(MILLVILLE, N.J. - July 3, 2012) - Will Kimmel made just the second road course start of his racing career in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards this weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Despite his inexperience in making left and right turns, the Sellersburg, Ind. native impressed immensely in the All-American Race Weekend presented by Global Barter Corporation.
The weekend however did not come without its challenges. Mother Nature first affected the area on Friday night into Saturday morning with a stream of severe weather which knocked out power in the local area including the facilities of NJMP. Despite the lack of electricity, the weekend pressed forward with a delay of one-hour with two practice sessions and qualifying on-tap.
In the first practice session, the Indiana native circled the 2.3-mile paved Thunderbolt Raceway to post the 11th fastest time of the day. After conferring with team owner and crew chief Bill Kimmel, the Kimmel Racing (@kimmel_racing) team was optimistic for final practice which would set the tone for European-style qualifying. The family-owned team grabbed notoriety following the final practice session as Kimmel maneuvered his No. 68 Clarksville Schwinn & Cyclery Ford Fusion to the fifth quickest lap. Because of the team’s effort, they would be wrapped in group one for qualifying.
Time trials would prove to be misfortunate as Kimmel developed engine woes during his 10-minute cycle. Despite clicking off the 12th fastest lap, the Kimmel Racing team would have to relinquish their starting position after changing motors which would drop them to the rear of the 33-car starting field for the 10th race of the season.
During the 67-lap race, Kimmel definitely showcased his natural raw-racing talent by slicing his way through the competition and had worked his way up to a race high third before being turned by another competitor on lap 53 which stalled the No. 68 Clarksville Schwinn & Cyclery Ford Fusion issuing a full-course caution. To his avail, the avid racer was able to return to competition still on the lead lap but now mirrored back in the 12th position.
Instructions from his father ordered the car to pit road for fuel, tires and damage control. With no major damage found, the team sent their driver back into battle setting up for a 10-lap shootout.
Clearly a man on a mission, Kimmel cleverly crafted his way around the race course and once again began climbing through the leaderboard. Kimmel’s determination and perseverance paid off by crossing the start-finish line fifth collecting his second top-five run of the year.
Immediately following the checkered flag, despite daunting humidity and temperatures Kimmel quickly made his way to the No. 52 race hauler of Tom Hessert whom he incidentally made contact with during the final stages of the lone road course race of the season. Kimmel respectfully apologized for the connection of the two race cars.
“Considering everything we had to battle this weekend, we’ll take the finish in stride,” said Kimmel. “I had a lot of fun out there besides the two incidents on the racetrack. We were the victim in a racing deal with the No. 99 but thankfully, the caution came out and we were able to catch a break and get caught up. We were bad fast on the new tires near the end of the race and I tried to keep off of Tom (Hessert), but I was just carrying so much speed, I couldn’t get slowed down in time and I’m really sorry for that, it’s not the way I expect to race with him. Overall though, this is an encouraging finish for this Kimmel Racing team. This is our first full race we’ve run since Talladega, so it’s nice to give these guys something to be proud about. I just want to thank Dad and everyone for never giving up on me and allowing me to do this. Hopefully, we’ll get some sponsorship and be able to do some more racing soon.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour is a trip out to Iowa Speedway for the running of the Prairie Meadows 200 set for Friday, July 13. The event will be televised live on SPEED beginning at 8:00 p.m. Central. The annual-event at the .875-mile paved oval signifies the beginning of the second-half of the 60th anniversary season for the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA).
For sponsorship inquiries with Kimmel Racing, interested parties are urged to contact Bill Kimmel at 502.645.9370 or email@example.com.
For more on Will Kimmel, please visit willkimmel.com.
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