LONG POND, Pa. – Being involved in an on-track accident is never a fun experience for a driver, but when his car is extremely fast, the sting lasts that much longer. Frank Kimmel was moving to the front of the field in Friday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, when the 10-time champion entangled with a competitor causing significant damage to the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota Camry. After repairs behind the wall, Kimmel returned to the track and finished in the 20th position.
“Man, our Ansell-Menards Toyota was really fast,” said Kimmel after the race. “I was on the bottom of Grant (Enfinger) and I’m not sure if he knew I was there. Even with the chance of showers, it was too early to put yourself in a position like that so if I had known he would race me that hard, I would have just backed off and tried again the next lap. It’s a shame because our car was so good. The Win-Tron guys worked their tails off to get us back out there and we were able to grab a couple more spots.”
Prior to the scheduled green flag start time, a heavy rain shower moved through the Pocono area, forcing the ModSpace 125 to be delayed. Once the track drying was complete, the ARCA Racing Series competitors climbed aboard their machines and the 50-lap event began at 6:25 p.m. ET. With threatening weather still in the area and the possibility of a shortened race, the on-track action heated up quickly.
Rolling off from the 10th starting position, Kimmel quickly moved into eighth-place in the opening three laps. As the field was slowed on lap five for the first caution of the evening, Kimmel reported light sprinkles on his windshield in turn one.
Once the rain shower passed, Kimmel restarted from the sixth position on lap 13. As Kimmel entered turn three in the bottom groove, the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota and the No. 90 of Grant Enfinger made contact, creating heavy damage to both cars. Crew chief Mark Rette brought Kimmel to pit road and after five laps of repair work, the carnage proved to be too much, forcing the team to bring the Toyota behind the wall for intensive damage repairs.
The Win-Tron Racing team quickly fixed the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota and Kimmel returned to the track on lap 41. Over the final nine laps, Kimmel gained four positions to cross the finish line in 20th-place.
Kimmel and the ARCA Racing Series will head to Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan for the Federated Auto Parts 200 on Saturday, August 9. The green flag will wave shortly after 8:30 p.m. ET, with live timing and scoring on ARCARacing.com.
– Win-Tron Racing Team Release
Photo Credit: Speed51.com