Not even Mother Nature could stop ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Frank Kimmel from picking up his third career victory at Pocono Raceway Saturday afternoon.
The seven-time and defending champion, who went a lap down after pitting under green when his car picked up a vibration early in the race, capitalized on Chase Miller’s mechanical problems to win the Pennsylvania 200 by 1.116 seconds in the No.46 Pork the Other White Meat Ford.
“Wow, this is a really big win for us,” said Kimmel. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to play out when I felt the vibration there early in the race.
"That was totally my call because it really felt like I had a tire going down when I was entering the corner. So I made the call to come down pit road and change the tires under green. The team checked everything over and it looked fine so maybe I was still a little gun-shy from the June race when we had those tire problems. But we were able to get back on the lead lap with about 30 laps to go and made one last pit stop which got us back into position to take the win. The pit crew really gave me a great stop there at the end when we really needed it. I think the true sign of a championship-caliber team is the
AJ Henriksen led seven laps in the No. 17 Engineered Components Ford and finished eighth. Brent Sherman finished 14th, the last car on the lead lap, after leading laps 19 through 27 in the No. 04 Serta Mattress Ford.
Darrell Basham finished 18th after starting 26th, earning Hoosier Hard Charger of the Race honors.
The 200-mile race was delayed an hour-and-a-half due to heavy fog and rain showers, which consumed the 2.5-mile triangle for much of the morning. ARCA RE/MAX
June ARCA RE/MAX Series Pocono race winner Chase Miller, who led 39 laps and was in position to win late in the race, finished fifth after dropping a cylinder in his No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge.
“We are a little disappointed,” said Miller. “We had a real good car all day. We had a motor run down on us at the very end, so we finished the race with only seven cylinders. Still, we got a top-five so it’s a pretty good day for this Cunningham Motorsports Dodge.”
By posting a speed of 165.386 mph on lap 14, Miller also earned the Fastest Lap of the Race award.
The race was dominated by Chase Miller (left, #4) and Frank Kimmel (right, #46). (ARCA Photos)
Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA
1Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN
2Jeremy Clements/Spartanburg SC
3Chad McCumbee/Supply NC
4Dexter Bean/Westby WI
5Chase Miller/Canton GA
6Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA
7Billy Venturini/Chicago IL
8AJ Henriksen/Mooresville NC
9Damon Lusk/Kennewick WA
10Brett Rowe/Barboursville WV
11Ryan Foster/Lowell AR
12Ryan Howard/Tipp City OH
13Jason Hedlesky/Clinton MI
14Brent Sherman/N. Barrington IL
15Chuck Weber/Mesquite TX
16Todd Bowsher/Springfield OH
17Ricky Sanders/Stockbridge GA
18Darrell Basham/Henryville IN
19Justin Allgaier/Springfield IL
20Ian Henderson/Piedmont SC
21Brian Kaltreider/Reading PA
22David Boggs/Rock Hill SC
23Brad Smith/Belleville MI
24James Hylton/Inman SC
25Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY
26Ted Olswfski/Pennington NJ
27Burt Ingle/Asheville NC
28Tim Mitchell/Fayetteville TN
29Norm Benning/Pittsburgh PA
30Mike Koch/Mountain Home AR
31Dugan Basham/Henryville IN
32Blake Bjorklund/Isanti MN
33Benny Chastain/Tallahassee FL
34Ken Weaver/Dallas TX
35Ryan Hackett/La Plata MD
36Art Seeger/Toms River NJ
37Dale Schweikart/Linden PA
38Mark Gibson/Winder GA
39Mike Zazula/Turnersville NJ
40Mike Harmon/Birmingport AL
41Justin Ashburn/Joelton TN
Series officials thought they had found a break in the weather at 2:30 p.m., however, a brief spout of rain emerged during parade laps, forcing the 41-car starting field to take the green flag under caution conditions.
The caution flag remained for the first eleven laps of the 80-lap event so that jet dryers could dry the track.
In all, the caution flag waved seven times, for a total of 39 laps.
Kimmel’s win in the Pennsylvania 200 represented his 67th career victory in the 54-year-old touring series. The Clarksville, Indiana driver also earned the Pork Pole award on Friday, representing his 19th career superspeedway pole award and 40th overall. Kimmel’s brother and crew chief, Bill Kimmel, earned SK Tool Crew Chief of the Race honors.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series now steers to Gateway Int’l Raceway for the Shop ‘n Save 150. The race will be aired LIVE on SPEED at 9 p.m. Eastern on Friday, July 28th, 2006.
ability to overcome adversity and I think we showed that today coming from a lap down to win at Pocono.”
Jeremy Clements, who started sixth, led four laps in the No. 3 Ken Appling Racing Chevrolet before settling for second.
McCumbee, who normally competes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, finished third and led two laps in his first ARCA RE/MAX Series start since Nashville Superspeedway in April. Rookie-of-the-Year contender Dexter Bean finished fourth in the No. 6 Five Star Telegram-Badger Environmental Chevrolet, recovering from a 36th place finish at Pocono in June.
We wrecked this car two weeks ago in Kentucky,” said Bean, who earned highest finishing rookie honors. “We drove down to North Carolina to get it fixed then drove all night to make it to Pocono. We qualified decent, and my spotter helped me get through traffic in the race. I really have to thank the team, they worked really hard to get this car fixed and I’m proud of the whole Blackjack Racing Team.”