Wednesday, September 1st at 11:30am - Will is going to be a guest of the Joe B. and Denny Radio Show on AM790.
NASCAR Truck race next Friday, Sept 3rd at Kentucky Speedway - there is a Will Kimmel Racing section, so if you are planning to go, contact Chris Ryan by email at email@example.com or by phone (859) 578-2689 to purchase tickets in the WKR section!!!
This Tuesday, August 31st from 5am-9am, Will is going to be on Fox In The Morning LIVE from the race shop.
WDRB Fox 41 (Insight channel 9)
6:55pm - Will is going to throw the first pitch at the Louisville Bats game.
8pm - Will is going to be racing in the Nascar Camping World Truck Series race
We had the car on the scales Wednesday and it looked very good. It’s pretty much done and ready! We are really excited to have Messina Wildlife Management and Menards coming on board to support our effort this week. I have a lot of confidence in my guys. I know they will bust their butts – and I think we can make the right calls on adjustments. I don’t want to be overconfident, but I’m really looking forward to this race. I’d really love to be in the top 5 with 10 to go and able to be competitive with them!
The truck is really coming along good. We got the seat mounted this week and the engine is plumbed. It was really surprising to get in and feel how large the truck is in comparison to the cars. It is really a nice truck!
A Few Quotes
Post practice. (17th at 159.526 mph)
Both Will Kimmel and Car Owner Mark Gibson were visibly excited after the days single practice session.
Will: “Man this place is a blast to drive. It’s really fun. The front straight just goes on forever. The car is good through the corners – not bad at all. We’re down a little on horsepower to some of the bigger teams. I was able to get behind Frank and then Dakoda Armstrong to watch their line through the turns. I could see where they picked up the throttle and I could match them there – but they would ease away from me down these long straightaways.
Mark: “Wow, this is more fun than I’ve had in years! It’s great that we’re putting up times pretty competitive with some of the bigger teams. Thank you, Will!” Will responded a little shocked “Mark, you brought the car – I just appreciate you just letting me drive it!”
Post Qualifying. (15th at 161.250 mph)
Will: “We’ll be fine in the race. The track is really rough. There are a lot of bumps and the car shakes and moves a lot. It’s just so much fun, I thought about it out there – Man, I wish I’d gotten to drive here when they were shifting!”
Mark: “This is just so much fun! I’m really enjoying it! The guys are doing a great job working on the car and Will is doing fantastic. Timing shows we made 19 laps in practice, but when you count the laps out (getting up to speed) and in (slowing to pit) we really only got 9 laps at speed. I couldn’t be more proud of the way we’ve performed. This engine has a lot of laps on it and it’s not what Frank’s is and definitely not with the Toyotas. If I can get the right deal together, Man – I’d like to put one of the new ones in there and really show what we can do!”
Bill Kimmel: “This track really is a bear to get around. You know, to have never been on the track here before and only have one practice session today – Will and those guys have just done great!”
Will: “My plan is to get through the start, find a hole to settle into and then ride. We’ll race with the cars we can race with and stay on the lead lap ‘til the end. There are some really fast cars starting behind us today, and there are some drivers around us who don’t have very much experience in these heavy stockcars. The start is going to be pretty tricky and we don’t need to get into trouble.”
The Race Is On
As Will predicted, on the start trouble erupted early as one car up front failed to take off cleanly on the start. Several cars received damage in the melee but all continued. Will said “My spotter cleared me low to avoid the sliding cars – and I never lifted! I kept waiting to hear the yellow was out, but it never came. So I just kept hammering towards turn one. The spotter said I was clear, then clear by two, then “Clear by eight! Nice Turn!” Heads up driving took Will rocketing from his 15th place starting position up to 9th by the time the field headed on to the Long Pond Straight for the first time! “The car was great on the short run – which is usually what you have here at Pocono. It really stuck well in turn one early in a run. I could bury it off in there! Unfortunately, after a little bit I could feel the right front tire start to give a little bit. As the car tightened up I didn’t have any choice but to ease up a little to keep from abusing that tire. So I settled in and took what it would give me. You don’t want to blow a right front here!” Somewhat uncharacteristically, the race would remain green well past the halfway point of the 50 scheduled laps. Kimmel was caught by the leaders on lap 30, but was fortunate to receive the Aarons Lucky Dog free pass when caution came out for debris one lap later. Once in the pits for an adjustment and new tires, the Mark Gibson Racing crew found the source of the right front tire problem. A fender rub had worn the tire to the cords. A second caution on lap 36 for Sean Corr’s spin in the Tunnel Turn allowed the MGR team to pit for further repairs to clear the fender. Kimmel would restart in 21st position with 10 laps remaining. According to Car Owner Gibson: “ After we came back in on 36 to fix the fender, Will ran his fastest times of the day in those final 10 laps. To go from 21st to finish 15th, we were really cooking. He ran down Gerhart, passed him, got passed back then made a great crossover move to try and get back under him. We just couldn’t quite make it stick.” Kimmel commented: “It was really neat racing door to door with Bobby Gerhart the last two laps! I really thought I had him in Turn 3 coming to the checkered flag.” Gerhart held the preferred middle groove allowing Will one last shot on the bottom racing onto the final straight. “I got to his door, but just couldn’t quite hold it. When I started to lose the grip in the front end I had to let him go.”
After the race, all agreed it was a good day. Gibson stated “It was a great day! Hopefully some people have taken notice of what we are capable of doing here.” Will summed up the day, “It was fun to get some really good experience and to be able to race hard through the last part of the race! Again – BIG Thank You to Checkmate Boats and Coyle Used Autos for supporting us, and to Mark Gibson Racing for providing this opportunity!”Kimmel heads next for the dirt mile at Springfield Illinois for the Allen Crow 100 on August 22nd. Will finished 8th there in 2009 in his first ever race on dirt! “We’re really looking forward to Springfield! We are bringing a different car this year and with last year’s experience we hope more competitive.