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Aug 22, 2013 - 05:29 PM
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Kimmel Comfy In Madison's Short-Track Arms
Posted by: newsla on Aug 22, 2013 - 05:28 PM
Kimmel Comfy In Madison's Short-Track Arms

Madison International Speedway has a lengthy history with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, but Sunday's Herr's Live Life With Flavor 200 is only the sixth ARCA race on the historic Wisconsin half-mile so Frank Kimmel would like to place a check-mark next to "Madison" on his career victories' log.


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Kimmel's No. 44 Ansell / Menards Toyota team from ThorSport Racing comes to Madison riding a career-best string of 25 consecutive top-10 finishes by Kimmel over the last two seasons with ThorSport.

And even though Kimmel only has a two-race log at the track from which to draw on he's got a decades-long wealth of knowledge that he knows he can plug into his car with the help of crew chief Jeriod Prince and car chief Rich Lushes.

"Madison's no different than any of the other short tracks we race at with ARCA," Kimmel said. "You want your car to turn good and to have good forward bite coming up off the corners.

"That's something you're always striving for, whether the track is asphalt or dirt like we raced last weekend at Springfield (Ill.) or if it's a half-mile or a mile-and-a-half... If you can get it to turn good and get good traction off the corners they're going to run fast, and my guys have done that all year so I'm really looking forward to it."

The prospect of winning his 80th career race also has Kimmel enthused, even though he's already missed the chance to claim sole possession of ARCA's career record for victories in the last five races since he won his 79th career race in June at Winchester.

Kimmel is locked in a tie for that honor with ARCA legend Iggy Katona.

In two career starts at Madison, Kimmel has a 12.5 average start, including a career best of ninth, last season. Not surprisingly Kimmel's finished in the top 10 in both his Madison starts, sixth in 2011 and ninth last season, when he logged his only two laps led there.

Kimmel comes to Madison with a season-high 260-point lead over leading ARCA Rookie of the Year contender Mason Mingus, who a year ago at Madison finished 23rd but who's also run well this season on the short tracks.

"I'm really looking forward to going to Madison, but like I've always said short tracks are where we all started racing and that makes them -- and the kind of racing you see there -- special to me and my guys at ThorSport," Kimmel said. "Our short-track cars have been awesome all season so I just can't wait to get there.

"It's our next race and I'm looking forward to it because with this team, and these Toyota Camrys it's hard to describe just how exciting it is to go to the racetrack each week."

Two home-state youngsters with NASCAR connections -- one with a family tie to ThorSport Racing -- are making their ARCA Racing Series debuts at Madison.

Ross Kenseth, son of 2004 Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth, will drive a Toyota fielded by Ken Schrader Racing. Travis Sauter, nephew of ThorSport Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter, will drive the No. 99 Roulo Brothers car that won at Road America with former series champion Chris Buescher driving.

Madison has a traditional two-day ARCA format, with two 45-minute practice sessions on Saturday, from 1-1:45 p.m. CT and 2:15-3 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell, which will set Sunday's starting lineup, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday's schedule includes a driver autograph session featuring the entire starting field from 12-1 p.m. CT. The 200-lap, 100-mile Herr's Live Life With Flavor 200 is scheduled to take the green flag at 2 p.m. It will be telecast tape-delayed on the NBC Sports Network on Thursday, Aug. 29 at 11 p.m. ET.

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