No. 44 Ansell/ Menards Toyota Camry
ARCA RACING SERIES – RACE 7 OF 20 – Pocono Raceway
[media-credit name=”ARCA Racing Network” align=”alignright” width=”170″][/media-credit]Pocono Raceway’s first ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event of 2012 marks the third race in the grueling summer stretch, and Frank Kimmel and the Ansell/Menards Toyota team are ready for the challenge. Sitting fourth in series points, Kimmel is coming off yet another top-five finish after last week’s fourth place finish at Elko Speedway. The strength of two consecutive finishes in the top four have catapulted Kimmel into the top five in points heading into this weekend’s Pocono ARCA 200.
Pocono’s 2.5 mile tri-oval is sporting a facelift of new asphalt this weekend, adding yet another challenge for ARCA Racing Series competitors. As is often the case with repaved racetracks, track position may prove to be the main deciding factor which will put added importance on Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell. Not many drivers have been as consistently quick in qualifying at Pocono as Kimmel. Dating back to June of 2008, Kimmel has eight straight starts of 11th or better, six in the top five, and a pole in August 2010.
The nine-time series champion not only has momentum on his side beginning the summer stretch, but has momentum on his side at Pocono Raceway. With three previous wins at the Pennsylvania Triangle, Kimmel has a stretch of five consecutive top-ten finishes as well. Kimmel has a good chance to extend his recent streak of finishes in the top five based on his Pocono track record. 17 of his 30 starts have resulted in top five finishes (56.6%). Kimmel will chase his first win of 2012 and first Pocono win since 2006 in a brand new Toyota chassis out of Thorsport Racing.
TOP TEN STREAK: The nine-time ARCA champ is targeting his sixth consecutive top-ten finish at Pocono Raceway. Kimmel has 23 top ten finishes at Pocono, which total over 75% of his starts at the Tricky Triangle.
POINTS REPORT: After 6 of 20 races, Kimmel sits fourth in series points, 35 points out of the lead. Thus far, Kimmel has three top-5’s and four top-10 finishes in 2012.
CLOSE TO THE FRONT: Kimmel has started 11th or better in the last eight Pocono races, including six consecutive top-five starts from June 2008-June 2011. That stretch of races included one pole position (July 2010).
CHASSIS CHOICE: Kimmel will pilot chassis A-2 out of the Thorsport Racing stable in the Pocono ARCA 200. This chassis is brand new and will see its first laps of competition this weekend.
POCONO APPEARANCES: Kimmel will be signing autographs twice during the weekend’s events surrounding the Pocono ARCA 200. Kimmel will be at the Sherman Theater in downtown Stroudsburg, PA on Friday, June 8th, from 7-8 PM. Kimmel will also be at the “Kid’s Day” autograph session Saturday morning behind the main grandstand from 9:45-10:30 AM.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Frank Kimmel
What needs to be done to be a top-5 team during the summer stretch?
“Jeriod Prince and all the guys are really working their butts off to get as prepared as they can. During this stretch of the season, it’s important to be prepared, having cars ready to go and all the support and equipment to go with it. This team knows what it’s like to be in a points battle and to be racing week after week. I have confidence that when we go to the racetrack, we’re as prepared as anyone out there.”
How much different will Pocono be from the traditional style of racing there?
“I really don’t know exactly what to expect. I think it should be a traditional race at Pocono. The biggest difference, the speeds would potentially be up, but with the tapered spacer and the rear spoiler rules they’ve changed, really no one knows what to expect. It’s up in the air how it will play out. We’re prepared and ready to go and I understand the Pocono race, so we should be around at the end to contend to win.”
Will numerous wins or consistency be more important to win the championship?
“I think they’re both important. If we can go out and continue with our top five finishes and keep the car competitive, we’ll get wins no matter what. Our goal is to make the cars as competitive as we can. The driver has to do as good as he can behind the wheel and the pit crew has been real good all season. We just have to do our own thing. If we can be as consistent as we’ve been, we can get that win and a few more after that.”
June 9th, 2012
2.5-Mile Paved Tri-Oval
Pocono ARCA 200
80 Laps/200 Miles
Live Timing & Scoring at ARCARacing.com
Friday, June 8: Practice 10:00-11:50 AM ET, 5:10-6 pm ET
Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell: 2:05 pmET
Saturday, June 9: RACE – 1:30pmET
SDD ON SPEED @ 2:30pmET
Current Driver Point Standings: 4TH
Chassis: A-2 – Brand New Chassis
Engine: TRD (Toyota Racing Development) & TRIAD
ARCA RACING SERIES results at Pocono Raceway:
Top 5s: 17
Top 10s: 23
Total Appearances: 30
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