By KEVIN HARRIS
KANSAS CITY, Kan. —
When Frank Kimmel makes his first lap in this morning’s practice for tonight’s season-finale Kansas Lottery 98.9 at Kansas Speedway, the Clarksville native will accomplish something he has not done in six years.
Kimmel will clinch his 10th ARCA Racing Series championship — and his first title since 2007 — when he completes his first practice circuit today. By making that one practice lap, Kimmel will collect 275 bonus points.
“As a racer, you’re always thinking about the points and what you have to do [to collect points] is always in the back of your mind,” Kimmel stated in ThorSport Racing’s race notes this week. “And now that we have all but clinched the title and we don’t have to dwell on what we have to do for points because we’ve accomplished our goal by winning the championship.”
Once he wraps up another championship, Kimmel and his ThorSport Racing team will concentrate on winning tonight’s race. If Kimmel wins, he will become the all-time winningest driver in ARCA history as he would break a first-place tie with series legend Iggy Katona. Kimmel and the late Katona each have 79 career victories.
“It’s just like going to a regular old short-track race somewhere with your late model car,” Kimmel said. “There’s not a lot of pressure and you’re just there to race and have fun and go for the win, and you don’t have to worry about the points.”
Kimmel has two career victories at Kansas, which came in 2002 and 2006.
“Kansas is a place where we’ve had success in the past. So me personally, I’m glad that we’re going there for our finale. We feel like we’ve got as good of an opportunity to win as anyone who’ll be there, so we’re ready to go.”
Other local drivers entered in tonight’s race are Kimmel’s nephew, Sellersburg resident Will Kimmel, and Henryville resident Darrell Basham.
KANSAS LOTTERY 98.9
• DATE: Tonight
• TIME: 8:30 p.m. EDT
• PLACE: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.
• TV: FOX Sports 1