Frank Kimmel Closes 2012 with 10th Consecutive Top-10 Finish At Kansas SpeedwayPress Release
Thorsport Racing brought a revamped chassis to Kansas for Kimmel, and showed speed from the opening of practice on Friday morning. Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards team worked primarily on scuffing tires on the new asphalt at Kansas, and it paid off with a six place qualifying effort, his best starting spot on an intermediate track since Pocono in June. Kimmel ran no worse than 6th all race, and avoided the lap 2 carnage in his rear view mirror. Three cars were involved in the race’s first caution period, under which Kimmel reported his pleasure with the Camry’s handling in the first two circuits.
The lap nine restart saw Kimmel protect his 6th place position, and as the field began to string out, navigating lapped traffic would prove to be a major factor in the race. As the leaders began lapping the tail end of the field, Kimmel’s progress would be impeded by the significant speed differential, and halted his drive towards the front, until a lap 31 caution. Kimmel reported his #44 Ansell/Menards Toyota was tight from the center off the corner, but his biggest complaint was the inconsistency of the lapped traffic.
Under than caution, crew chief, Jeriod Prince, brought the nine-time champ to pit road for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. With a pre-race concern about tire wear, Kimmel’s team looked over all four Hoosier tires with no signs of significant wear or blistering. From the lap 37 restart, Kimmel charged to 4th before another yellow slowed the pace on lap 58. Kimmel came down for his second stop, and his last of 2012 for four tires and another adjustment to alleviate his tight condition on corner exit.
On lap 64, Kimmel restarted in the top five and chased down the leaders. While racing for a podium position, Kimmel avoided the wrecking 3rd place car, and took over the position as the race’s fourth caution flew. Kimmel restarted third with 19 laps remaining, but a tight condition forced him to relinquish positions before taking the checkered flag in 6th.
“It was an exciting race. Congratulations to Chris (Buescher). He and his team did a great job. We came home six, and had a 4th or 5th place car. I’m a little disappointed with our finish there at the end. We got shuffled a little bit and our car got tight there at the end. All in all, it was a great season for the Ansell/Menards Toyota. We’ll take second and come next year and go after them.”
The 6th place finish was Kimmel’s 10th consecutive top 10 finish, dating back to a 7th place finish at New Jersey Motorsports Park on July 1st. 2012 saw Kimmel return to victory lane for the first time in four seasons, capturing wins at Lucas Oil Raceway Park and the Illinois State Fairgrounds. His total of 290 laps led is the most laps he has led since the 2008 season. The Thorsport team’s performance, with Kimmel at the controls, has them set up for another championship run in 2013.
“Thorsport Racing went to work, and really did a great job. To take a brand new bunch of guys, only two had any ARCA experience was great. Jeriod Prince did a great job. This was the first time he’s been a crew chief for an entire season. To mesh everybody together, come to the racetrack and be competitive each week, I’m really, really happy.”
Date: October 19th, 2012
Track: Kansas Speedway
Race: 19 of 20
Driver Championship Points Standings: 2nd
Source: Ansell Racing Press Release
Article Tags: ARCA Racing Series, Chris Buescher, Jeriod Prince, Kansas Lottery 98.9, Kansas Speedway, No. 44 Ansell / Menards Toyota Camry, ThorSport Racing