Saturday, April 19, 2014

1998 - Frank Kimmel Takes ARCA Salem Honors

Salem, Ind. (April 19, 1998) - Frank Kimmel drove Larry Clement’s Chevrolet to victory Sunday at Salem Speedway in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200, scoring his sixth career ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series victory and first ever ARCA win on the half mile, high banked Indiana oval.

Kimmel, from nearby Jeffersonville, Ind., gave the local fans the charge they were looking for when the current series points leader crossed the final finish line 3 car lengths in front of Mark Gibson, the only other driver on the lead lap. “I want to thank all my fans for standing behind us,” said Kimmel in victory lane. “We wanted this one bad I know you did to. It’s tough to survive Salem for 200 laps in your car, it has to be set up just right to do it. Fortunately my crew set me up with the perfect handle here today and showed. This car would stick anywhere.”

Josh Baltes, who led 12 laps, Dan Pardus and Rick Groetsch, scored their best career ARCA finishes of third, fourth and fifth respectively, just one lap down.

Kimmel was impressive on afternoon leading three times for 87 laps, nearly half the distance. However, Kimmel had his hands full for much the way having to fend off constant challenges from Bob Strait, Dill Whittymore and Gibson. Strait, who started the race from the pole, led 52 laps and was a constant threat until the 13-time ARCA winner got caught up in a turn two accident trying to sneak underneath the spinning car of Mike Lorz.

Whittymore also had his hometown contingent cranked up after leading 34 laps, but a brush with the turn four wall ended his day while running second just 21 laps from the finish. Strait, Lorz and Whittymore were uninjured.

Gibson was a show all in himself. After crashing his primary car in earlier practice session, his crew had to unload the backup car, plant a motor beneath the hood and watch as the Winder, Ga., driver methodically raced from the 29th starting position to challenge for the win.

Dear late-model specialist John Gill led 15 laps and appeared to be one of the fastest drivers in the field until his engine expired on lap 63.

The race was slowed 13 times for 78 caution flag laps, all for fairly minor incidents and debris.

Results -
  1. Frank Kimmel
  2. Mark Gibson
  3. Josh Baltes
  4. Dan Pardus
  5. Rick Groetsch
  6. Eric Smith
  7. Calvin Councilor
  8. Jeff Finley
  9. Randy VanZant
  10. Joe Cooksey
  11. Mark Voight
  12. David Boggs
  13. Brian Conz
  14. Norm Benning
  15. Jerry Middleton
  16. Steve Stevenson
  17. Bill Baird
  18. Chuck Weber
  19. Todd Coon
  20. Wes Russell
  21. Dill Whittymore
  22. James Hylton
  23. Curt Piercy
  24. Bob Strait
  25. Billy Venturini
  26. Mike Lorz
  27. Andy Belmont
  28. Richard Hampton
  29. John Gill
  30. Toby Massie
  31. Drew White
  32. Rob Julian
  33. Dennis English
  34. Jason Weatherton
  35. Scott Baker

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