(BROWNSBURG, Ind. - July 28, 2012) - In his home state of Indiana, Frank Kimmel snapped his winless drought, and returned to Victory Lane, for the 75th time in his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards career.
After moving to Thorsport Racing for 2012, Kimmel was able to deliver the Sandusky, OH based team their first ARCA Racing Series win, and Kimmel's first since September 2008 at Salem.
"Any time I can win in Indiana, its special", Kimmel said. "It's such a legendary track. It doesn't seem like it's been (75 races) since we won. This almost feels like a first win. We won a lot of races in a lot of years. A lot of times you win races based on being smart and being there at the end, and we're still pretty good at that."
Kimmel started from the 7th position and rode well inside the top ten for the entire event. Quick pit work by the Ansell/Menards team helped jump Kimmel into the top four on the first pit stop. Kimmel wasted no time slicing through lapped traffic and into 3rd by lap 62 and into contention for the win. The top spot was tightly contested, with Kimmel in the mix at all times dealing with a tight racecar in the center of the corner, and loose on exit.
Kimmel restarted 3rd on a lap 140 restart, and immediately made an aggressive three wide move in an attempt to grab the lead on lap 142. The move resulted in advancing to second, and grabbed the lead from Mason Mitchell 16 laps later on lap 158. Kimmel's rise toward the front was made possible by effective adjustments that improved his Toyota Camry throughout the event.
"The first part of the race, it was tight in the middle and loose off", Kimmel said. "We just battled and kept pace. On the second pit stop we had some better tires and it ran longer. The third stop, it was really good to the finish. Once we got ahead, we just ran our own line and cut through traffic a little better than everyone else."
After a caution on lap 167, the race's duration was decided by tire management. A hard charging Brennan Poole, with fresher tires, was kept at bay by Kimmel, conserving his Hoosier tires throughout the course of the last tire run. Kimmel was not able to run away and hide when the race's final yellow flag flew inside ten laps to go. On lap 197, Kimmel got a spectacular restart, and pulled out to a comfortable lead to capture his first win of 2012 and first win at Lucas Oil Raceway Park.
"I was running as hard as I could without spinning the tires or making it push too bad", Kimmel said. "That's the thing about this racetrack, you have to stay within yourself. I was trying to be real smooth and keep the tires under me. I felt like if he drove all the way to me, I was going to run my line. If he got around me, he got around me. I wasn't going to worry about it. I was going to race as hard as I could."