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Sep 17, 2012 - 04:34 PM
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Kimmel Rallies For Top-5 At Salem
Posted by: newsla on Sep 17, 2012 - 04:30 PM
Kimmel Rallies For Top-5 At Salem

In a race that saw multi car wrecks, long green flag runs, and numerous tire strategies, Frank Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards team made a recovery after being one lap down to score a 4th place finish at Kimmel's home track. While Kimmel entered the event aiming for his tenth Salem win and tenth championship, the finish was his 27th top five and is still alive in the championship hunt with two races remaining.


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Kimmel started the 200 lap event from 7th, and took advantage of his track position to run in the top five in the early laps of the race. For much of the opening stages, the top seven cars ran nose to tail setting a torrid pace before a lap 18 caution slowed the pace with Kimmel running 5th. On the restart, Kimmel continued to conserve tires and brakes running 5th before a race altering wrecked occurred directly in front of him exiting turn four. Numerous front runners were collected in the incident, which forced Kimmel to stop on the apron to avoid damage, and moved to third as a result.

After a brief red flag period, the nine-time Salem winner ran as high as second on the lap 53 restart. A slew of quick caution periods from lap 57-63 opened up the pit strategy for teams to use their one and a half sets of tires which showed several seconds of fall-off throughout a fuel run. Crew chief, Jeriod Prince, opted to keep Kimmel on track and save tires for the later stages. Kimmel conserved tires through the following green flag run, and went a lap down on lap 99 to his son, and leader, Frank Kimmel, who took advantage of fresh tires.

Under the lap 115 caution, Kimmel radioed a loose condition to his crew and said the Ansell/Menards Toyota was a "handful" to hang onto on the long green flag runs. During the yellow, Kimmel came to the attention of the Thorsport team and took four tires as well as a track bar adjustment. In order to gain a lap back, Kimmel needed to be the first car one lap down to earn the Lucky Dog award, which he did by the lap 138 caution, running in 9th. Kimmel made his second stop of the night for a wedge adjustment to improve the loose condition for the event's final 55 laps.

Kimmel restarted 8th and made his way up to fourth within ten laps, and ran laps comparable to the eventual race winner, Tom Hessert, for the race's remaining 45 laps. The 4th place effort is Kimmel's 27th top five finish at Salem in thirty eight starts, and his ninth consecutive top ten finish in 2012. Title rival, Chris Buescher's second place finished opened up an 85 point lead over Kimmel with two races remaining.

No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota
"It was a good night for the Ansell/Menards team", Kimmel said. "We stayed out too long on tires and it caught us and we got a lap down. We came in and put on four to get our lap back and drove right back to the front there. We were getting caught up pretty quick, but just ran out of time there at the end, but were able to rebound to get a nice finish.We had a good effort tonight, and it was nice to see Frankie run that good and lead laps. It's always good when you can put together a top five effort like that."

Race Recap:
Date: September 15th, 2012
Track: Salem Speedway
Race: 18 of 20
Started: 7th
Finished: 4th
Driver Championship Points Standings: 2nd

The DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is the next stop on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule for the second to last race of the season. The Southern Illinois 100 was rescheduled for October 14th due to remnants of Hurricane Isaac on Labor Day weekend. All on track activity will take place on Sunday, October 14th, with the green flag dropping at 1:30pm CT.

ARCAracing.com will have live timing and scoring throughout the day with ARCA Radio broadcasting the second dirt race of the year live at 1:30pm CT.

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.

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