Going into this weekend’s 3 Amigos 250, Frank Kimmel has made 18 starts at Talladega Superspeedway, which included a win in 2006, plus six other top-five finishes.
“It was nice to get that first restrictor plate victory,” Kimmel said. “We had a really great car that entire weekend. We were fast in all the practices, so we knew going into the race that we had an opportunity to win. We raced up front all day, and I remember close to the end receiving a push from Mike Wallace to the lead. Right after taking the lead the caution flew, and the race was called due to darkness.”
At Daytona, Kimmel finished 10th after avoiding trouble all day and is taking that same car to Talladega so its no wonder the nine-time champion is looking forward to this weekend.
“I’m very eager to get back on the track,” he said. “We usually have a race in between Daytona and Talladega, but this year they changed the schedule a bit. However, we’ve kept really busy getting our Ansell/Menards Fords ready for other races that are just around the corner.”
At the test earlier this month, Kimmel ran into some mechanical issues, though has since found the cause.
“I guess if anything came from a horrible day then finding the cause of the problem was it,” he said. “Basically, we had a valve that was installed before the test that was not allowing the engines to cool properly. It was an unfortunate mistake on our part but we’ve fixed it and we’re now ready to race.”
As for when he gets to Talladega, he expects it to be the same as has always been.
“I think it’s going to be similar to Daytona, though I do believe you’ll see larger packs running together, probably three-deep at some points,” he said. “Talladega is easier to get a grip on, compared to Daytona. It’s so smooth and there’s a ton of room to maneuver around.”
With his experience, Kimmel offered some tips for rookies this weekend:
1. Remain Patient – Talladega is a long race, and the only way to win is to be around at the end.
2. Be Smooth – Use your head and make the right moves at the appropriate times. Jumping from lane to lane usually doesn’t get you to the front any quicker.
3. Show Respect – Respect the other drivers on the track. Getting in a disagreement at Talladega could cost half the field.
4. Follow the Rules – Remember to stay below the blend line coming on and off the track.
5. Know Your Car – Be sure to pump your brakes when coming off the track to pit.