(TOLEDO, Ohio – September 19, 2011) – Well after the halfway point of Saturday’s Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic presented by Federated Car Care at Salem Speedway, the same surname appeared three times atop the live timing and scoring chart at ARCARacing.com. A bug, an error, a mistake? No – simply a battle of three drivers at their home track.
It’s no surprise that the Kimmels – nine-time ARCA champ Frank, son Frank II, and nephew Will – were the family atop the board, but it was Will, not Frank, who led the pack. Though Frank Kimmel is a nine-time Salem winner, Will is no rookie at Salem, having experienced the track numerous times in a street stock and ARCA Racing Series entries.
Though Chris Buescher eventually drove past all of them for the win, Will Kimmel (No. 68 Clarksville Schwinn/Jones Group International Ford) ended the best of the bunch. He finished second, topping his previous career high of fourth in Springfield, Ill. less than one month ago.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Will Kimmel. “We just tried to keep this thing in one piece and the fenders on it. Well, the fenders are kind of on it and it’s a little beat up, but all the guys on the Clarksville Schwinn and Jones Group International Ford did an awesome job.”
All the runner-up needed was a few laps in the race to get comfortable.
“You get in the race and it’s like driving a street stock; it put me right back at home,” he said. “It’s cool that (the Kimmels) were 1-2-3. Even better is that I think I was leading.”
By leading Lap 100, marking the race’s halfway point, Will Kimmel won the Messina Wildlife Management Halfway Leader Award.
Frank Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell/Menards Ford) finished fifth for his series-leading 16th top-10 of the year. Frank Kimmel II (No. 77 Mars Trucking/Jim French Builder Ford) finished seventh in a Cunningham Motorsports entry, marking a career high in his first full ARCA Racing Series effort.
“That’s awesome. I can’t thank all these guys at Cunningham, my dad, my mom. They put together a great race car and right there on that long run, we had something for them. I hate to see that caution come out, but it was a great effort by the team and maybe we’ll get another one.”
Kimmel II offered choice words after Lap 188 contact from Tim George Jr. Kimmel II had been running third, and spoke just after a brief conversation with George on pit road.
“He drives with his bumper,” Kimmel II said of George. “There’s nothing else to it. He wrecks my dad, he wrecks everybody. That’s the only way he knows how to pass. It is what it is. I hate that I’m not running more because it looks like the RCR cars can’t keep off the Kimmels.”