Road Trip Review - Michigan Preview

Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 by Daniel F in
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Following a broken axle at New Jersey Motorsports Park and a rough test session at Pocono earlier in the week, Will Kimmel was hoping to salvage the long 10-day road trip with a decent finish in the Pocono race on Friday. "We struggled here all week, pretty much since we unloaded. Changed everything we could after the test session on Tuesday and got it as close as we could to what we wanted."

Unfortunately for Kimmel, contact with the #98 of Brady Boswell sent the E3 Spark Plugs/SO Contracting Ford Fusion into the Turn 2 wall, one of the faster parts of the track known so lovingly as the Tricky Triangle.

"I thought I had him cleared, I don't know. One of the problems of running towards the back of the pack here in the ARCA Series is being around guys who aren't sure what to expect, especially at tracks like this."



In his post-wreck interview with FS1, Kimmel mentioned taking their primary Salem Speedway car to Michigan, which is exactly what the team has been working on since they got back from Pennsylvania on Saturday. "I mean, it's not ideal," Kimmel said about taking a Salem car to Michigan. "But we don't really have much of a choice. Just one of those things. It's an older car, but it's dependable and I know what to expect."

E3 Spark Plugs will be on the side of the Kimmel Racing Ford Fusion this Friday at Michigan Int'l Speedway, a track where Will has two Top-10 finishes in five starts, back to back in 2013 and 2014. The two starts at MIS before 2013 were start-and-park efforts, while the 2015 race Will finished 16th due to mechanical problems.

Overcoming adversity is something Kimmel Racing is familiar with, and they couldn't do it with an immense amount of positivity. "Unfortunately, we didn't learn much at New Jersey and Pocono. The wreck at Pocono along with what we broke at NJMP have set us back, but Michigan should be good," said team owner and crew chief Bill Kimmel Jr.

Will shared his father's outlook heading into Michigan. "We are really looking forward to getting back to Michigan. We had a good test there and are really hoping we can pick up where we left off."
Kimmel was fourth in both the morning and afternoon sessions of the open ARCA Test at Michigan on May 19th, turning his fastest lap of 38.268sec / 188.146mph.


Two practice sessions get things going for this year’s Corrigan Oil 200 Thursday afternoon, June 9 from 1:00 p.m. to 1:55 p.m., followed by final practice from 2:05 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is scheduled for Friday at 1:40 p.m. The Friday afternoon, June 10 Corrigan Oil 200 gets the green flag at approximately 5:45 p.m. The race will air live on FS1.



New Jersey Recap - Pocono Preview

Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2016 by Daniel F in
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Last Wednesday the team left Indiana to begin a 10-day road trip including New Jersey Motorsports Park (race) and Pocono Raceway (test and race). After back-to-back Top-5 finishes at NJMP, Kimmel's expectations were the same for this past weekend. "We finished preparing the road course car in February, knowing things were going to get busy. Once we got back from the Michigan test on May 20th, we focused on the road course car. The road courses are fun, because you're constantly busy in the car. I really enjoy them."

After the first practice session, Kimmel was second fastest. "The day started off great, we were second fastest and had the speed we needed. Couldn't have been happier." It went downhill quickly, much to the dismay and confusion of the team. "We made some changes and from there on out, we were losing speed and had no clue why. We lost 2.5 seconds and couldn't figure it out."

After qualifying the team changed gears on the car, forcing them to the rear of the field. Kimmel worked his way up to sixth with an engine he described as 'flat'. Shortly after that, a broken axle ended the day. "The guys worked their tails off to get me back out there and make the best of it. Turns out, we had lost a cylinder as well, which explains the engine problems. To say I'm looking forward to Pocono is a huge understatement."

After turning the 17th fastest lap out of 25 entries in the open test at Pocono on Tuesday, Kimmel and his crew could only speculate as to the extent of the problem. "At first, we couldn't figure out why it wouldn't turn. During the test we realized it was a sway bar issue. We hadn't run this particular sway bar, so we weren't sure what the results would be."

"The composite body already creates a lot of rear downforce which tightens the car up naturally. Add that with the sway bar, and we had a really, really tight race car." Before the practice on Thursday, the team changed just about everything they could. "We loosened the rear up as much as possible; adjusted the track bar, housing, springs on both sides. Everything." Kimmel's fastest lap of practice clocked in at 166.837mph/53.945sec, good enough for 12th fastest out of 32 entries.

Before the fall race in 2015, Kimmel had notched four straight Top-10's at Pocono, including three Top-5's and a runner-up in the 2014 August race. While this road trip hasn't been what they expected, Will and his Kimmel Racing team has proved that they can fight through adversity as well as anyone.

"The changes we made were huge, and they helped a lot. We're going to ride it out and see what happens. I've got a lot of faith in this team to go out and get the job done on Friday." Kimmel will attempt to qualify the E3 Spark Plugs / SO Contracting Ford Fusion at 1:45pm with the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 being televised live on FS1 at 5:30 p.m EST.