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Sep 21, 2013 - 06:59 AM
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Kimmel's Backup Car On Pole At Rain-Delayed Kentucky
Posted by: newsla on Sep 21, 2013 - 06:58 AM
NASCAR News
Kimmel's Backup Car On Pole At Rain-Delayed Kentucky


Frank Kimmel Friday at Kentucky Speedway crashed his primary No. 44 Ansell / Menards Toyota, turned his day's fastest practice lap in a quickly-prepared backup car and will start on the pole Saturday for the ZLOOP 150 after heavy rain washed out qualifying and postponed the penultimate ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race of the season.

 

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The rescheduled ZLOOP 150 will be the first track activity at Kentucky on Saturday as part of an impromptu doubleheader with the NASCAR Nationwide Series' Kentucky 300, which is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. ET. The ARCA race telecast will begin at 1:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 2 with the green flag expected to fly at about 1:45. The race will be replayed on Sunday at 3 p.m. on FOX Sports 1, the former SPEED Channel.

Live timing and scoring and audio coverage of the race is available online at www.arcaracing.com.

Rain was expected all day Friday and finally a heavy shower caused Nationwide Series practice to be cut prematurely, ironically with Kimmel's ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton atop the time sheet in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing car Crafton's driving this weekend for the third time this season.

The track began circulating jet dryers when the rain quit but, less than 45 minutes before Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell was scheduled to begin, the rain restarted and the race was postponed about an hour later.

Due to his 305-point lead over rookie Mason Mingus in the series' standings, Kimmel will start from the pole for the fourth time this season due to qualifying rainouts.

Earlier in the day, Kimmel came off the transporter with the second-fastest time of the only practice session on his first run. But on about his 10th lap of practice, Kimmel's car broke loose entering Turn 3 of the high-speed, high-banked, bumpy 1.5-mile oval and its right-rear slapped the wall, pitching the car lengthwise into the fence.

As he rolled back to the garage, Kimmel radioed crew chief Jeriod Prince and his team the car was damaged badly enough to need the backup car. So for the first time this season and thus, the first time for this crew and the first time Kimmel's needed a backup car since the second half of the 2012 season, the crew responded by pulling its backup off the transporter and rolling the reconfigured Toyota Camry out of the garage just 40 minutes later, with 55 minutes of practice remaining.

The effort was aided by Venturini Motorsports crew chief Kevin Reed, whose team has won six races this season with four different drivers but who offered to scuff Kimmel's qualifying tires while Prince's team concentrated on its race setup.

"Awesome, awesome job by the pit crew to accomplish what they did by unloading the backup car, switching over all the pieces they did from the primary and getting it back out to practice," Kimmel said. "The (primary) car just got out from under me but the car they gave me back was just as good as the primary was -- which I've always felt would be the case.

"And a special thanks to our competitors. Bill (Venturini) and his team are what ARCA racing is all about -- we race hard but when one of us needs something even your toughest competitors on the racetrack will go out of their way to help you."

Kimmel's first lap with the backup was a top-15 effort on the time sheet at that point, and in short order Kimmel made another run that included his best lap of the day, 32.61 seconds. Kimmel ultimately improved that to 32.543, which was good enough for 13th overall on the final time sheet behind two-time 2013 ARCA winner Corey LaJoie.

"What Jeriod and Rich (Lushes, car chief) and the guys were able to do is great for our confidence and puts us in a great position to do what we need to, (Saturday) in the race," Kimmel said. "You hope you never have to pull out a backup, but this is where all the hard work these guys put into this program pays off and I can't thank them enough for what they do.

"The (backup) car was plenty quick and plenty comfortable and starting on the pole is a reward for what these ThorSport guys have been able to accomplish all season."

Kimmel will be attempting to score his 30th consecutive top-10 finish, stretched across the last two seasons with ThorSport. Kimmel has 79 career ARCA victories, tied for the series' career victories total with Iggy Katona, with four of those coming at Kentucky -- including a pair from the pole in 2001.


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