Kimmel Shines at Springfield
August 19, 2012 | 4:00 P.M. EST
Frank Kimmel earned his his 76th career win on Sunday. (Photo: ARCA Racing)
In recent weeks, Frank Kimmel has shown flashes of his old dominance in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards - notably returning to Victory Lane after 75 races away and leading over half of another race in the midst of five consecutive top-five finishes.
Today, the ThorSport Racing driver made another step in his ongoing quest for a 10th ARCA championship, leading 51 laps in the Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds to earn his sixth consecutive top-five, but more importantly, his 76th career win and eighth on the Springfield dirt.
Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota) started just 10th but took the lead for the first time on Lap 40 when Kevin Swindell (No. 55 Curb Records Toyota) drove to pit road and surrendered the lead. Kimmel gave the lead back after pitting to close Lap 76, but passed Alex Bowman on Lap 87 and led the final 14 laps to take his second win in 24 days.
"This Toyota was really strong right off the truck," said Kimmel, whose other seven Springfield wins came in a nine-year stretch between 2000 and 2008. "I knew it was going to be fast, and Alex did a great job. It was just a really special day. When you've got a car that runs that good, you need to stay up there. I appreciate all the fans coming out and I really appreciate what a wonderful day it was for our entire team."
Kimmel went on to thank Andy Belmont, who owned and oversaw the winning effort for driver Chad McCumbee at the Springfield track one year ago. Though Belmont is not currently an active owner in the ARCA Racing Series, Kimmel said Belmont helped him recently with setup tips for the dirt track.
The nine-time ARCA champion drew to within 15 points of Chris Buescher (No. 17 Reliance Tool/Roulo Brothers Racing Ford), who finished fifth, for the series lead. Brennan Poole (No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Chevrolet), formerly second in points, dropped to third after completing just 85 laps and finishing 22nd.