(TOLEDO, Ohio - October 10, 2012) - With two races remaining in the 2012 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season, Frank Kimmel comes to the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds to make up 85 points on the championship lead.
DuQuoin has been the site of much of Kimmel's success in the ARCA Racing Series, accounting for five of his 76 career victories. In the series' first dirt event of 2012, Kimmel led 51 of 100 laps to win on the Springfield mile. He returns to DuQuoin hoping to take his third win of the season and is focused on sweeping the dirt events in 2012.
On the heels of a fourth-place finish at Salem Speedway in September, DuQuoin provides the ThorSport Racing team the perfect opportunity to gain points on the championship lead, given the Ansell/Menards team's performance on the first dirt track race in August. Four seasons ago, Kimmel led 96 of 102 laps en route to the victory that swept the dirt races that season, a feat that has been accomplished just twice since 2006, and one he is looking to replicate this weekend.
In his 21 career starts at the southern Illinois dirt track, Kimmel has amassed five victories, tied for the all-time record at DuQuoin. After starting his DuQuoin career with three finishes outside the top 20, Kimmel quickly took a liking to dirt racing, and has scored 15 top-10s at DuQuoin, including four in the last five visits. Over the past 12 events at DuQuoin, Kimmel's incredible dirt record includes his five victories, as well as eight top-fives.
During the span of his five DuQuoin wins, Kimmel had an incredible run of results, in which he finished outside the top five just once in those eight races. Not only has Kimmel had a history of winning at DuQuoin, but he has had a history of leading numerous laps. He is currently second in the track's all-time laps led category, and is 12 behind the all-time record holder, Billy Thomas. With one stellar dirt track performance under his belt this season, Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards team are focused on using their performance and the nine-time champ's dirt experience to vault them back towards the championship lead.
As a result of finishing fourth after being nearly two laps down at Salem Speedway on September 15, Kimmel extended his streak of top-10 finishes to nine races. Kimmel is in the midst of his longest streak of consecutive top-10 finishes in 2012, which dates back to a seventh-place finish at New Jersey Motorsports Park on July 1.
ThorSport Racing will bring chassis A-6 to the race track for the third time this season. Kimmel most recently drove to victory at Springfield two months ago in chassis A-6. He also finished fourth with the car at Elko Speedway in June.
Kimmel recently answered several questions regarding his outlook for the season's final week, which also includes the October 19 season finale at Kansas Speedway.
How do you approach the last two races chasing the championship?
"It's not going to change anything anymore. We've been behind all year, and we have to go out and do everything we can do to gain the most points. The team has really come together and the cars have been really fast. We've had really good opportunities to win the last five or six races, I think. We have to just keep doing what we're doing. All the guys that we're racing for the championship have been running really well the last few races. Being that we're 85 points behind, I feel like we're going to have to get a little help. If (Buescher) has some bad luck, we can get caught up and go into Kansas and race hard."
How different is the driving style from pavement to dirt?
"There is quite a bit of difference, but it still comes down to the same thing. You want a car that turns good and still gets forward traction. It's all the same, but there is a different technique for dirt. You run through the gas a little bit different through the turns, but you still have to get through the center of the corner like on pavement."
Will the race date change have an impact?
"It really remains to be seen how the track will be. Considering there will be no race the day before like there usually is, and being deeper into the season, it's going to be a completely different track. The good thing for us racers is that (track promoter) Bob Sargent and his guys are so good at track preparation, that we know the track will be in good shape no matter what. They know what's going on and what it takes to get the track ready regardless of the circumstances."
Practice for Sunday's Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care will begin at 10 a.m. and last for one hour, with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell starting at noon. The 100-lap, 100-mile race will take place at 2 p.m. All times are Central, and revised from an earlier schedule.
ARCARacing.com will feature live timing and scoring coverage throughout the day, and ARCA Racing Network hosts Charlie Krall and Tim Clagg will deliver a live audio call for the race on the site.
From Team Release