Rain Gives Kimmel 77th ARCA Victory

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Frank Kimmel has landed a full-time ARCA Racing Series ride with Team Stange. (Adam Fenwick Photo)
Frank Kimmel, seen here in this file photo, scored his 77th career ARCA victory at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Friday. (Adam Fenwick/AKFPhotos.com Photo)

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Rain put an early end to Friday’s ARCA Racing Series International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 at Talladega Superspeedway, handing Frank Kimmel his first victory of the 2013 racing season.

Kimmel took the lead for the final time on lap 44 from Josh Williams, who had stayed out when the rest of the field pitted for gas under caution on lap 31. As Kimmel chased Williams during a restart on lap 34 mayhem broke out behind them.

Thomas Praytor, who had also stayed out, tried to blend into traffic in front of polesitter Milka Duno. The two made contact, causing a major pileup that ended up claiming approximately 16 cars.

The field returned to green flag racing on lap 41 and three laps later Kimmel made his way to the point. Mason Mingus followed Kimmel around Williams to take second, but was unable to challenge Kimmel for the lead in the following laps.

Kimmel was able to maintain his lead as the laps wound down, surviving three restarts along the way. Finally on lap 72 Mother Nature arrived in full force, drenching the 2.66-mile superspeedway and handing Kimmel his 77th career ARCA victory.

“I can’t win one here unless they stop it early,” said Kimmel, who won an ARCA event at Talladega in 2006 that was shortened due to darkness. “Man the car just really drove good and I could go anywhere I wanted.

“We got to the front and got on the bottom and said OK, if they are going to pass me they are going to go around the outside. Thanks goodness they couldn’t get there. It was really a good race for us.”

Mingus ended the race in second, a career best for the 18-year-old driver. Open-wheel standout Caleb Armstrong was third, followed by Mark Thompson and Terry Jones. Williams, who never pitted during the race, finished sixth.

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