Concord, NC (January 11, 2018) – For near thirty years Frank Kimmel mastered his craft on tour dominating the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards hoisting 10 national championships and 80-wins throughout his decorated career.
Now, two years removed from the driver’s seat and possessing a lifetime of racing experience, Kimmel begins the next chapter joining Venturini Motorsports’ crew chief lineup for the upcoming 2018 ARCA racing season.
Kimmel, expected to work and mentor a number of drivers from VMS’ Toyota Racing aligned driver development program will make his crew chiefing debut next month when he climbs the ladder and calls the shots for driver Leilani Munter during ARCA’s season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 10.
Primed and ready to make his mark atop the pit box, Kimmel is enthusiastic for this next stage of his career.
“These are exciting times for me,” said Kimmel. “I never knew exactly what I was going to do after my driving days ended, but I knew the natural progression was to stay in the industry in some capacity. Fearing I’d go stir crazy sitting around I’ve been talking with a lot of people lately looking for the right opportunity. When the chance came up with this deal I took it. Venturini Motorsports is a great organization with tons of young talent behind the wheel. I’m looking forward to being a part of the team. Helping these young drivers will be fun and very fulfilling – I’m in a good place.”
Armed with confidence Kimmel will rely on experience, strong work ethic and the ability to lean on a solid group of winning crew chiefs found in Venturini Motorsports’ race shop to help get back to the top of his game.
“Anyone who’s been successful has a formula and a way of doing things. This is no different,” added Kimmel. “You can luck into a win or two but to be consistent it takes more than that – I feel I’ve done the right things more times than not. My desire to win now is just as strong as it was when I was driving and winning championships. I’ve got a great group of guys at the shop to lean on. Working side-by-side with guys like Billy Venturini, Kevin Reed, Dave Leiner, and Ryan London will make me better – and hopefully I’ll make them better too.
“I’ve done a lot of work over the years with my son Frankie and a bunch with local drivers but this will be my first official role as crew chief. Building and working on race cars is what I love to do. But sitting up on the pit box making the tough calls is a totally different game than driving the car. When you’re up there you see so much more – you see the race unfold and watch what the other teams are doing with pit strategy. As a driver the focus is on what’s outside your windshield and relying on others to make the right decisions to give you the best shot. It’s now my turn to make those calls. I’m ready to go.”
The addition of Kimmel is a considered a big win across the board for Venturini Motorsports.
“Frank (Kimmel), with his unmatched popularity and leadership skills, is a huge addition to our team,” says team owner Billy Venturini. “He’s was one of the best drivers of our generation. His experience and knowledge is going to help a lot of drivers and make us a better team. It’s hard to put into words how meaningful it is to be able to bring in a guy with such a meaningful legacy in our sport.
“The Kimmel – Venturini relationship goes back years. We were fierce competitors on the track – what started as a rivalry has evolved over the last few years into a strong friendship. I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for Frank. His presence in the garage looms large – having him in our corner and working with these young up and coming drivers is a huge win for this team.”
Since exiting the car in 2016, Kimmel has maintained his prominence in the industry and ARCA garage serving as driver coach, spotter and most recently as a consultant for the now dissolved Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
During Kimmel’s 27-year ARCA career (1990-2016) he made 503 career starts amassing 80-wins, 45 poles, 273 Top-5’s and 374 Top-10 finishes and led over 11,000 laps in 216 races. In 2015, Kimmel made 11 starts driving under the Venturini Motorsports banner.
Kimmel’s unprecedented 10-ARCA championships came in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2013. He also finished second in driver points in ‘94, ’97, ‘99 & ’12. Kimmel’s 80 wins and 43 poles are most in series history. Kimmel is also a 6-time Superspeedway Challenge champion and a 7-time Bill France Four Crown recipient.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Over the last 35-years Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in professional motorsports. Known for long-time dominance in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Venturini Motorsports is held in high regard as one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the county. Since 2007, VMS has specialized in the career development of some of today’s top racing talent including current NASCAR “Stars” – Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Darryl ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhoads, Ryan Reed, Brandon Jones, Matt Tifft, Brennan Poole, Dalton Sargeant, Justin Haley and Todd Gilliland. Integrity, dedication and continuous innovation paired with years of on-track success has helped define Venturini Motorsports as one of the longest tenured teams in all of modern day racing. In 2012, the Venturini racing family was recognized for their collective achievements and inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame – now finding themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Chip Ganassi, Andy Granatelli, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.