IN (July 27, 2012) -- Some fans were wondering whether Frank Kimmel would ever
return to victory lane in the ARCA Series.
Kimmel erased all doubts Friday night at Lucas
Oil Raceway when he fought his way to the lead on lap 158 in the Messina
Wildlife Animal Stopper 200.
Kimmel led the final 43 laps en route to
collecting his 75th ARCA Series win.
The 9-time series champion had suffered the
longest winless drought of his career having not won since September 13, 2008
at Salem Speedway--a span of 76 races.
Thirty-nine cars were on hand for qualifying
with 36 drivers posting times. Matt Crafton was the fastest around the
.555-mile bullring with a time of 22.204 seconds or 111.223 mph.
The race featured eight leaders among six
Drivers leading during the event included; Matt
Crafton 1-51 (51 laps), Chad Hackenbracht 52-54, 62-135, 142-150 (86 laps),
Kevin Swindell 55-61 (7 laps), Chad Boat 136-141 (6 laps), Mason Mitchell
151-157 (7 laps) and Frank Kimmel 158-200 (43 laps).
It looked as if Matt Crafton had the field
covered leading the race's first 51 circuits before disaster struck.
Crafton's #18 Toyota suffered a mechanical
failure sending the California driver into the wall in Turns 1 and 2. Crafton
would finish 31st among the 35 starters.
That left the outcome of the race up in the air
with several drivers having a shot at the win.
But it was veteran driver Frank Kimmel, who
started eighth, taking control on lap 158.
The 50-year-old driver held off all challengers,
leading the final 43 laps, to capture the win .886 seconds ahead of 14th
starting Tom Hessert.
Kimmel commented after the win, "I'd
like to take a lot of the credit but we had a good handling race car. I could
turn and cut into traffic and run into the flat, whatever I needed at the end.
That made the difference."
is a hard place to drive around and a really hard place to pass people. That's
what makes it special."
Tom Hessert finished in second place followed by
Kevin Swindell, Brennan Poole and Mason Mitchell in third through fifth to
round out the top five finishers.
The 200-lap race had six cautions for a total of
Unofficially, Chris Buescher remains atop the
driver standings with 3100 points followed closely by Brennan Poole
Frank Kimmel (3035) is third in the rankings
only 65 points out of first place as he continues his fight toward a 10th
The ARCA Series will be back in action this
Saturday, August 4, at Pocono Raceway. The race will be carried live on SPEED
at 3:00 pm ET.
Hoosier is proud to be in its 18th consecutive
season as the exclusive tire provider to the ARCA Racing Series.
of the Hoosier service team at Indianapolis included; David Wroblewski, Rick
Tostevin, Kevin Wroblewski, Chad Wright and Mike Haenes.
Racing Tire Corp. would like to congratulate Frank Kimmel on his long-awaited
return to the ARCA winner's circle.
For more information about the ARCA Series visit