(SALEM, Ind.) – Typically, 10-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards champion Frank Kimmel gets most of the questions. Not today. Not at Salem Speedway where several more drivers tested Monday in preparation for this Saturday’s Federated Car Care Fall Classic presented by JayC Food Stores.
Kimmel tested early last week, but that was before track officials worked on the track last Thursday…grinding and capping off another 30 feet of asphalt where the backstretch meets turn three.
“He (Kimmel) was asking how the transition was now after they worked on it last week,” said current ARCA Racing Series championship point leader Mason Mitchell.
“He wasn’t here long; I think he was just trying to soak in whatever information he could based on the latest improvements. The track seems to be holding up really good.”
Mitchell hopes it holds up really good for him Saturday considering the fact that the West Des Moines, Iowa driver is locked in a super-tight title fight with Fairhope, Alabama’s Grant Enfinger, who trails Mitchell by just 20 points headed to Salem. Enfinger, who won at Salem in the spring, is expected to test Tuesday.
“One and two are the same, with all the bumps,” Mitchell added, “but three and four are completely different. It’s pretty smooth through there now with a lot of grip. It’s the easy corner now compared to what it was. You actually have a couple different options through there now. To me, it’s simple and easy now…just hammer down and go.
“There’s more of a middle now rather than a top without a bottom. There were a few cars today right up at the top, but most are down a lane. It’s going to be interesting to see how that all works out.
“Our car is really close; we’ve been working on it all day. We’re trying things we don’t normally get the opportunity to try at the track on race weekend. I’m ready to come back and get started.”
In addition to Mitchell, Cunningham Motorsports tested Monday with Tom Hessert, Austin Wayne Self and Anderson Bowen. Hessert won back-to-back races at Salem – in the fall of 2012 and the spring of 2013. Defending race winner Kyle Benjamin and Empire Racing’s Cody Erickson also tested Monday.
Enfinger (GMS Racing), Owensboro, Kentucky’s Blake Hillard and Kyle Weatherman (last year’s runner-up) are expected to test Tuesday.
Salem Speedway/Federated Car Care ARCA Fall Classic Raceday Schedule
ARCA Racing Series practice for the Federated Car Care Fall Classic by JayC Food Stores at Salem will begin at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, September 13 with final practice to follow at 1:45. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is set for 4. A driver autograph session follows at 4:45 with driver introductions at 6:45. The race is scheduled to get the green flag at 7:15.
Blake Rayne Live Concert Saturday Night
Blake Rayne, who co-stars with Ashley Judd in the new motion picture “The Identical”, will be performing a live concert behind the main grandstands Saturday night at Salem Speedway after the race. The Identical opened in theaters nationwide September 5.
Live Coverage at ARCAracing.com
ARCAracing.com will provide live timing and scoring of all on track activities, and the race will be streamed in live audio.
ARCA PR – Photo from series site