(SANDUSKY, Ohio - July 11, 2012) - For the seventh time in the track's history, Iowa Speedway will host the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards - this year, on Friday the 13th.
In the previous six events, Iowa has seen unpredictable races and results and six different winners, including Frank Kimmel in 2007. Kimmel (No. 44 Ansell/Menards Toyota) has been a model of consistency at Iowa, scoring finishes of seventh or better in the five most recent ARCA events at the 0.875-mile oval.
Kimmel has been a player at each short track event in 2012, scoring two runner-up finishes at Salem and Toledo. Chassis A-1 was the Ansell/Menards Toyota that the nine-time champ drove to those season-best finishes, and he will race the same ThorSport Racing Toyota at Iowa this weekend. Kimmel has led laps at two of the last three short track races for a total of 61 laps, including two top five finishes: second at Toledo and fourth at Elko.
As the 2012 season has reached the halfway mark, Kimmel finds himself in the thick of the championship battle, chasing a record 10th championship. Kimmel and the ThorSport team have made the most of tough days through the early portion of the year, and capitalized on opportunities with solid performances as well. This week, Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is holding additional importance for the No. 44 team. Five of the six Iowa race winners, including Kimmel, have started in the top four. Additionally, Kimmel can tie Iggy Katona's all-time pole record of 43 poles in the ARCA Racing Series by setting the fastest time on Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. CT.
ThorSport Racing and driver Matt Crafton visited Victory Lane last summer at Iowa in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. ThorSport's No. 88 Truck Series team has been servicing Kimmel's No. 44 Toyota on pit road all season long, and will look to bring ThorSport and Menards back to Iowa's victory lane for the second consecutive year.
Kimmel will visit the Altoona, Iowa Menards store Thursday from 6-7:30 PM. Kimmel will sign autographs for fans while the No. 44 Ansell/Menards showcar will also be on display. The Altoona Menards is located at 370 36th Avenue SW.
The nine-time ARCA champion answered several questions about his outlook for Iowa Speedway and the Prairie Meadows 200, which will begin on SPEED at 8 p.m. CT Friday.
Given your track record, does Iowa Speedway fit your driving style better than most tracks?
"I really like the race track. I think it's the perfect size. It's not so fast that aerodynamics is the most important thing, and it's short enough that huge horsepower isn't a necessity. Iowa is about the guy that makes the car handle well and get through the corner. The track has some bumps with it aging and it's changed over time. We put pressure on ourselves to run well and we've had good luck there the past few years."
Does bringing a proven chassis give you additional confidence?
"I'm really excited to take A-1 there. We've been using it on most of the short tracks this year and it has run very well each time out. We've got a lot of time and laps in the car, so we have a good history on it. The entire team works really hard on preparing the car and we have a good understanding of it too. I do have a lot of confidence taking that car to the racetrack, and know that there will be a good setup under it."
What would tying the all-time ARCA pole record mean to you?
"It would be very important for myself, as well as the team. We're continuing to learn about each other and what to do to the race car each week. I think it would show how much we've made strides with our race cars. I'm working on qualifying better every race. A pole would be a great shot in the arm. Tying the record would be great, but it would be satisfying to show that we're a team capable of winning poles and races every week."
From Team Release