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Will Kimmel Attempting a Nationwide/ARCA Double on Saturday

Will Kimmel Attempting a Nationwide/ARCA Double on Saturday

by September 12, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Kyle Pokrefky/The Fourth Turn

JOLIET, Ill. — Will Kimmel has a lot on his plate on Saturday as he will attempt to race in two races in one day – the Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 and the Federated Car Care ARCA Fall Classic. There’s one catch to Kimmel’s Saturday plans though, the races are at two different race tracks in two different states.

Kimmel is scheduled to race the No. 44 Ingersoll Rand Toyota for TriStar Motorsports at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet on Saturday at 3:30 p.m EST and will then jet off to Salem, Indiana to run Saturday night’s 200-lap ARCA race at Salem Speedway in the No. 69 Kimmel Racing Ford. The scheduled start time for the Federated Car Care ARCA Fall Classic is 7:15 p.m EST.

With a distance of approximately 290 miles between the two cities, Kimmel won’t have much time to make it to Salem following the conclusion of the race. To make the start of the race in Salem, Kimmel is hoping for a two-hour race to provide him with around an hour-and-a-half to get to the track. The Sellersburg, Indiana native is likely hoping that tomorrow’s race at Chicagoland will run a similar pace to July’s EnjoyIllinois.com 300 which ran for two hours and two minutes with three interruptions for cautions.

“Hopefully this race will be over in two hours – that’s what we’re hoping,” Kimmel said. “If it does, we’re going to be extremely close on time. We’ll have to hustle out of here as hard as we can. Hopefully, my pilot is not afraid to run his plane hard because that’s what it’s going to take to get there. … We’re going to try to make it work and if we don’t make it, we don’t make it. It’s going to be really close.”

Kimmel will miss practice and qualifying for the race in Salem and will resort to a backup driver – Chris Bailey Jr. – to take care of the pre-race prep for the No. 69 Kimmel Racing Ford. A lack of Saturday practice likely won’t do much harm for the No. 69 car’s regular driver – Kimmel was able to practice on Salem Speedway’s newly-repaved Turns 3 and 4 on Sunday and was also able to test at another half-mile oval on Tuesday, Winchester Speedway.

“We tested last Sunday at Salem for three-to-four hours, we had a really good test – I’m really happy with it,” said Kimmel. “We went to Winchester on Tuesday morning and did some tire tests for Hoosier with the same car. It’s been really good, it’s been super solid.”

As for Kimmel’s thoughts on Salem’s new pavement…

“It’s going to be fast,” he stated. “They’ve made some improvements on it, it’s going to be good. I’m really anxious to see what happens through the race as far as whether it goes one or two grooves. I think it’s going to be mostly a groove-and-a-half. I think some of the old Salem characteristics are still there, we’ve just got a lot more grip.”

Kimmel has experience from earlier this year at Chicagoland Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series as he drove his way to a fourth-place finish in July in the Ansell ActivArmr 150. Other than that start, Kimmel has three other starts at the mile-and-a-half speedway that have provided 31st, 10th, and another fourth-place finish for the seventh-year ARCA driver.

When asked if he could transfer over any knowledge to the Nationwide Series car from his past experience at Chicagoland in ARCA, Kimmel believes that he’ll certainly be able to do so.

“I think the main thing between these cars and the ARCA cars are they both tapered-spacer motors,” he explained. “They don’t have a lot of horsepower when you start getting to the bigger tracks like this, you’ve really got to stay in the gas. It’s the same way with the ARCA car, the harder you can stay in the gas and the earlier you can pick it up, the faster you’re going to be. I think that’s important here but the bodies and stuff are a little bit different, the tires are a bit different. I take that into account but I’m just happy to be at a track where I’ve already been and I look forward to getting to race.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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