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.