“It was great to come back to to the grass roots racing and what we know,” said Kimmel. “And was real nice not to have all that Ganassi equipment to run against for a change. We don't shy away from any of those guys, but it sure was nice to enjoy tonight like we did.”
Kimmel was seemingly on rails all night and looked like he was on a Sunday drive on a Saturday night.
“What a great racecar all day, it was a lot of fun to drive. I was hoping to get out in front of Brent and Billy (Venturini) right away and when we did we were able to put it on cruise control a little there. We were so good that it made it into relaxing racing, but lapped traffic kept it from becoming too relaxing.”
"King Kimmel" checked out and was in a league of his own at South Boston Speedway Saturday.
Yes, Frank Kimmel did win the race on the high banks of Salem Speedway (IN), but besides that triumph, the headlines have been stolen by these 'ARCA Whackers.".
South Boston Speedway's event was different and it was apparent as you walked through the gates of the Virginia track.
Ryan Hemphill was not racing, due to his contract with Ganassi only running him at superspeedway races. Dressed in street clothes Hemphill put on a headset and joined the speed telecast for the night. Toledo and Pocono winners Ken Schrader and Scott Riggs, were on the “left coast” making left and right turns in their Cup cars at Infineon Raceway. Schrader has been the SoBo ARCA dominator over the past two years.
Daytona winner Kyle Busch was in Milwaukee racing under the lights in the Busch Series. Michigan winner Reed Sorenson was actually soaking up some rays on vacation.
Now with all of the “ARCA-whackers” out of the picture, it was time for a real ARCA regular to shine.
And who else did but Frank “King” Kimmel?
The five-time ARCA champ took the lead from first-time polesitter Brent Sherman in the first corner and checked out to notch his second win of the season and extend his lead in the series standings.
It has been a frustrating year for many regulars in ARCA. Nearly every race this season has been won by a non-ARCA regular or a driver involved in a high-dollar Nextel Cup Series organization's driver development program.
Kimmel may have been “relaxing” but a tense moment towards races end had him holding his breath. The Advance Auto Parts #46 was marching to the front after a late race pit stop and was about to claim the lead from Jason Jarrett when the number-67 spun in front of him, nearly taking him out of contention.
“It looked to me like Jason broke something,” explained Kimmel. “Maybe a rear wheel locked up or something. It spun around on him. It was a shame because he did so good all night. I tried not to hit him. I had to get on the brakes real hard to get around that.”
Brent Sherman enjoyed his best night of ARCA compeition in his young career.
Kimmel's dominance, had many drivers scratching their heads at races end. In practice and qualifying Sherman, Kimmel and Venturini were the top three all day. But in the race, althought the trio did end up on the podium together, they couldn't even touch Kimmel.
“I don't know he is just so tough,” said runner-up finisher Brent Sherman. “I started driving it really hard a the start of the race just to try and keep up with him and I was like 'ya know what?' I am in second and he wasn't gonna lap us. I needed to save it for the end. “
“I don't know I've gotta check his ride out. I want to know what he's got in there man!”
“You've gotta ask Frank what he's doing? Because I'll tell ya we don't! Our car could be better so I am not going to say he has magic there. He just had his car dialed in.”
“We were a third-place car and Frank was just a lot better than all of us,” said third place finisher and second place points man Billy Venturini. “We got what we could get out of it and it was another good points night for us.”
The top-three points racers hammer out the sheetmetal for another Short Track stop next week in Michigan. Can Kimmel make it three wins when ARCA invades the tough Berlin Raceway? And if so, will he spank 'em like he did in SoBo?
Frank Kimmel has been the only ARCA full-timer to win this season. (51 photos)