There are certain names that are known with certain series in auto racing.
When you think of Formula 1, a lot of people think of Michael Schumacher.
When you think of NASCAR, a lot of people think of Petty or Earnhardt.
When it comes to the ARCA Re/Max Series, one of the first names that come to mind is Frank Kimmel.
Kimmel has been racing in the ARCA Series for 16 years and is looking for his 10th ARCA championship.
Throughout the years, Kimmel has seen it all in the ARCA Series and seen the growth that it has gone through.
Through his 15-year career, there have been lots of career highlights, including three big ones that stand out to him.
“I’ve had some really great ones,” he told me in reference to those career highlights. “I’ve been really fortunate. Winning my first race at Toledo, winning my first championship, racing Tony Stewart on dirt and beating him.”
Through the series’ growth, a lot of people have watched young drivers run races and then move up to higher races. Kimmel credits that to how they get to race at the super speedways.
“Well, it’s the only place that they can get actual super speedway experience,” he said.
“Although ARCA is very expensive compared some other series, it’s good. They can come here and see if they have the ability and the need or the want to do this and move on from there.”
Though for Kimmel, he’s stuck with the ARCA Series through these years and now enters his 16th year, set to win races.
“Winning some races, that’s our first goal, and then if we’re able to do that then fight for our 10th championship,” he said.
So far this year, Kimmel sits sixth in points with one top-five and three top-10s following Toledo. For him, he calls this a mediocre year.
“We’ve had some really good race cars, just haven’t had the finishes to show for it,” he said.
This past Sunday, the ARCA Series visited Toledo Speedway, which he considers a fun track to race at due it being a short track.
“It’s just where we come from,” he said. “It’s a half mile track, short track racing, it’s just the type of track that I grew up on and the risk and reward is pretty good.
"You can take risks on the short tracks and get away with it more so than on the super speedways where you’re less likely to get away with it. If you crash, it’s a lot harder there. So it’s a really cool place to get to come racing.”
Kimmel started ninth, ran in the top 10 all day, mostly top five, and came home with a fourth-place finish.
Kimmel looks to continue running up front and hopefully win another championship as he was fourth in testing at Michigan yesterday.
Notes from Michigan Test
Eddie Sharp Racing driver Craig Goess led the morning session at Michigan yesterday, while Venturini Motorsports driver Mikey Kile was second and Patrick Sheltra third.
For the afternoon session, the same drivers were up front, as Kile topped the charts in the afternoon session with Sheltra second and Goess third.
The ARCA Series will return to Michigan International Speedway to run the Racing for Wildlife 200 on June 11th.
For full test speeds, check out http://www.arcaracing.com
Photo Credit: Ashley McCubbin