Another Top-10 For Kimmel

Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017 by Anonymous in

While waiting for that elusive first ARCA Racing Series victory, Will Kimmel is taking moral victories. And in a season that started off with five straight DNF’s, he’ll take three straight Top-10’s. At his home track in Salem, IN Saturday night Kimmel brought an ailing car home for a 10th place finish to complete his competitive season. Kimmel Racing driver Nick Higdon will pilot the #69 in the final three races at Chicagoland, Kentucky and Kansas.

Salem is usually a family affair for the Kimmel’s and this weekend was no different as Bill Kimmel Sr and Will’s seven month old son William were in attendance. Bill Sr was named the grand marshal for ARCA’s Official Throwback Weekend. “It means a lot to me for Erica (Will’s wife) and little Will to be here. He may not remember these trips, but we will.” Everyone enjoyed the gorgeous Salem afternoon before and after practice/qualifying, but as we all know, the racing is the reason we’re here.

Kimmel’s final lap in practice put him fifth on the speed charts and he found himself in the same spot after qualifying. To say he was happy would put it mildly. “Hahaha, wooooo ,if the car lets me drive like that, we’re going to be fast!” Kimmel started third after the pole sitter had to drop to the tail and quickly settled into fifth place.

On Lap 10, it appeared that the rear end broke out from underneath him and the car moved down the track, falling back to 13th. From that point on, Kimmel was fighting a horribly loose race car. No rear grip, and he couldn’t go full throttle down the straightaways. Still with all that going on, he was picking up spots and found himself inside the Top 10.

“They were telling me on the radio where the leader was and a few laps before the caution (Lap 68) I was coming off turn two; the lap before the caution, I was entering turn three. I thought I was catching them.”

After the lead lap cars pitted on Lap 70 with a majority of them taking two tires Kimmel was comfortably in 6th place, never letting the leaders get more than a straightaway ahead. A final caution on Lap 135 brought the entire field down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Kimmel restarted sixth and was hanging with the lead group until the rear end finally succumbed to the ultimate problem; a broken locker.
“The last 10 laps of the race, I couldn’t even get on the throttle it was so bad. It was like someone was taking a chain and yanking on the rear end. We should’ve wrecked three or four times. I’m thrilled the car came back in one piece, but that was our third broken gear of the season…on a positive note, gears are cheaper than engines! Huge thanks to all the sponsors that made this weekend possible: FASS Fuel Systems, Laramee Jewelers, Team Construction, Interstate Fuel Injection, MC Concrete, Bremm Vinyl, New Washington State Bank and Longhorn Fab Shop.”
The team didn’t leave the track completely empty handed though. Through the fan vote before the race, the Kimmel Racing throwback scheme honoring Bill Kimmel Sr was voted the best paint scheme in the race. Other throwbacks included Alan Kulwicki, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s 2001 Pepsi 400 car, Jack Bowsher and the Jeff Burton Exide Batteries car.

The team has already begun working towards the race coming up at Chicagoland Speedway on Thursday night; Nick Higdon will be racing the #69 Kimmel Racing entry. The race will be live on Fox Sports 1 at 8:00pm EST.

Kimmel Rolls Into Salem On A High

Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 by Anonymous in

It may be premature to say things are turning around for Kimmel Racing, but if the last two weekends are a sign of things to come, this team is back on the right track. Five straight outings for Will Kimmel ended in DNF's this year and it looked like the bad luck this team has suffered for two seasons wasn't going to end.

They seem to of straightened the ship a little bit with back to back Top-10's on the dirt at Springfield and DuQuoin including Kimmel's first ever ARCA Racing Series pole on Labor Day at the DuQuoin Fairgrounds. His lap of 32.904 fell just shy of Ricky Stenhouse Jr's one lap record of 32.896 set in 2008.

"That's the best car I've ever had. The set up was something we ran during the night race last year and on fresh tires no one could catch us. Once the tires went away we fell off quite a bit but were still competitive. It was a lot of fun to finally show what we're capable of." A couple late race incidents dropped Kimmel to 13th on the final restart but on new tires he made up six spots in two laps to finish seventh. "If we would've had one more lap I think we could have finished fifth; two more laps and we could have won that race. That's how fast the car was."

The team hopes to carry this momentum into one of the biggest weekends of the season, the fall night race at Salem Speedway. Even though Kimmel has loved and excelled on the dirt, Salem has always been the track that he would like to get his first ARCA Racing Series victory at. Will has a career best second place finish back in 2011 at Salem, to go along with two third place finishes in 2013 and 2015.

The weekend will be even more special for the Kimmel family as patriarch Bill Kimmel Sr will be the grand marshal in what ARCA is dubbing their, "Official Throwback Weekend." Kimmel Racing will showcase their special paint scheme, honoring Bill Sr with a paint scheme  resembling his ARCA car last run in the late-70's. "It just made sense to go with something honoring Pop," said team owner and crew chief, Bill Kimmel Jr.

The team went to Salem Speedway last week to test, but the session was cut short with a track bar issue. Will isn't sure what to expect out of the car, but they are going with a tried and true strategy that has worked quite recently.

"Our intermediate cars have been good but we've fallen behind on the dirt tracks and short tracks. So, we took one of our intermediate cars and turned it into a dirt car (two Top-10's this season). And we've taken our best intermediate car and have set it up for Salem this weekend. Everything is where I want it on the scales and in the shop; now it just has to drive."

The Eddie Gilstrap Motors 200 Pres. By Meadow View/Salem Crossing goes green at 7:15pm EST on Saturday, September 9th. For a full schedule of events including a pre-race party at the track Friday night, visit