Next Stop for ARN Salem Speedway This Sunday
The ARCA RE/MAX Series heads next to Salem Speedway for the 85th running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care Sunday afternoon, April 5.
The annual event is spread out over the weekend with practice and Menards Pole Award Qualifying scheduled for Saturday afternoon. The race is slated to go at 2:15 pm local time Sunday afternoon.
Entrants already include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Ken Schrader, nine-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel and a host of powerful rookies hoping to make their own mark on the historic half-mile, high-banked oval.
Online coverage at Salem Speedway includes Live Timing & Scoring of all on-track activity as well as Live audio feeds of Menards Pole Award Qualifying and flag to flag audio coverage of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 raced, including pre- and post-race shows. LIVE scanner feeds between drivers and crew members will also be carried over the network during selected programming segments.
Kimmel Racing Ramped Up with New Title Sponsor Headed to Salem
When the newly-formed Kimmel Racing rolled through the gates at Salem Speedway in last year's ARCA RE/MAX Series race, they had no title sponsor and no idea how they were going to get through the year.
Still yet, Frank and his brother/crew chief Bill Kimmel soldiered through the season, won three races - including the fall event at Salem - and finished second in championship points, just 50 markers away from 2008 series champ Justin Allgaier.
But oh what a difference one year can make.
Enter 2009 when Kimmel Racing is wicked up with a brand new title sponsor - Ansell-Menards. From here, the sky is surely the limit.
"This sponsorship program reenergized the entire Kimmel Racing organization," Kimmel said. "The support of Ansell Gloves and Menards allows us to continue to pursue our goals of attempting to earn another ARCA RE/MAX Series championship."
Kimmel's championship quest continues this weekend at his hometown Salem Speedway where the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care rolls off Sunday afternoon, April 5, the 85th appearance of the series at Salem since 1955.
Thanks to Ansell and Menards, Kimmel Racing's immediate goals for this season - win races, a 10th championship and top the all-time win record - are, without question, within reach.
In addition, the long term goal to build a strong ARCA team that can win with whoever might be the driver seems more attainable with the support of such key sponsors.
"With my son, Frank II, and Bill's son, Will moving up and doing a great job winning races and championships, the future of Kimmel Racing is in them," added Frank. "I feel like Kimmel Racing can carry me to the end of my career and can also be the beginning of Frank II and Will's career. That's why we're working so hard to build Kimmel Racing."
Born and raised in nearby Clarksville, Indiana, Kimmel's the hometown favorite at Salem if there ever was one, which means throngs of fans always pour through the gates at the renowned, legendary short-track wearing their favorite Frank t-shirt, ready to root on their local hero.
He's also become the villain - the guy the other half loves to hate. And there's no in between. You're either on his side or you're not.
"It's kind of neat, really," said Kimmel, a 9-time winner at Salem. "Half the people there are rooting for me and the other half aren't, and they're not afraid to let you know. It seems about half and half these days. Either way, I think they know we're there."
Not only are the race fans keenly aware of Kimmel's Salem presence, so are the very best teams in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, who know as well as anyone that he's always the guy to beat when the gates open up at Salem.
In addition to chasing an unprecedented 10th series championship, Kimmel, with 74 career wins, is currently second on the all-time series win list, trailing Iggy Katona's all-time mark of 79 wins.
"It's hard to believe we've won that many; it's unreal. But I'd definitely like to surpass Iggy's record. It's a huge deal for me."
This Sunday's race marks Kimmel's 31st ARCA start at Salem since 1992.
"The competition is getting tougher and tougher all the time over here. And, getting back to Salem, that old track isn't getting any easier. That track is just so challenging, so much to do, so much to think about. It's a lot of fun, but the minute you think it's easy, you're in a wreck.
"As much as we love to race all the guys in this series, at Salem, you have to race the track. If you get to racing each other, you're probably gunna be in the middle of wreck. That track is that challenging, and the minute you take your mind off it, that's when you wreck."
On-track activity at Salem begins Saturday, April 4 with ARCA RE/MAX Series practice from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 3:30 PM ET. The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care takes the green flag at 2:15 PM ET Sunday, April 5.
The race weekend also features Live Timing & Scoring at arcaracing.com to include live streaming audio of all on-track activities.
Weekly Talk Show "Inside ARCA" Returns on the ARCA Racing Network
Inside ARCA, a live one-hour internet talk show on the ARCA Racing Network, will return in 2009 starting Wednesday, April 1.
