Daytona Preview

Posted: Friday, February 12, 2016 by Daniel F in
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It was nearly a month ago that Kimmel Racing lost both the #68 and #69 cars during an open test at Daytona Int'l Speedway. Shortly after the wreck, the father and son team determined that neither car would be able to return for the season opener, and they were forced to go out and purchase a new super-speedway car in preparation for February 13th.

"Outside of our passion and desire for this sport, we owed it to our sponsors to fight and get ready for Daytona," said Bill Kimmel Jr.

"We don't really know what to expect," Will said when asked about the new car. "There's only so much you can learn in the shop. We've just got to get it out on the track and get some laps in with it. We wouldn't have this opportunity if it wasn't for E3 Spark Plugs, SO Contracting, SCCY Firearms and Longhorn Fab Shop. They've really stepped up and made this possible for us."

In the first practice session on Thursday they turned 20 laps in the car, quickly finding some problems. Luckily, a term not used in reference to Will the last couple of seasons, the problems were minor fixes. They were able to fine tune the newly purchased Chevrolet for the second and final practice session on Friday, topping the leaderboard with a lap of 47.543 / 189.302mph.

"We had some problems in practice with the car yesterday. Had a gear go out and found some electrical problems this morning. Today the car was totally different and 100% better. We were able to draft with the #22 and #77 (both Cunningham Motorsports entries) to get to the top of the leaderboard in a pack of about 20 cars. It worked out really well for us."

Last year the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards began using group qualifying at Daytona, along with Talladega and New Jersey Motorsports Park. Nine groups of five cars, grouped based on practice speeds, had eight minutes on the track to turn the fastest lap they could.

"I like the group deal because it takes emphasis off single car runs. It's hard on a small team to spend the money to make a car fast by itself." Will turned a lap of 47.978 / 187.586mph, good enough for ninth. "My goal was to start inside the Top 10, and that's exactly what we are going to do."

The 53rd annual Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona is live on FS1 Saturday, February 13 and precedes NASCAR’s same-night Sprint Unlimited. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat for all on-track activities.

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