Salem, IN – (September 10, 2016) – Both Cunningham Motorsports teams have been fast everywhere they have gone this season, but there have been races when they haven’t been able to finish off the day. The 100th ARCA race at Salem Speedway was one of those days. Chase Briscoe was fastest in practice, with teammate Frank Kimmel close behind.
With qualifying rained out, Chase Briscoe started on the pole as the starting lineup was set by the combined times of the two practice sessions earlier in the day. 10-time ARCA Series champ, Frank Kimmel started 6th. After leading all of the first 111 laps of the 200 lap event, including a two tire pit stop, Briscoe’s car started to fade. During Briscoe’s first pit stop, when he took right side tires, fuel, a wedge and a track bar adjustment of lap 52, the eventual winner, Christopher Bell, bolted on four General Tires.
Those teams who chose the same pit strategy as Bell’s team did, hit the jackpot… as the race went green for the next 108 laps. Briscoe came in during the caution on lap 160 for his remaining four tires, but he had already lost too much valuable space between he and the leaders… losing a lap in the process.
Briscoe finished 6th in the No. 77 Big Tine Ford at his home track, with a large crowd of family and friends cheering him on.
Briscoe and his team earned the 2016 Short Track Challenge Championship presented by Protect Plus, as soon as he took the green flag at the start of the race. Even though he is still leading the championship battle, by an unofficial 500 points, the disappointment was evident as Briscoe said, “This was a hard one to swallow. Sometimes the tire strategy doesn’t fall your way. We had a superfast race car tonight and I really wanted to win this one. I don’t know if I was just going too hard, but we burned the left rear off of it. It had 160 laps on it. We got one lap down and just ran out of time getting it back.”
After starting 6th, Frank Kimmel challenged teammate Briscoe for the lead between laps 3 and 10, before falling to 3rd. With an ill-handling No. 22 Ford, Kimmel lost a number of positions before the next caution flag flew on lap 52. During this yellow, crew chief Paul Andrews brought his veteran driver into the pits for right side tires before sending him back on track to restart in 7th.
Kimmel continued to drop positions, reporting to Andrews that “the car is really tight in the middle (of the corners)”. Andrews brought Kimmel back in for fuel and a track bar adjustment… hoping to loosen the car so Kimmel could get back to the front. The adjustments that were made on their second stop didn’t solve the problem, as Kimmel remained in the top-10 spots, before dropping to 13th on lap 131.
Kimmel brought out the final caution of the night when the right front tire let go… dragging the sway bar arm off. During that yellow, on lap 160 Kimmel returned to the pits twice, getting right side tires during the first stop and left sides the second time in the pits. The native Hoosier, who was hoping to earn his 10th victory at his home track, came home with a disappointing 13th place finish.
Next up for the Cunningham teams is the SCOTT 150 at Chicagoland Speedway. The teams have a quick turnaround with the race scheduled for Thursday night, September 15. On-track activities begin with practice from 12:30-2:00 CST, followed by Menards Pole Qualifying at 4:10. The race will be covered live on FS1 at 8:00.
Myatt Snider will return to pilot the No. 22 Louisiana Hot Sauce Ford for the 7th time this season… most recently July 29 at Pocono Raceway, where he finished 6th, after starting 4th. In his previous 6 ARCA Series starts he has 1 win, in his debut race at Toledo Speedway in May, 3 top-5 finishes and 5 top-10 finishes.
Additionally, Briscoe and Snider will have a third teammate, as Austin Cindric will join forces with the Cunningham organization for the second of his four planned races this season. The Scott 150 will mark Cindric’s fourth ARCA start. In his last Series start, at Pocono Raceway in June, Cindric started 4th before finishing 2nd.