[media-credit name=”ARCA Racing Network” align=”alignright” width=”175″][/media-credit]Brooklyn, MI. (June 17, 2012) – The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards christened the new asphalt on the two mile oval in Michigan, and saw competitors battle tire issues, while Frank Kimmel persevered to a 7th place finish. For the second straight week, Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards Toyota team have been plagued by tire woes, but continued to drive towards the top of the championship standings.
After qualifying eighth, Kimmel gained positions from the initial green flag, dodging the frequent incidents throughout the early stages. With extreme tire wear on the forefront of the competitors’ minds, Kimmel cautiously approached the event’s first fuel run. On lap 29, Kimmel brought his Toyota to pit road for four tires and a track bar adjustment. Left side tire wear was found to be excessive, and crew chief Jeriod Prince proceeded to employ a cautious strategy to preserve tires.
On the following restart, Kimmel moved to sixth by lap 37. Four laps later, Kimmel reported a bad vibration and found a friendly caution flag two laps later at lap 43. Kimmel radioed the team and reported the only way to find more speed in the car would be to solve his tire issues, which plagued most other competitors. Under the yellow, Prince and team serviced Kimmel with four fresh tires, and discovered right side tires “chunking” and blistering.
After leaving pit road tenth, Kimmel moved to ninth following the lap 50 restart and was pleased with the car’s handling during the subsequent laps. By lap 60, front running competitors began blowing out tires while Kimmel maintained a steady pace conserving tires. At lap 65, Kimmel found himself fifth, and one of the few front runners keeping all four tires underneath the racecar. Kimmel reported another vibration at lap 75, and moved into the top three two laps later, but pitting for tires shortly after. An ill timed caution flag soon followed on lap 82, and caught Kimmel one lap down to the race leaders.
Bad luck continued under the yellow flag when Kimmel was forced to pit for a second time during the caution period for another flat tire. With 11 laps to go, Kimmel restarted 7th racing in the Lucky Dog position fighting through an additional vibration. Kimmel ran the final eight circuits of the event preserving his position, and tires, driving to a 7th place finish. It marked his sixth consecutive top ten finish of the season and moved him to 3rd in the series championship standings.
“It’s frustrating to have to race so conservatively and take care of tires all race long”, Kimmel said. “I felt like we had a lot better Toyota than what we were able to show. But, like last week, we tried to make the most of the situation and got a respectable finish. It’s nice to move up in the standings again, and we’ll keep working and try to run better each week.”
Date: June 15th, 2012
Track: Michigan Int’l Speedway
Race: 8 of 20
Started: 8th Finished: 7th
Driver Championship Points Standings: 3rd
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE:
Winchester Speedway is the next stop for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards on Sunday, June 24th. The Herr Foods Chase the Taste 200 a will mark the second consecutive year the ARCA Racing Series has competed at the legendary Midwest short track. After being a part of the ARCA tour most years up until 2007, the series returned to Winchester’s high banks in 2011. The race will begin at 2:00 pmET on Sunday, with live timing and scoring on ARCARacing.com. Timing and scoring will also be available from the half mile on Saturday, June 23rd during practice sessions at 12:05 pmET and 2:05 pmET.
2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards’ 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.