September 10, 2001 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Kimmel’s day began on the down side. After winning the pole of Saturday his crew discovered a rear end problem with the car. Determined to fix the troubles before the race, Kimmel helped his brother (and crew chief) Bill Kimmel with the repairs. The end result was Kimmel missing the drivers meeting and consequently starting from the final position per ARCA rules.
Making his way through the field, Kimmel took over the lead from eventual runner-up Jason Jarrett on lap 57. In all he led 117 of the 191 laps recorded, and just happened to be in the right place when the rain began to fall.
"We didn't mind seeing the rain come at all," Kimmel said. "I'm about worn out; but we had a great time racing with Jason Jarrett and Ken Schrader today. You can race all day with those guys and have a blast doing it.
“My hats off to Jason; he drove a great race. Raced me clean all day. We were a little off, and I'm not even sure we would have had enough to hold him (Jarrett) off, but fortunately the rain came when we were out front."
Jarrett finished second followed by NASCAR regular Ken Schrader (who also had to start from the back of the field), AJ Henriksen, and Andy Belmont completed the Top 5.
Outside polesitter Tracy Leslie led the first 14 laps before Jarrett took control when Leslie came into the pits (under caution) for service. Jarrett held that lead until Kimmel passed him on the 57th lap. Kimmel stayed in the lead until lap 82 when 16 year-old rookie Shelby Howard took over during a caution. Once they returned to green, Kimmel quickly re-gained the lead.
Then Leslie, running third, cut down a right-front tire and hit the turn four wall. He was ok, but caused a long enough caution that the leaders could pit. Jarrett led the way off of pit road with Kimmel, Schrader, Belmont, Henriksen and Jeff Finley trailing. Again Kimmel was quick at the re-start, catching and passing Jarrett for the lead and never looking back.
Kimmel now leads by 1060 points over Jarrett in the ARCA championship chase. The win was his 32nd in his ARCA career and fifth at Salem Speedway.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to action next weekend at the Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio.