(SANDUSKY, Ohio - August 15, 2012) - Frank Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards Toyota team come to the Illinois State Fairgrounds with momentum from five consecutive top-five finishes. In his incredible ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards career, Kimmel has had a great deal of success at numerous tracks, but the Springfield mile presents one of his most stunning records. With a 10th championship within reach and five races remaining, Kimmel is poised to add to his dirt track record at Springfield.
Through twenty starts at the Springfield Mile, Kimmel holds the record for most wins, with seven, and tied for the most Menards Pole presented by Ansell awards, with three. In the five races prior to this weekend's Allen Crowe 100 on the dirt, Kimmel has led 176 laps, including leading 110 laps of the Berlin ARCA 200 last week, and finishing 2nd. Given Kimmel's past record on Springfield's dirt mile, it would be no surprise if Kimmel paces the field for much of the afternoon.
Throughout his career, and in 2012, Kimmel has been a model of consistency. That has also been true at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, by combining superior performances to craft an unmatched record on dirt. From 1998 to 2008, Kimmel finished first or second, and led at least eight laps in every event at Springfield, and started no worse than eighth. Coming off a dominant performance last weekend at the Berlin Raceway, where Kimmel led over half the event and finished 2nd, the nine-time ARCA champion looks to put on another dominating dirt effort.
TOP FIVE STREAK: With his third runner-up finish at Berlin Raceway last Saturday night, Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards team have continued their impressive performance through the grueling summer stretch with five consecutive top five finishes.
CHASING THE RECORDS: By taking his 75th career checkered flag in Indianapolis, Kimmel moved to within four wins of the all-time ARCA win record, held by Iggy Katona. Kimmel can tie Katona's all-time record of 43 pole awards this weekend during Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell on Sunday morning at 11am CT. Kimmel has won from the pole in five of his seven Springfield victories.
POINTS REPORT: After 15 of 20 races, Kimmel sits third in ARCA Racing Series points and trails point leader, Chris Buescher, by 70 points. Kimmel gained 10 points on the championship lead after finishing 2nd at Berlin Raceway last weekend. So far in 2012, Kimmel has scored one win, eight top fives, and twelve top ten finishes.
CHASSIS CHOICE: Kimmel will race Thorsport Racing's A-6 chassis at the Springfield Mile. Kimmel drove A-6 in one previous race in 2012, that being at Elko Speedway in June where he led 41 laps and finished 4th.
SUMMER STREAK: Since returning to action from the off weekend early in July, Kimmel and his Jeriod Prince led Ansell/Menards team have put together a stretch of five consecutive top five finishes, and six consecutive top tens dating back to New Jersey Motorsports Park where they finished 7th.
DOMINATING ON THE DIRT: Kimmel holds the record for most wins (7) at Springfield and is tied for the most pole awards (3). In twenty career starts at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Kimmel has seven wins, thirteen top fives, and sixteen top tens. From 1998-2008, Kimmel either won or finished second and led laps in each race. In his last thirteen starts at Springfield, Kimmel has led laps in twelve of those races and finished outside the top nine on just one occasion.
SPRINGFIELD, IL AREA MENARDS APPEARANCE: Kimmel will make two appearances at area Menards stores this weekend leading up to the 30th Allen Crowe 100. Kimmel and his #44 Ansell/Menards showcar will be at the Springfield North location on Saturday August 18th from 11am-12:30pm CT. Later that day, Kimmel will move to the Springfield South location from 2pm-3:30pm CT. The Springfield North store is located at 2701 Marketplace Dr, Springfield, IL 62702, while the Springfield South store is located at 3325 South Veterans Pkwy, Springfield, IL 62704.
Thoughts from the Driver: Frank Kimmel
BESIDES BEING ON A DIFFERENT RACING SURFACE, WHAT MAKES SPRINGFIELD STAND OUT?
"When I first started racing on dirt, I didn't like it all," Kimmel said. "I could never tell what the car needed. I didn't know how it was supposed to feel. Honestly, it took me a while to get the hang of it. Running the mile dirts, Springfield and DuQuoin, is one of the neatest things this series does.
It's just so neat that ARCA still races on the dirt. I tip my hat to them every day for keeping their traditions and dirt-track roots alive. I consider my wins at Springfield and DuQuoin every bit as big and important as my wins at Charlotte, Michigan, Pocono or any of the other great tracks we race at."
WHAT SORT OF IMPACT WILL THE DIRT TRACKS HAVE ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE?
"We've been really good all year, close in a lot of places", Kimmel said. "I feel really good where this team is, and where I believe it's going. This championship is still within our reach. There's no reason we can't go out and win more races this year. These kids running this series are so good, and in such good equipment, so I don't think the dirt tracks, or any of the rest are going to cause them any trouble. It's going to be a battle to the end; but I feel really good about our program."
August 19, 2012
Illinois State Fairgrounds
1 Mile Dirt Oval
Allen Crowe 100
100 Laps/100 Miles
Live Timing & Scoring at ARCARacing.com
Sunday, August 19th: Practice - 9am-10am CT
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell - 11 am ET
Race - 1 pm CT
Current Driver Point Standings: 3rd
Chassis: A-6 (Recently Raced at Elko Speedway - 4th)
Engine: TRD (Toyota Racing Development) & TRIAD
ARCA RACING SERIES results at Illinois State Fairgrounds:
Top 5s: 13
Top 10s: 16
Total Appearances: 20