Kimmel Storms To Fourth Career Kentucky Speedway ARCA RE/MAX Series Win
Frank Kimmel shook off a subpar morning qualifying effort and stormed from his 17th starting position to score his first ARCA RE/MAX Series win of 2005 today at Kentucky Speedway in "The Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150."
Kimmel advanced from his worst Kentucky starting position to become the first four-time winner in speedway history. He has charted a total of seven top-five and eight top-10 finishes through 10 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts at the track.
"Our qualifying effort was terrible," Kimmel said. "I think the car before us put something down on the track in Turn 2. When I went out the first time, I did everything but wreck. On the second lap, I kind of tiptoed through there and really got sideways."
Thoughts of his morning qualifying run vanished by Lap 23 of the 100-lap race when Kimmel had his No. 46 Advance Auto Parts Pork Producers Ford in fourth place. He moved the car to third by Lap 32.
"We tried to pick and choose where we wanted to pass," he said. "At first, I really didn't know what we had because the car was so loose in qualifying. With the new ARCA rules, we weren't able to look at it after the qualifying, so the first two or three laps we had to tiptoe around to make sure I wasn't the first caution. Once I felt the car was underneath me, we started to try to make some passes."
His most important pass of the day came on Lap 67 when he took the race lead from polesitter Chad Blount and his No. 67 Foretravel Motorhomes Chevrolet. Kimmel eased the nose of No. 46 past the No. 67 coming off Turn 4 and completed the pass in Turn 1.
"The whole day, I was in traffic behind other cars so it was kind of hard to tell exactly how good the car was going to turn. Once I got ahead of him (Blount), we were able to get away. You hear about aero disadvantages when you're behind another car, but I really didn't know I was that much better my car was until I got ahead of him."
Kimmel went on to lead the final 34 laps of the race and blister Blount and the rest of the 40-car field by 2.235 seconds at the finish line.
"It just seemed as the race went on, the car kept getting tighter and tighter," said Blount, who started from the pole for the first time at Kentucky Speedway and led a race-high 55 laps. "It was just one of those days, it's tough for a driver."
His ARCA RE/MAX winning streak ended at two, but Blount moved from fourth to second in the series standings. He trails series leader Kimmel, who came into the race with a five-point lead, by 20 points heading into the series next event at Toledo Speedway on May 22.
"I was really shooting for the series record winning streak, I think it's four in a row," Blount said. "We'll just have to start over. It's alright, we'll keep our heads held high."
Joey Miller (No. 9 Country Joe Homes-Eagle Creek Aviation Dodge) finished third, Ken Weaver (No. 10 1-800-4-A-Phone Pontiac) finished fourth and Kevin Hamlin (No. 99 Ken Schrader Racing Dodge) finished fifth to round out "The Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati 150" top five.
Kentucky Speedway continues its season June 17 and 18 when the NASCAR Busch Series makes its fifth visit to the track for "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo." The race field will feature NASCAR stars Rusty Wallace, Greg Biffle, Michael Waltrip, Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards among others. Country artist Travis Tritt will perform a special prerace concert. Tickets are on sale now and can be reserved by phone at 888-652-RACE, online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com or Tickets.com, through Tickets.com outlets including Meijer stores. Fans also can visit the speedway ticket offices at 2216 Dixie Hwy., Ste. 200 in Ft. Mitchell or the Fan Center located outside Turn 3 at the track.
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