Kimmel Meets Bad Luck Again at Toledo

TOLEDO, OHIO (September 13, 2010) – If it weren’t for bad luck the past few weeks it seems like Frank Kimmel would have no luck at all.  After running in second place for much of the first half of Sunday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards event at Toledo Speedway, Kimmel was forced to bring his No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford behind the wall for a broken rear gear after only 98 of the scheduled 200 laps.  The mechanical problem led to a 21st-place finish.  Kimmel now stands fourth in the championship standings, 140 points behind leader Patrick Sheltra with three races remaining on the schedule.
Kimmel and his Ansell/Menards team rolled into Toledo Speedway’s half-mile bullring on Saturday morning for practice in qualifying in preparation for Northwest Ohio Ford Dealers 200.  With rain looming, the drivers of the ARCA Racing Series took the track for what was supposed to be a 1.5-hour practice session.  Kimmel and team worked on their race setup, posting the seventh-fastest time of the session, before raindrops began to fall, forcing ARCA officials to cancel the session one hour early. Unfortunately the rain would not let up for qualifying and the field was set according to the ARCA Racing Series point standings.  Kimmel would line up fourth on the grid for Sunday afternoon’s race.
As the green flag dropped to signal the start of the Northwest Ohio Ford Dealers 200, it didn’t take long for Kimmel to show the strength of his Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion.  By the end of lap one he had moved from his fourth-place starting position into third, and only two laps later he slipped under Patrick Sheltra’s No. 60 to take the second position.  Kimmel then began to pursue leader Tom Hessert, looking to take the lead.
For the first 41 laps Kimmel stalked Hessert’s No. 77.  The two drivers put on a great show as they ran nose to tail while negotiating their way through lapped traffic.  The traffic would prevent Kimmel from taking the lead, but Kimmel and the No. 77 pulled away from the rest of the field. 
When the first yellow flag of the afternoon came out on lap 41 Kimmel radioed to his Ansell/Menards crew that his No. 44 was pretty good but tight in the middle and tight off of the turns.  The team decided to keep their Ford Fusion out on the track with the leaders and did not make a pit stop for changes.
The green came back out on lap 45 with Hessert and Kimmel again showing they were the class of the field.  They ran first and second for the next 32 laps while again pulling away from the field.
The caution came out again on lap 77, bringing most of the leaders down pit road.  Crew Chief Bill Kimmel Jr made a strategy call to keep his Ansell/Menards Ford on the race track, putting Kimmel in first place.   Unfortunately that’s when the bad luck started for the No. 44 team. Leading the field under yellow, Kimmel told his crew on lap 80 that he had a flat tire and immediately brought his Ford Fusion down pit road for service.  The Ansell/Menards team changed four tires, added fuel and made a slight track bar adjustment and sent their driver back out in seventh place for the restart.
The field restarted on lap 84 and Kimmel quickly moved into the fifth position.  Only a few laps later Kimmel’s Ansell/Menards Ford slowed dramatically going into turn three, forcing him to bring his No. 44 -down pit road during green-flag conditions.  The Ansell/Menards team discovered that they broke a rear gear and were forced to push their Ford Fusion behind pit road for repairs. 
The teams was able to fix the broken rear gear and return to the track for the final laps of the race but were plagued in 21st position, 78 laps down to the leaders.  Unable to move forward, Kimmel took the checkered flag in 21st position.
Next weekend Kimmel heads home to Salem Speedway for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic on Saturday night, September 18th.  The green flag will drop for 200 laps of action at 7:15 p.m. with live audio and timing and scoring coverage on ARCARacing.com.
 
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About Frank Kimmel
Frank Kimmel, driver in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by RE/MAX and Menards, is a record holding 9-time champion. Co-owner of Kimmel Racing, the Indiana native has earned 74 wins, placing him just six races shy of the number one spot on ARCA’s all-time win list. With 44 poles, 230 top-five and 294 top-ten finishes, the racing veteran has accomplished many great feats in his 18 seasons in the series. Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards Ford team look to continue to break records in the 2010 season.

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