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