By KEVIN HARRIS
LONG POND, Pa. —
For the third ARCA Racing Series race in a row, Frank Kimmel fell short of becoming the all-time winningest driver in series history.
The Clarksville native and nine-time ARCA series champion finished second in the caution-free ModSpace 125 on Friday evening at the 2 1/2-mile Pocono Raceway. Kimmel led nine of the first 15 laps of the 50-lap race, as he collected his 10th top-five finish and 13th top-10 showing in 2013.
“I had a fourth- or fifth-place car and we came out of here second,” Kimmel said in a statement.
Kimmel was shocked the race did not have one yellow flag, as the event lasted a race-record 46 minutes and 14 seconds. Kimmel was one of the first leaders to make a pit stop during the race, but pitting early did not help him get his 80th career victory.
Corey LaJoie timed his pit stops well, though. It enabled him to be running second with two laps to go when then-leader Erik Jones scraped the wall and had to pit. Jones’ mistake allowed LaJoie, son of former NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie, to take the lead for good.
It was the younger LaJoie’s second ARCA triumph in the last three races.
Kimmel complimented Corey LaJoie with his pit strategy following the race.
“I thought we were in good shape,” Kimmel said. “Corey did a great job in the pit stops and beat us out of pit road. I’d like to know what he did so I can be a little better next time.”
Despite the runner-up effort, Kimmel stayed atop the ARCA point standings. He now leads No. 2 driver Mason Mingus by 205 points. Mingus finished sixth on Friday.
Justin Boston placed third, followed by Brennan Newberry and Spencer Gallagher.
Sellersburg resident Will Kimmel placed seventh after posting back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the prior two races. The nephew of Frank Kimmel is currently ninth in the ARCA standings. Henryville resident Darrell Basham ended up 27th.
ARCA’s next race will be a week from today at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich.