On its way to the Illinois State Fairgrounds mile-dirt in Springfield for the next event on tour, the ARCA RE/MAX Series detoured for Chicagoland Speedway Wednesday where 22 drivers tested in preparation for next Friday's (August 28) Ansell Cut Protection 150 at the Joliet, Illinois Chicagoland speedplant.
Rookie Brian Ickler and veteran Frank Kimmel led the way on the speed charts during the day-long open test, which ended a half-hour prematurely when rain inundated the 1.5-mile track in the late afternoon.
Ickler was fastest overall with an average speed of 176.574 mph with nine-time series champion Kimmel trailing in second at 175.610 mph.
"I thought we had a good test today," said Kimmel, driver of the Ansell-Menards Ford.
"We came with some new ideas we changed on the car. Some worked well, some didn't work so well. We'll just go home and work on the things that didn't work that well and stick with what did work well."
Kimmel, who won at Chicagoland in 2003, is currently third in championship points and doing all he can to improve his program headed down the 2009 homestretch.
"We worked on our coil-bind set-up, hitting on the left-front. Worked really hard on the spring bucket so it hits properly. We tried different caster and camber to make it turn better, worked with some cross-weight stuff. We threw a lot at it today. We'll go home, look at our notes, make some decisions and bring it back with the best package we can."
Kimmel, winless on the tour since September of 2008, is just five wins shy of tying Iggy Katona's all-time win mark of 79, and just six laps shy of leading 10,000 laps in ARCA RE/MAX Series competition. He may get his best shot to win and lead laps this Sunday on the Springfield mile-dirt where he's won seven of the last 11 events there.
Fort Frances, Ontario's Steve Arpin, in the Venturini Motorsports Toyota, was third fastest overall with an average speed of 174.593 mph. Jesse Smith, in a second Venturini Motorsports Toyota, was fourth overall at 174.126 mph. Hal Martin, in the Cunningham Motorsports Dodge, rounded out the top five on the speed charts at Chicagoland with an average speed of 172.745 mph.
In eight previous ARCA RE/MAX Series races at Chicagoland, there has never been a repeat race winner, nor has there ever been a repeat pole winner. Race winners include Ed Berrier, Chad Blount, Dawayne Bryan, Kimmel, Kyle Krisiloff, Steve Wallace, Michael McDowell and most recently Scott Lagasse, Jr.
Practice for the Friday, August 28th Ansell Cut Protection 150 race event is scheduled from 4:10 - 5:30 PM Thursday afternoon, August 27th. A final practice from 8:00 - 8:50 AM Friday morning followed by Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell at 12:10 PM will precede the race, which is LIVE on SPEED Friday late afternoon.
2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series
Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet IL, 8-19-09
Overall Open Test Results, Ansell Cut Protection 150
NO DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR TIME SPEED
1 51 Brian Ickler/San Diego CA Toyota 30.582 176.574
2 44 Frank Kimmel/Clarksville IN Ford 30.750 175.610
3 25 Steve Arpin/Fort Frances ON Toyota 30.929 174.593
4 15 Jesse Smith/Wildwood MO Toyota 31.012 174.126
5 4 Hal Martin/Galliano LA Dodge 31.260 172.745
6 16 Joey Coulter/Miami Springs FL Chevrolet 31.448 171.712
7 83 Grant Enfinger/Fairhope AL Ford 31.460 171.646
8 11 Bryan Silas/Stuart FL Ford 31.470 171.592
9 36 Robb Brent/Shelby Township MI Dodge 31.521 171.314
10 09 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ Ford 31.701 170.342
11 66 Stuart Kirby/Bowling Green KY Chevrolet 31.715 170.266
12 74 JR Heffner/Stephentown NY Chevrolet 31.786 169.886
13 60 Ted Musgrave/Franklin WI Dodge 31.836 169.619
14 12 Darwin Greene Chevrolet 31.897 169.295
15 2 Tim George Jr./New York NY Toyota 31.955 168.988
16 60 Patrick Sheltra/Indiantown FL Dodge 32.162 167.900
17 1 Kory Rabenold/Slatington PA Ford 32.305 167.157
18 14 Nur Ali/Fort Worth TX Ford 32.469 166.312
19 58 Chad Hackenbracht/Concord NC Chevrolet 32.515 177.077
20 38 Jonathan Gomez Ford 32.719 165.042
21 70 Tony Palumbo/Frankfort IL Ford 33.580 160.810
22 7 Kent Schenkel/Huntington IN Dodge 34.838 155.003