TOLEDO, Ohio – Despite an all-time high of 80 career ARCA wins, Frank Kimmel is still winless at Daytona. However, you can still put Kimmel in the “very happy” category following the recent Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
The 10-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion, in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota, tied his career-best finish at Daytona with yet another runner-up run at the World Center of Racing.
“I’m very happy; we had a great day,” Kimmel said. “We avoided some big wrecks, didn’t put a scratch on it. We beat up the front bumper so they’ll have to fix that, but that’s about it. Anytime you can roll it back on straight after Daytona, it’s a really good day. Good points day. All good.”
Nearly ‘all good’ anyway.
“The biggest thing is that we just didn’t have as much steam as the older motors, which ended up being a big deal. I think the Hendrick cars went back and built the older SB2 motors, which ended up having more power the way the restrictor plates were opened up,” Kimmel said. “Unfortunately, Toyota doesn’t have an older engine package to fit the rules. Hopefully the officials will look at that and give us a little back to be more competitive.
“In many ways, it was typical Daytona. The bottom lane was going to be dominant. I got lucky and missed the first wreck, barely. Then we had a really good pit stop. The guys made a great call and didn’t put any tires on it; we had a great pit stop and gained six spots coming off pit road. We got back out and had a blast racing with everyone. Raced a lot with Maryeve (Dufault). She did a really good job. Really pleased with the way she raced. She didn’t panic in the draft, held her own and battled hard on that outside groove. I was impressed; she did a really good job.
“Then Bryan Silas helped us out a bunch and pushed me right up there. All in all, it was a very good day. No complaints.”
With Daytona in the rearview mirror, Kimmel’s already looking ahead to the next event on tour – the ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile Int’l Speedway on March 22.
“I’m going to be making a trip to Mooresville (N.C.) soon to get fitted in the short track car. We’ll go over some stuff for Talladega too. I believe we’re going to be testing at the open test at Mobile the week before (the Mobile race), so I’m really looking forward to that. I don’t normally get to test, especially on the short tracks, so I’m actually really excited about testing at Mobile.”