DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — After wrecking both superspeedway cars in the open test less than a month ago, Kimmel Racing had to go into scramble mode to prepare a car in time for Saturday’s 53rd running of the Lucas Oil 200 Driven By General Tire at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Today, the Clarksville, Indiana-based team scrambled right to the top of the leader board in final practice Friday morning.
“This is really a moral win for me and dad (Bill Kimmel, Jr.),” Kimmel said. “It’s been a long three weeks.”
Kimmel, in the No. 69 E3 Spark Plugs-SO Contracting-SCCY Chevrolet, circled the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 47.543 seconds, for an average speed of 189.302 mph. The speed that Kimmel put up was the exact same speed that rookie Chase Briscoe put up as the fastest speed in practice Thursday. Ironically, it was Briscoe who helped get Kimmel to the top of the board.
“Chase Briscoe and the guys from Cunningham Motorsports were committed to helping us today. They got behind me and pushed us up there. The car was good…it’s a good piece. We had no idea what to expect from a car we had never been on the track with. You just don’t know until you get here. We like it so far. I want to thank my sponsors E3 Spark Plugs, SO Contracting and SCCY.”
Kimmel’s career-best finish at Daytona was third in 2012.
Briscoe, fastest in practice Thursday, was second on the charts at 189.266 mph in the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge.
“We definitely learned some things between yesterday and today,” Briscoe said. “We figured out how to time our runs better. We figured out when it’s best to suck up and get the most out of it. I even got to practice pit stops today…that’s something I’m not used to. Sprint cars don’t make pit stops.”
Briscoe’s Cunningham Motorsports teammate Kevin Thomas, Jr. was third fastest.
“We learned quite a bit today in a short amount of time…it was very helpful,” Thomas said.
“We sucked up better today than we were yesterday. Paul (Andrews/crew chief) made some changes and it worked a lot better today. I learned that it’s going to be key to have a teammate on your side.”
Both Briscoe and Thomas are making their superspeedway/Daytona debuts.
Tom Hessert, in the No. 25 Florida Lottery Toyota, was fourth fastest at 188.810 mph. John Wes Townley, the 2013 Daytona winner, was fifth at 188.675 mph in the No. 05 Zaxby’s Chevrolet.
Menards Pole Qualifying is next at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday afternoon. Follow it on Live Timing and Scoring and Live Chat at arcaracing.com.
The 53rd annual Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona is live on FS1 Saturday, February 13 and precedes NASCAR’s same-night Sprint Unlimited. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat for all on-track activities.
-ARCA Racing Series Press Release & Photo