The show, hosted by series PR Director Don Radebaugh, will air each Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 pm to 4:00 PM ET through October.
Inside ARCA, streamed live at arcarcing.com, will feature an ARCA RE/MAX Series driver at the top of the show followed by a 'Tech Talk' segment with defending Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Patrick Donahue. In addition, veteran SPEED TV commentator Rick Allen will join the show in the final segment during the 'Hot Seat' portion of the program.
Frank Kimmel, the 9-time ARCA RE/MAX Series champion, is scheduled to be the first featured driver guest on Wednesday's (April 1) show opener as the series prepares to head to Salem Speedway for the next race on tour - the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by Federated Car Care Sunday, April 5. Kimmel, who has won a record 9 times at Salem, considers the historic, high-banked oval to be his hometown track.
In addition to recapping the most recent ARCA RE/MAX Series race, Inside ARCA will primarily focus on the upcoming race event and/or events.
Inside ARCA will also re-air every Wednesday night at 8:00 PM ET.
The ARCA Racing Network will also feature live streaming audio broadcasts from all 22 ARCA RE/MAX Series race events in 2009 at arcaracing.com. The live broadcasts from the event sites will include practice, Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell and flag-to-flag coverage of each race. The live audio will complement live timing & scoring available for all on-track activity at arcaracing.com.
Count Down to the June 20th Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA-RE/MAX 200 :
Tim Richmond, Trailblazing from Indy Cars to NASCAR
Twenty years after his passing, people who knew him well universally use two words to describe Tim Richmond: "a natural."
Richmond had a natural gift of star power, of race car driving abilities and of attracting friends and fans to his ultra competitive and happy universe.
Richmond, one of the first persons of notoriety to face the challenges of living with AIDS in the mid-1980s, would have turned 54 on June 7th. To celebrate Richmond's life, he will be honored near his hometown of Ashland in Mansfield, Ohio on June 20th. The inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 will be presented at Mansfield Motorsports Park. Richmond was a winner in ARCA competition in the ARCA 200 at Daytona in his first series start in February of 1981.
Richmond burst onto the national motorsports scene in 1980 with his spectacular Rookie of the Year title and ninth-place finish in the Indianapolis 500. Richmond's exuberant "ride-along" with the race winner Johnny Rutherford further cast the net of both drivers popularity. Near the conclusion of his victory lap, Rutherford stopped to pick up Richmond from his stalled car to save the rookie the long walk back to the garage. The popular winner and the popular rookie brought wild cheers from the fans.
By mid-1980, however, Richmond's on track performances were unfortunately spectacular in some of his accidents.
Richmond wrecked his car at Milwaukee, the third race of the 1980 IndyCar season, and had no car to enter for the fourth race of the season at Pocono. Still, he showed up at the 2.5-mile triangular track, in case his services were needed. It ended up Richmond was pressed into service, but he was holding a microphone, not a steering wheel.
"CART's assistant starter, Jim Yates, said he had somebody he wanted me to meet," said Joe Mattioli, III, who was General Manager at his parents' Pocono track in 1980. It was Tim Richmond. He didn't have a car for our race. I thought a minute, and told him I'd see if MRN Radio - who broadcast our IndyCar races and NASCAR races - needed a color commentator. That's what Tim ended up doing, and he did it well. He knew the series so he was comfortable in talking about it, and he added some excitement to the broadcast.
"Afterward, we talked about our upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and how it would be neat for Tim to come back and race stock cars," Mattioli said.
"I didn't think Tim would do it," Yates said. "But I talked to his dad, Al, and he said he didn't know if Tim would do it either, but he really hoped he would. Al talked to Timmy about it, and then Timmy called me. The first thing he said was 'When do you want me there?' So I called Joey to see if he could put something together, Yates concluded.
It didn't take Mattioli long to help broker a deal with car owner D.K. Ulrich, Richmond's IndyCar sponsor, Bob Tezak of the UNO card game, and enlist sponsorship help from Caesar's Pocono Resorts to get Richmond entered into the July 27th Coca-Cola 500 at Pocono.
Like his first Indianapolis 500 performance only two months earlier, Richmond was fast on the track. He qualified 23rd and finished 12th and suddenly Richmond was on a fast track in NASCAR. He ran four more races for Ulrich that year and posted two more 12th place finishes at Martinsville and Charlotte (now Lowe's Motor Speedway).