Kimmel Cleans Up on Milwaukee Mile; Earns 71st Career Win
Bozell Runs Out Of Gas And Points Lead Lengthens For Kimmel
"At the first part of that race we didn't have a car that could make it to the front of the field," said Kimmel. "The car eventually came to us. The second set of tires were okay but not great. Bill [Kimmel, crew chief] made some adjustments but it was never perfect. The third set of tires were great and Bill was right-on with those.
"Justin [Marks] did a great job and Michael [McDowell] did a great job as well. It had to be a hell of a race to watch. There were several times throughout the race where I thought I was going to spin. That's the great thing about Milwaukee. You have to work really hard driving here. There's a couple of times that I kind of stuck my nose in there and then I thought, eh, maybe not."
Kimmel's victory also came without a clutch, which failed at the start of the race. As a result, the Tri-State Motorsports team had to push Kimmel's Greenheck Fan-Pork Ford from the pitbox after each pit stop, placing the eventual winner deep in the line-up on restarts. Regardless, Kimmel continually charged through the field in an effort to position himself with the leaders.
Marks, in search of his career-first series win, lost a heartbreaker after leading 59 laps in the Construct Corps Dodge. Still yet, the Rocklin California driver finished a career-best second after recovering from a mid-race spin.
"You gotta earn beating Frank at the end of these races and I went to school there a little bit at the end of the day," said Marks. "The guys have done such a great job. We've been down but these guys have had such a great attitude and they're great at bouncing back. This is just such a good day for us. We have had a rough summer. Originally we were going for the championship this season but we had a lot of misfortune during this season and we decided to re-group and aim for wins instead. This finish was a direct result of that. When Frank [Kimmel] got side-by-side with the 8, I thought he would be there for awhile but he flew past the 8 and once he got by me he was gone."
Frank Kimmel grabbed ARCA win #71 by winning in Milwaukee. (ARCA Photos)
Frank Kimmel, the consummate veteran, patiently picked his way through the pack and then picked off Justin Marks with just two laps remaining to win the Governor's Cup 200 Sunday afternoon at the Milwaukee Mile. The win marked Kimmel's 71st career ARCA RE/MAX Series victory, just eight shy of Iggy Katona's all-time win mark of 79.
Phillip McGilton, in the SI Performance Ford, finished a career-best third. The Marion, Illinois driver also earned the Hoosier Tire Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions and the Highest Finishing Rookie honors.
"We struggled yesterday; we were really tight during practice. The car from yesterday to today was like night and day. The team threw everything in the toolbox that they had at it and what they came back with was just a completely different car. The key was being free and that is something that we were able to do today. We passed like ten cars in the first twenty laps. The car was great all day. We were very consistent and nothing changed. I'm really hoping to take this momentum into Gateway."
Michael McDowell, after leading 43 laps, pitted for tires with 13 laps remaining and made it back to finish fourth in the Z Line-Make A Wish-Beck Dodge. The championship point contender also earned the SIM Factory Pole award on Saturday, his seventh of the season.
"It's good that we were able to come back to Milwaukee and sit on the pole after finishing 34th here in my series debut last year," said McDowell. "We just took on a set of used tires that last time we came in to try and see if it would help but we really had nothing for them. I just wish we could have held off Frank there. I'm proud of the whole Z Line-Make A Wish-Beck Dodge team and we'll head to Gateway and try to get another victory."
Josh Krug, in the Bigford Enterprises-ARCASimRacing.com Chevrolet, finished a career-best fifth.
"All we did was stay out of trouble, try to keep all four fenders on the car," said Krug. "We stayed back because we knew it was a long race and towards the end we picked them off, one at a time."
In all, there were 10 lead changes among eight drivers in the race during which the caution flag waved nine times for 45 laps, all for minor incidents.
Michael McDowell led a stout ARCA field to the green at Milwaukee.
Defending race winner Phil Bozell, who led 28 laps, was dueling Marks for the lead inside of 20 laps remaining, but ran out of gas 10 laps shy of the finish. The Portage, Michigan driver finished 11th, one lap down.
Rookie James Buescher, who led 30 laps, was also a victory lane threat before an accident on lap 134 of the 200-lap race took him from contention.
Ken Butler III led 24 laps before his rear end failed relegating the Sherrills Ford, North Carolina driver to 32nd in the final running order.
From Milwaukee, the ARCA RE/MAX Series heads to Gateway Int'l Raceway for the Gateway ARCA 150 Friday night, August 31st, LIVE on SPEED beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern. Directly after the race, series competitors will travel southeast to DuQuoin, Illinois for a 100-mile dirt track thriller at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Monday, September 3rd.