SALEM, Ind. – Sometimes no matter how much preparation a team puts in prior to the green flag waving, the uncontrollable still happens. Just 67 laps into Saturday night’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event at Salem (Ind.) Speedway, Frank Kimmel and his Ansell-Menards team fell victim to a manufactured parts failure in the rear end of the No. 44 Toyota. Unable to return to the racing action, Kimmel finished in the 24th position.
“It’s definitely disappointing to have our night end with something out of our control,” said Kimmel after the race. “In all of my years racing, I’ve never had this part break so we will try to figure out what caused it and prevent it from happening again. Our Ansell-Menards Toyota was pretty solid all day and I was looking forward to seeing how our race would have unfolded. We will head to Kentucky on Tuesday to test and try to finish these final two races strong.”
With the final short track event of 2014 concluding a one-day show, the Win-Tron Racing team had an early start with inspection, practice and qualifying all taking place prior to the 200-lap race. After two successful practice sessions that saw Kimmel first and second fastest respectively, the outlook was optimistic for the 10-time champion and nine-time winner at Salem Speedway. With the random draw of being the first car to qualifying during time trails, Kimmel placed his No. 44 Toyota Camry in the ninth starting position.
Under beautiful fall weather conditions, Kimmel took the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. and quickly established a rhythm behind the wheel. While completing the opening 50 laps inside the top-10, the Clarksville, Indiana native remained quiet on the radio as the leaders set a blistering, caution-free pace. Unfortunately on lap 67, Kimmel told crew chief Mark Rette he felt a flat tire on the Ansell-Menards team. After pitting under green for fresh tires, the feeling persisted, forcing Kimmel to pull behind the wall to assess the situation. The No. 44 crew diagnosed the problem as a manufactured parts failure in the rear end housing, ending the night early for Kimmel.
Despite the 24th-place finish, Kimmel passed the 8,000 laps completed mark at Salem Speedway.
The Win-Tron Racing team now heads to Kentucky Speedway for an open-test session on Tuesday, September 16 in preparation for Friday night’s ARCA Racing Series event at the 1.5-mile oval. The green flag will start the ZLOOP 125 at 8 p.m. Eastern on September 19. Live television coverage can be seen on FOX Sports 1, with timing and scoring provided throughout the day’s activities on ARCAracing.com.