Concord, NC (August 24, 2015) – Frank Kimmel, running in the third position with less than 20-laps remaining in Sunday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards marquee event at the Springfield dirt mile, started pouring white smoke out the rear of his No.25 Ansell-Menards Toyota. Seemingly on his way to another solid performance ARCA’s all-time dirt winner lost full power under the hood – forcing him to limp home with a disappointing 13th place finish – scoring as the last car on the lead lap.
“I’m not really sure what happened there at the end. The engine seemed to start missing on the backstretch and by the time we came out of turn four the car was smoking really bad as we crossed the line. Seemed like we dropped a valve or broke a piston. Whatever it was I felt like I could continue – water and oil temps were fine,” said Kimmel. “Frustrating for sure but we did the best to finish the race.”
After qualifying was rained out for the second consecutive year at Springfield – Kimmel started second, on the outside lane of row one. After pole sitter Grant Enfinger jumped out early to the front, Kimmel maneuvered his car in heavy traffic between turns one and two before tucking into the third position.
Maintaining a top-5 running position the first half of the race, Kimmel lost valuable track position after being blocked – front and back – in the pits during Kimmel’s first pit stop near the midway point of the race. Wasting a fast pit stop by his Ansell-Menards team the tight pit road configuration bit Kimmel forcing him to lose seven positions attempting to exit pit road.
On the restart Kimmel started mid-pack but used his track experience and pit stop adjustments to fly back through the field and back into the top-5 running order. Battling several front running cars for position, Kimmel made his way to the second position but lost one spot just before encountering problems.
Even with the obvious engine problems, Kimmel radioed his crew chief, Ryan London, stating his water and oil temps were steady and he was able to continue. Down on power Kimmel dropped to the seventh position. But continuing heavy white smoke out of the back of Kimmel’s car forced ARCA officials to black flag the No.25 forcing him down pit road inside of 10-laps remaining. During the forced pit stop Kimmel’s crew confirmed the drivers’ thoughts and quickly returned him to action. However, the timing of the late race stop proved costly as Kimmel fell outside the top-10, relegating him to his 13th place finish.
Kimmel will attempt to better his luck in two weeks when the ARCA Series returns to action for the second and final dirt race of the season at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (Illinois) which is scheduled for Labor Day. Kimmel’s next start will mark his 500th career ARCA race.
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ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Kevin Swindell, John Wes Townley, Erik Jones, and Justin Boston. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.