell. Kimmel recently tested this car at the open test at Kansas earlier this month.
SHOWING THE WAY AT KANSAS: Kimmel has started all 11 previous races at Kansas, the most of any driver entered in the field. With his victories in 2002 and 2006, Kimmel is the only driver with two wins at Kansas, and is the all-time ARCA lap leader at Kansas, with 295 laps led.
FAST TRACK CHALLENGE: Not only is Kimmel on the heels of a 10th championship, but he is chasing the ARCA Fast Track Challenge title as well. The Fast Track Challenge scores drivers’ finishing position only and does not include bonus points for qualifying or leading laps. Kimmel trails Chris Buescher by 25 points with two events remaining. Kimmel and Buescher are the only two drivers that have scored top ten finishes in 2012.
S&S VOLVO LAPS COMPLETED AWARD: Through 18 of 19 races, Kimmel has competed all but four laps of competition thus far. His consistency has placed him second in series standings as well as second in the S&S Volvo Laps Completed Award. Kimmel is four laps behind award leader, Buescher, who has completed all the laps in 2012.
KANSAS AREA MENARDS APPEARANCE: Kimmel will appear at the St. Joseph, MO Menards location on Thursday night from 6-7:30pm CT. Fans can meet and get an autograph from the nine-time ARCA champ in addition to seeing the #44 Ansell/Menards Camry showcar. During that time, any guests that purchase a pair of Ansell gloves will receive a voucher for a free pair of Ansell gloves, presented by Kimmel outside the store. The St. Joeseph, MO Menards store is located at 4320 Commonwealth Dr., St. Joeseph, MO 64503.
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THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Frank Kimmel
WHAT DID YOU BENEFIT BY TESTING AT KANSAS?
“I thought the test went really well. Taking two cars, and having Matt Crafton there, was a real big deal for us. Both cars ran real well and ended up in the top five in overall speeds. That was the first time we were about to test on a mile and a half track all year and we feel like we learned a few things”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HAVING TO GAIN 85 POINTS TO WIN THE TITLE?
“I’ve said all along the past few weeks, we’re going to have to have some help. We’re 85 points behind, and Chris has been running real well all year long and has been very consistent. I’m not expecting him to have problems, so we have to go out and do our thing. If they run into some issues, then we need to have ourselves in position. It should be a good race, we’ve run real good all year, and if we gain the points we need to, then it will be a real good night.”
HOW PLEASED ARE YOU WITH THE PERFORMANCE OF YOU AND THE TEAM IN 2012?
“My favorite thing this year has been being with Thorsport Racing and being with a team that wanted me to drive the car. We got along really well with everybody on the team, which has been a real rewarding part of the season. A real special moment was winning at LORP because that was such a big event for us. We were showing signs that we could run up front and lead races, but to win there was great. Then to come back and win at Springfield was really good too. It’s been a really good year for everyone at Thorsport Racing and for me personally as well.”
October 19, 2012
1.5 Mile Oval
Kansas Lottery 98.9
99 Laps/148.5 Miles
Live Timing & Scoring at ARCARacing.com
Friday, October 19: Practice – 9-11:15am CT
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell – 5:35pm CT
Race – 7:30pm CT
Current Driver Point Standings: 2nd
Chassis: A-4 (Most recently raced by Matt Crafton at LORP and tested byKimmel at Kansas)
Engine: TRD (Toyota Racing Development) & TRIAD
ARCA RACING SERIES results at Kansas Speedway:
Top 5s: 7
Top 10s: 9
Total Appearances: 11