This weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Frank Kimmel will be racing with an extra incentive and a bigger fan base as part of the Ansell ActivArmr 150 weekend. Over 200 guests from Menards and Ansell will be on hand at Chicago to witness Kimmel chase his second win at Chicagoland. The #44 Toyota will have a different look this week, with Ansell’s ActivArmr being showcased on the hood, complimenting the familiar Menards yellow paint scheme. Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards team have scored two top ten finishes on intermediate style tracks this year, Pocono (6th) and Michigan (7th).
Kimmel and the #44 are coming off a solid top five finish at the Iowa Speedway, where the #44 Thorsport team gained ground on the point leader and are now within 105 points of the championship lead. Consistency has put Kimmel in the thick of the championship hunt in 2012, finishing in the top ten in eight of the eleven events thus far. After an 11th place at Winchester snapped a streak of top tens, a 7th place finish at New Jersey, and last week’s effort at Iowa have kick-started another top ten streak for the nine-time champion.
With an average finish of eighth over 11 races at Chicagoland, the Joliet, IL 1.5 mile speedway has proved to be one of Kimmel’s most productive venues in recent years. Kimmel is one of two drivers to start every ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Chicago, and has nine top ten finishes in eleven starts. Kimmel is one of the eleven different winners, scoring his Chicagoland victory from the pole in 2003.
CHICAGOLAND PERFORMANCE: Kimmel is one of two ARCA Racing Series drivers to compete in every race at Chicagoland Speedway. In the eleven races at Chicagoland, Kimmel has scored five top fives and nine top ten finishes. Kimmel scored a win in 2003 from the pole, and has just one finish worse than 11th at Chicago.
TOP TEN STREAK: In the last three Chicagoland races, Kimmel has scored three top ten finishes and in the top eleven in the last seven Chicago races. Kimmel is coming off of two consecutive top ten finishes at New Jersey Motorsports Park (7th) and Iowa Speedway (5th).
CLOSE TO THE RECORD: Kimmel can tie Iggy Katona’s all-time record of 43 pole awards this weekend during Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell on Saturday morning at 9:30 amCT. In addition, Kimmel’s 74 career wins is five behind Katona’s all-time wins record in the ARCA Racing Series.
POINTS REPORT: After 11 of 20 races, Kimmel sits fourth in ARCA Racing Series points and trails point leader, Chris Buescher, by 105 points. After leading 23 laps and finishing 5th at Iowa, Kimmel gained 55 points on the championship lead. Through 11 events in 2012, Kimmel has four top fives and eight top ten finishes.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Kimmel will race Thorsport Racing’s A-2 chassis for this weekend’s Ansell ActivArmr 150. Chassis A-2 has been raced twice in 2012 to two top ten finishes (Pocono – 6th, Michigan – 7th).
NEW LOOK: Coinciding with the Ansell ActivArmr 150, Ansell’s ActivArmr brand will adorn the hood of Kimmel’s Menards Toyota this week at Chicagoland.
JOLIET, IL MENARDS APPEARANCE: Kimmel will visit the Joliet, IL Menards location on Thursday, July 19th, from 6-7:30 PM. Kimmel will sign autographs for fans while the #44 Ansell/Menards showcar will also be on display. The Joliet Menards location is at 2524 W Jefferson Street Joliet, IL 60435.
ANSELL ActivArmr: Ansell is introducing their new Multipurpose line of ActivArmr gloves. ActivArmr Multipurpose gloves are available in Light Duty, Medium Duty and Heavy Duty. These ‘second skin’ feel gloves are made from engineered yarns for durability, breathability and comfort. They each have a foam nitrile outer layer for enhanced wet/dry grip and improved finger lengths for improved fit.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Frank Kimmel
HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE PERFORMANCE ON INTERMEDIATE TRACKS IN 2012? “It’s hard to say really, because the first two races have been on new asphalt. No one had a good notebook on Pocono or Michigan. We ran well at both races, but the tire situation at both tracks took away from the performance and made it hard gauge. Chicagoland is going to be the first true challenge of what our intermediate program will be like.”
WHAT MAKES CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY DIFFERENT NOW FROM WHEN IT FIRST OPENED? “Like every track, it has more bumps, more character, and has lost grip over time. It’s a much different style of intermediate track than Pocono or Michigan because of the difference in asphalt. We’re changing our philosophy with the racecar this week to try and compensate for that. We’re bringing a fast car this week, and hope that we can run up front all weekend.”
WHAT WOULD SOLID PERFORMACE OR A WIN MEAN IN THE ANSELL ActivArmr 150? “When we do win, wherever it is, it’s going to be big. Every time Menards and Ansell are at the track, we have a big contingent of people watching, so you want to run well. Ansell and Menards have been great supporters of ours and it’s going to be fun having a lot of guests from both companies at the racetrack. We’re confident we can run well and run up front, but it’s important for us to have a chance to win everywhere we go.”
July 21st, 2012 Chicagoland Speedway
1.5 Mile Tri-Oval
Ansell ActivArmr 150
100 Laps/150 Miles
Live Timing & Scoring at ARCARacing.com
Friday July 20: Practice – 6:05pm CT – 7:35pm CT
Saturday July 21: Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell – 9:30 amCT
Race – 4 pmCT – LIVE ON SPEED
Current Driver Point Standings: 4th
Chassis: A-2 (Raced at Pocono -6th and Michigan -7th)
Engine: TRD (Toyota Racing Development) & TRIAD
Frank Kimmel ARCA RACING SERIES results at Iowa Speedway:
Top 5s: 5
Top 10s: 9
Total Appearances: 11
ABOUT MENARDS: With 268 stores in 14 Midwestern states, Menards has the tools, materials and supplies for all your home improvement needs whether just needing a light bulb or can of paint to building a deck or new home. Menards is known throughout the home improvement industry as the low price leader; it’s no wonder their famous slogan – “SAVE BIG MONEY” – is so widely known and easy to remember. Menards does things right – the company’s strength and success can be seen in the well-stocked and maintained stores, the lowest prices in town and the way guests are always treated like family in a hometown hardware store atmosphere.
ABOUT ANSELL: Ansell is aglobal leader in protection solutions, with operations in North America, LAC, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Ansell designs, develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of surgical, examination, industrial and household gloves, protective clothing and condoms. People in over 100 countries around the world put their trust in Ansell’s innovative, high-quality solutions to offer superior protection, combined with high levels of comfort and performance. Ansell holds its operational headquarters in Red Bank, NJ, USA and its parent, Ansell Limited, is registered in Melbourne, Australia. Worldwide, the group employs over 10,000 people in 33 countries. In its Fiscal Year 2011, Ansell achieved sales of USD 1.2 bn. For more information visit www.ansell.com, www.safetypro.com,www.activarmr.com and www.ansellconstruction.com.