DUQUOIN, Ill. – With most Americans enjoying a holiday away from the workplace, Frank Kimmel and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards took to the clay on Monday afternoon at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois for the second and final dirt race of the 2014 season. Despite battling an issue where the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota would shut off unexpectedly, Kimmel drove hard to cross the finish line in the third position.
“We fought some things all day; we had issues with the car shutting off,” said Kimmel after the race. “It happened three times, and I had to switch boxes, but, overall, a really solid day for the Win-Tron Racing team. Mark (Rette, crew chief) made a great adjustment right before that last restart and it made the car so it would get up off the turn. Right after that last restart, I think we got it to where we were as good as anyone out there.”
In a quick one-day show for the ARCA Racing Series, Kimmel and his Win-Tron Racing team practiced, qualified and started the Southern Illinois 100 all in a short six hours. The 10-time champion placed his Ansell-Menards machine in the ninth position during time trails while remaining confident the Toyota would be hooked up for the race.
During the opening run of the 100-lap event, Kimmel reported to Rette the No. 44 Toyota was a “little tight in the middle” of the corner. Electing to not pit when the first caution was displayed on lap 19, Kimmel restarted from the seventh position. A few laps before the halfway mark, Kimmel experienced the car shutting off, and after a brief moment to switch boxes, the car would continue.
The second caution slowed the pace on lap 49, which allowed Kimmel to visit pit road for four tires, fuel and minor adjustments. After strong work by the over-the-wall crew, Kimmel took off from inside the top-five and began his charge to the front. Despite experiencing the loss of power two additional times, the veteran driver battled to move into third-place with less than 10 laps remaining. Kimmel continued in that position and claimed a podium finish.
Kimmel and the ARCA Racing Series will head to Salem (Ind.) Speedway for the Federated Car Care ARCA Fall Classic presented by JayC Food Stores on Saturday, September 13. The green flag will wave shortly after 8:15 p.m. ET. ARCARacing.com will have live timing and scoring and audio coverage throughout the day’s on-track activities.