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Feb 10, 2014 - 03:58 PM
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In Final Week Ahead Of Biggest ARCA Race, Family Man
Posted by: newsla on Feb 10, 2014 - 03:56 PM
In Final Week Ahead Of Biggest ARCA Race, Family Man, Champ Kimmel Preps For Daughter's Wedding; Onto Daytona

Frank Kimmel's final week of preparation for the 51st Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona wasn't exactly what one might expect.


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"Well, I've been cleaning house, just got done pushing the vacuum, making way for the new couch, getting ready for my daughter's bridal shower this weekend," said Kimmel, whose daughter Holly will be getting married March 29.

"I'm really excited. Holly's a great girl. She's marrying a really nice young man. I'm really happy for her.
"Donna (Frank's wife) wants things to look nice, so we've been getting ready around the house. I think I got everything done, for now, that was on the 'honey-do list', so I'm about ready to head out to the barn."

Kimmel calls his backyard race shop his 'barn', and it's there he goes to do his thing.

"Been busy building a street stock car from scratch for a local guy up here to run Salem. I've been working out in the barn every day. I've got a couple other cars I've been piddling around with, getting some local folks ready for racing season."

Of course, racing season for a 10-time ARCA national champion also means getting ready for his full season ahead, his first with Win-Tron Racing and co-car owners Kevin Cywinski and Nate Thiesse.

"I'm actually really excited. I have such a tremendous about of respect for Kevin and Nate, and that's not PR; that's the truth."

Despite getting rained out for a planned test at Talladega Superspeedway last Wednesday, the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota is race-ready according to Kimmel.

"It's unfortunate that we weren't able to test, but that's the way it goes. My first time driving for Win-Tron will be the first practice at Daytona.

"I'm not the least bit worried about it. They'll be prepared. The cars have already been on the pull-down rigs, both the primary and the back-up. They're both in the same position. Win-Tron doesn't come in the pits without being ready. Only difference this time, they'll unload a bright yellow 44."

Kimmel, who lives in Borden, Indiana, has been on the phone with his new teammates a lot more over the last week.

"We've been talking more on a regular basis. It's all about those details, the little things that add up to big things. I just got a text from Kevin (Cywinski) with some questions about tools. He wanted to make sure that the tools he brings don't conflict with any of our programs with our sponsors - Menards and Ansell. There's a lot of that type of preparation that you have to constantly go over. And oh by the way, they've also got to build racecars."

Kimmel, as widely and often reported, has never won at Daytona, despite being ARCA's all-time race winner with 80 career victories.

"I'll tell you, I'm so dang excited about Daytona. The whole family will be there."

And that includes his daughter Holly and her soon-to-be husband.

"We've got so much to look forward to - a new season, a new team, Holly's wedding. It's a very special time for us.

"I'm not allowed to know the budget (for the wedding) but Donna and Holly tell me we're under budget, and they said that's all I need to know. But Holly also said, 'It's a good thing we won Talladega last year; that's a good paying race.'"

In 22 consecutive starts at Daytona, Kimmel has eight top-five finishes including five consecutive (2001-2005) during which he finished second in back-to-back years (2004 & 2005) and third back-to-back in '01 and '02. Kimmel finished fourth in last year's race, setting the tone for his championship run.

The Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona is live on FOX Sports 1 Saturday, February 15, and precedes NASCAR's Sprint Unlimited, also live on FOX Sports 1.

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