By KEVIN HARRIS
NEWTON, IOWA —
Frank Kimmel will be taking a break from the ARCA Racing Series this weekend by competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.
The Clarksville native and Borden resident will be driving the No. 13 Toyota Tundra in Saturday night’s American Ethanol 200 at the seven-eighths-mile track.
Kimmel will be competing in his first Camping World Truck Series event since 2004. He will be driving a truck owned by ThorSport Racing, which owns Kimmel’s No. 44 Toyota in the ARCA Racing Series. ThorSport Racing also will be fielding trucks for veteran Camping World Truck Series drivers Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton.
“The Camping World Truck Series is a reflection of not only where I came from in my racing career, but where a lot of drivers got their start,” Kimmel said in a statement. “Iowa Speedway is the perfect place to come back to the series because a driver can get his elbows up, get up on the wheel and make a difference getting around the race track.”
Kimmel has made 12 career truck series starts, with his best finish being eighth in 2004 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Kimmel will have some familiar faces in his pit box on Saturday. Jeriod Prince, Kimmel’s crew chief for his ARCA team, will lead the crew for the No. 13 truck team, while Kimmel’s ARCA pit crew will be servicing his Toyota.
Kimmel and Prince teamed up in 2011 to try to qualify a ThorSport Racing truck in the season finale at Homestead (Fla.)-Miami Speedway. But qualifying got rained out and NASCAR set the field by owner points. Kimmel did not make the field because his truck had no owner points.
“ThorSport and I have got some unfinished business in the truck series,” Kimmel said. “We tried to make the 2011 season finale at Homestead when Johnny Sauter had a shot to win the championship, and we were trying to support that effort. But even though Jeriod had a truck that was fast enough in practice to make the race, qualifying got rained out and we had no owner points, so we sat that one out.”
Kimmel will not have to worry about missing the race on Saturday, as he is guaranteed a spot in the field because the No. 13 truck has the required amount of owner points to race.
On June 29, Kimmel made ARCA history by tying the series’ all-time wins record with his 79th career victory at Winchester Speedway in eastern Indiana. He will attempt to break the record on Sunday, July 21 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
Kimmel is currently leading the ARCA point standings by 175 points over second-place Mason Mingus. Kimmel is trying to win his 10th ARCA series championship in his career.
Qualifying for Saturday’s race will be at 6 p.m. EDT. The green flag for the race will drop at 8:30 p.m. EDT. The race will be televised live on Speed Channel.
On Friday, Kimmel will be conducting a 200-lap race at Iowa Speedway in his Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals series.
AMERICAN ETHANOL 200
• DATE: Saturday
• TIME: 8:30 p.m. EDT
• PLACE: Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
• SERIES: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
• DRIVER OF LOCAL INTEREST: Frank Kimmel, Clarksville native and Borden resident
• KIMMEL’S TRUCK: No. 13 Toyota Tundra, owned by ThorSport Racing
• TV: Speed Channel
• QUALIFYING: 6 p.m., Saturday
• 2012 RACE WINNER: Timothy Peters