Kimmel Racing...a time-honored tradition since 1949

Kimmel Racing...a time-honored tradition since 1949

(TOLEDO, Ohio – January 28, 2015) – Try this on for size. The year 2015 represents the 67th consecutive season of competition for Kimmel Racing. A time-honored tradition that reaches back to its inception in 1949 under the guidance of family patriarch Bill Kimmel, Sr., moves forward today with Bill Kimmel, Jr. at the helm. His son, Will Kimmel, a third-generation ARCA driver, is again set to steer the No. 69 Kimmel Racing Ford Fusion in ’15, the same number his grandfather wore in ’49.

Kimmel Family 3 generations“Someone asked me that the other day,” Kimmel, Jr. said. “’Who is the longest running stock car family in America today?’ I thought about it and the best answer I could come with is Kimmel Racing and the Earnhardt’s. Dad started Kimmel Racing in ’49 and I’m pretty sure Ralph Earnhardt started in ’49. Now when I say longest running stock car family, I’m talking about having someone from the family race in each season, consecutively. I’d say it’s us and the Earnhardt’s.”

That, in itself, is an incredible story worth the pursuit, but for now, it’s back to the family business, which means getting ready to shove off toward Daytona Int’l Speedway for the 52nd annual Lucas Oil 200 presented by AutoZone Saturday, February 14, live on FOX Sports 1. At any rate, Kimmel Racing can’t wait to load up and head south.

“We’ve been in the garage way too long. I’m ready to go racing…been looking forward to it all year. I still get goose bumps when I drive across the track (at Daytona). I love the test…love going down for the race. I love everything about it. Fortunately, I don’t have to shove Will…he feels the same way. It’s fun when you can share all these experiences with your kid. I know it wouldn’t mean the same for me without Will. If he didn’t have the same passion for it, it wouldn’t be there for me either. We both still have the same drive. We can’t wait to load up and go. We’re not 100% ready, but we’re ready, if you know what I mean.”

The 2015 season is still coming together for Kimmel Racing, which finished third at Daytona in 2012 with Will behind the wheel.

“We know we’re going to run all the speedway races that make up the Hoosier Speedway Challenge, starting with Daytona…the television races. More than likely do both Salem’s and both dirt races. He’d (Will) crucify me if I told him we weren’t going to the dirt.”

Kimmel Racing has already tested the new ARCA Racing Series composite body at Salem and Daytona, and plans to be ready with it for the short track portion of the fast-approaching new season.

“Our plan is to run the composite body at Salem and the dirts. We’ve got one composite car done, and when we get a little more funding, we’ll start on our second composite car. I’d say we’ll be running the new ARCA Ilmor 396 everywhere.”

The second Kimmel Racing entry is currently up for grabs.

“We’ll run the second car as much as we can. There’s a great opportunity there for someone. With (Michael) Lira starting his own team, the opportunity to get in a second Kimmel Racing car is wide open.

“Circle Track is coming back for 2015 and we’ll also have Accel on the car for Daytona. Pretty sure we’ll have Gary Yeomans Ford on the car for Daytona too. You’ll see KEM Racing in some capacity on the car too this year.”

You’ll also see Kimmel, Sr. from time to time in 2015. The company patriarch will turn 87 on September 13, and while he doesn’t get to all the races anymore, he’s still a frequent flyer at some of the events closer to his southern Indiana home…mainly Salem Speedway where each generation of Kimmel’s honed their skills over the decades. Kimmel, Jr. will turn 58 on July 13. Despite his near six decades on earth, his energy/get-up-and-go level would rival a person half his age.

“I still love going to the track. Has my role changed over the years?...yes. Would I love to see it change again?...yes I would. In a perfect world, I’d love to be grooming a crew chief for Will…so I could pay more attention to the owner side…the financial side. We don’t have the financial situation we need to do it all…I know Will wants to run the whole season, and we’re working toward that. It’d be so nice to wake up without worrying about how to pay for everything, but that’s okay…we’re in this thing all the way.”


Tim D.

ARCA Racing.