KIMMEL TAKES ADVANTAGE OF A LATE BOBBLE FOR WIN #2
Fultz Comes From Back to Front for Second-Place
Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Four-time ARCA champ Frank Kimmel may be one of the elder statesman of the series these days, but he certainly doesn't forget. Last year NASCAR Southeast champ Jeff Fultz showed him a thing or two on a restart and Kimmel kept what happened there stored upstairs for future use.
"Frank knew where I was going. He took advantage of it," said Fultz with a smile from ear to ear after the race. "I was trying to get the 75 on that restart. I got a good jump on him and didn't realize Frank got an even better jump. We were side-by-side going into the corner and he drove in there deep. Last year he backed off and let me go on the outside, not this year. I tried to get back in it but the car got loose and I had to jump out of the gas."
None of that exciting scenario would have been possible had Rogers not slipped on that last restart. He was the class of the field in the middle section of the race. In fact, he was the only driver other than Kimmel to lead laps. Then it went from bad to worse for Rogers when he ran out of gas on the last lap and finished well back in the field.
Kimmel is finally on a roll in ARCA competition, evident with his win at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"The car just spun the tires coming up through the gears," said Rogers, who finished 22nd. "Then we go and run out of gas on that last lap. That was a great motor, but horsepower takes up gas.
"We can here to win; we didn't come here to run third. We just couldn't' have pitted. We wouldn't have had time to get back up."
Kimmel admitted he may not have been able to get by Rogers' #75.
"He was running great with a great racecar. I don't think I had anything for him."
But you can't take anything away from Fultz either. He and three other of the top-five finishers started 31st or worse after qualifying for the event was rained out. Coming up through the field for Fultz, who started 43rd, might have been the dagger that kept him from the win.
"I think I burnt the tires up coming up through the field after starting in the back," said Fultz. "We are happy to start last and come up through there like we did though. I thought we had something there at the end for Clay, but I didn't realize Frank was right there. Once he got by me, I had no tires to go back after him."
Youngster Jeremy Clements, all of 18 years of age, finished third after Rogers had fuel problems. Winston Cup rookie Casey Mears finished fourth with AJ Henriksen coming home fifth.
Well, it came in handy at the Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday during a late race restart. You see, in 2002 Fultz jumped Kimmel on the outside of a restart and was able to hold off the four-time ARCA Champion for his first-career ARCA win. So this time, Kimmel decided to turn it around on him this year when he lined up behind Fultz (in third), while the two were trying to get by leader Clay Rogers on a restart with eight laps to go.
"Rogers missed a gear I think on the restart," said Kimmel in Victory Lane for the 45th time in his ARCA career. "And Fultz beat me on the outside here before, so I had an idea that he was going there again on that restart. When the 75 car (Rogers) hesitated or spun the tires or something, it slowed them both down and I took off great (on the inside).
"We had a good run on the last restart. Our car ran good for seven or eight laps, but the longer it ran, the tighter it got. That was a bad deal, but circumstances worked out today with such a short green flag run to finish the race."
After five inches of rain and a 14-hour delay, the ARCA cars finally got on the track.
(Harold Hinson Photo)
It is a very short time off for the ARCA regulars, as they have to travel some 800 miles for a Saturday short track race at Berlin Raceway in Marne (MI).