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Aug 23, 2012 - 06:15 PM
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ARCA To Make 92nd Appearance At Salem
Posted by: newsla on Aug 23, 2012 - 06:09 PM
NASCAR News
ARCA To Make 92nd Appearance At Salem; Hometown Favorite Kimmel Going For 10 And 10 At Salem; Elliott Enters


The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is heading home, or so it should feel anyway.

When the renowned stock car tour, celebrating its 60th Anniversary Season in 2012, converges on the small, southern Indiana city of Salem, it will mark the 92nd appearance of ARCA at Salem since debuting on the historic half-mile oval in 1955. Over the years, no track has appeared more on ARCA's annual schedule more than Salem has. The two entities are truly a match made for milestones.

 

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In addition to the thrilling spectacle of watching 3400 lb. steel-bodied ARCA cars bump and grind around the rough, challenging high-banked bullring, a major league title fight is brewing in a big way, and it involves the hometown favorite and nine-time Salem winner Frank Kimmel.

Kimmel, in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota, has revived his career via ThorSport Racing in such a way that it's got the stock car community turning back for another glance at the 50-year-old ARCA gladiator.

Kimmel, after suffering through a winless streak that stretched nearly four years, finally snapped his dry spell with a big win at Lucas Oil Raceway in late July. Since then, the Clarksville, Indiana second-generation driver has finished fourth at Pocono, second at Berlin and first on the Springfield mile dirt. With two races (Madison and DuQuoin) yet to be run in between the ARCA race at Salem, there's no telling how tight the points will be when ARCA rolls into town for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic presented by Federated Car Care under the lights Saturday, September 15. Currently, Kimmel trails point leader Chris Buescher by just 15 points.

"Salem's always been very special because it's home," said Kimmel. "We've got so much support there from family, friends, fans, you name it. Each victory is more special than the one before."

It's just that Kimmel hasn't been to victory lane at his beloved Salem Speedway since September of 2008, even though he's won there a record nine times.

Outside of chasing a record 10th ARCA national title in 2012, Kimmel is also inching ever so closer to Iggy Katona's all-time ARCA win mark of 79 wins. Kimmel's recent victory on the Springfield mile dirt, a record eighth win there, brought his ARCA win total up to 76, just three shy of Katona's milestone.

Chase Elliott Files Entry for Salem Chase Elliott is only 16 years old, and all the while honing his short track skills in the ARCA Racing Series. The son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott has also filed an entry for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic at Salem.

In four ARCA Racing Series starts, despite racing on tracks that he hasn't, for the most part, seen before, he's on the fast track towards the front. Elliott finished 10th in his series debut at Mobile Int'l Speedway in early March. It got better from there when Elliott placed fourth at Salem in April. Then, in his career-first road course race, he wowed the ARCA regulars with a second-place finish, losing the lead only on the final lap at New Jersey Motorsports Park. He also finished seventh at Berlin in early August.

"We have had some decent runs in the ARCA Series; we just need a little more to close the deal. I'm confident the Aaron's Dream Machine-Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet will be fast enough to win at Salem," Elliott said. "We're capable of winning in the ARCA Series, and I won't be satisfied until we do."

Practice for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic is scheduled from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., with a final practice to follow from 1:45 to 2:30. Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell is at 4. The Salem Street Stocks will get the racing action started with a 50-lap feature event at 5:30, followed by the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic at 7:15.

ARCA Celebrating 60th Anniversary Season

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.

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series visited Alabama's Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota's Elko Speedway for the first time.

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