Frank Kimmel embarks on the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series with new sponsorship and pure determination to capture a win at the famed Daytona International Speedway. In 17 previous starts, a Daytona victory has eluded him, but with Roush Yates horsepower and nearly 20 years of experience, this could be Kimmel’s best opportunity to win at Daytona.
“We definitely have a competitive superspeedway program,” said Kimmel. “We worked hard on the car and more specifically the body from last year’s Talladega test. We learned a few things in the off season that should translate to this weekend and most importantly we’ve got the horsepower we need to really compete for the win.”
Kimmel unloads chassis #RK327 for this weekend’s event and debuts new sponsorship from Ansell Gloves and Menards aboard his No. 44 Ford Fusion. The car was previously used by Matt Kenseth’s team at Daytona in July of 2007.
“I’m really glad to be coming back fully ready to compete for my tenth ARCA championship,” said Kimmel. “It’s our second year running our own team and my brother and I have a whole stable of Ford Fusions ready for the year. This whole operation is a family effort, which definitely makes Kimmel Racing unique. ”
Kimmel’s history is impressive – with 74 career victories and 41 career poles, Kimmel is no stranger to ARCA success. His goals are far reaching, however, and Kimmel still looks to add his name to a few more pages of the series’ record books.
“My goals for 2009 definitely include topping the all-time win record,” said Kimmel of Iggy Katona’s current hold on the achievement. “And next to that would obviously be winning at Daytona. It would mean so much to me to be able to start the season on a high note for Ansell and Menards because if it wasn’t for those two companies support, I may not be here racing.”
Kimmel’s team planned to be in Daytona for the season opener, but without the sponsorship that came through in late January, his racing schedule could have been reduced to a partial program.
“None of us took a paycheck last year,” said Kimmel. “We raced because we loved it and we still managed to run well based on how much effort this entire team put forth.”
Despite logging three wins in 2008, Kimmel believes his family-owned team left a little on the table.
“Last year we were a top-five or top-10 car every week,” said Kimmel. “This year we need to be a top-three car every week to be as solid and competitive as we need to be to contend for that tenth championship.”
Kimmel’s extended family includes his nephew Will Kimmel who will join his uncle in Daytona competition this weekend. Will Kimmel will drive the No. 68 Ford Fusion and has something to offer Uncle Frank in preparation for Saturday’s Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200. As the fastest overall car in single car runs at the Daytona test in December, Will Kimmel looks poised to contend for the Menards Pole award.
“I actually wasn’t at the Daytona test in December,” explained Kimmel. “Will was here and his car was really good – really fast, so I’ll definitely be relying on his feedback to get the Ansell/Menards Ford Fusion up to speed. I think that of the two of us, Will could definitely be a threat for the pole.”
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell Gloves takes place Friday at 12noon Eastern. The Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 will air live on SPEED Channel Saturday, February 7 at 4 p.m. Eastern.