For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
ARCA Steers for Madison Int’l Speedway Short Track; Veteran Frank Kimmel, Rookie/Defending Winner Alex Bowman Ready for ARCA Short Track Go
(TOLEDO, Ohio – August 14, 2012) – ARCA veteran Frank Kimmel knows how to win races. The second-generation racer has 75 career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victories, second on the all-time ARCA win list.
Team Messina Rookie Challenge contender Alex Bowman is certainly learning how to win races, and it didn’t take long. The Tucson, Ariz. driver won at Madison Int’l Speedway in his ARCA debut in August of 2011.
Both championship contending drivers will be returning for the Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200 at Madison Int’l Sunday afternoon, August 26, ready to test their short track skills on the half-mile short track oval.
Kimmel finished sixth in last year’s race, and was not happy with the result. However, Kimmel has joined forces with ThorSport Racing for 2012, and has shown marked improvement in performance. In fact, the Clarksville, Indiana racer snapped a winless streak that stretched nearly four years when he dominated the ARCA race at Lucas Oil Raceway just last month. In addition, the nine-time ARCA champion is currently third in championship points, just 45 points from the lead.
“We didn’t run very well last year (at Madison), so I’m looking to redeem myself,” Kimmel said.
“I’m just glad to be going to a short track. I think anytime you can run on a smaller track, the driver becomes more important. Horsepower and aero doesn’t always make or break you.
“The way the track is shaped – longer straightaways and tighter corners – brakes will be a factor, so you’ve got to manage that. As for the track itself, I really like Madison. You can run side-by-side all the way around. The bottom lane is where everyone wants to be for the most part, but the top lane can work too; it’s not a death sentence up there. As tight as the track is, you can definitely pass at Madison, which makes for great racing.”
Bowman also found out you can pass at Madison, working his way through the field twice last year after pit stops, taking the lead for good on lap 142 of the 200-lap race. Once out front and with very little brakes left, Bowman had to hold off current 2012 point leader Chris Buescher in a heated battle to the checkered flag to earn the hard-fought victory.
“I can’t say I expected to win there (at Madison) in my first start, but I wasn’t too surprised either,” Bowman said.
“We had a really good car, and we had run really strong runs in the East Series last year.”
Bowman, who has five wins overall on the ARCA tour – three this year at Salem, Winchester and Iowa – is currently fourth in championship points in the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge. Considering where his victories have come this year, short track racing has been his specialty.
“The biggest thing at Madison is having a car that turns. It’s so tight there. We ran out of brakes last year racing our way back through the field. So we just backed the corner up getting in. We ran hot last year too and had to fill it with water, so we used up our car getting back to the front.
“The track snugged up when the sun went down, but we were able to stay pretty consistent throughout the race. We came in and got tires for the last run; that’s what won that one.”
With five races to go in the season, Bowman is certainly not out of the championship hunt; however, he is 230 points from first.
“I’m not thinking about points so much right now. We just wanna go win, see what happens. We’ll work on winning the rest and let the points work themselves out on their own.”
Chase Elliott Files Entry for Madison
Chase Elliott is only 16 years old, and all the while honing his short track skills in the ARCA Racing Series. The son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott has also filed an entry for the Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200 at Madison.
In just four ARCA Racing Series starts, despite racing on tracks that he hasn’t, for the most part, seen before, he’s on the fast track towards the front. Elliott finished 10th in his series debut at Mobile Int’l Speedway in early March. It got better from there when Elliott placed fourth at Salem in April and seventh at Berlin just last Saturday. In his career-first road course race, he wowed the ARCA regulars with a second-place finish, losing the lead only on the final lap at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
“We have had some decent runs in the ARCA Series; we just need a little more to close the deal. I’m confident the Aaron’s Dream Machine-Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet will be fast enough to win at Madison,” Elliott said. “We’re capable of winning in the ARCA Series, and I won’t be satisfied until we do.”
In addition to Elliott’s ARCA schedule this year, which includes Salem Speedway on September 15, he’s currently second in points in the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series standings, running full-time on the K&N tour.
ARCA’s Fifth Trip to Madison Int’l Speedway
The ARCA Racing Series stretches out over five decades at Madison Int’l Speedway, having first raced there in July of 1970 – two-time ARCA champion Ramo Stott earned the victory. Tom Bowsher won the ARCA race at Madison in May of 1971, and Bruce Gould is in the history books at the 1973 ARCA victor. However, nearly 40 years would elapse before the ARCA Racing Series would return to Madison in last year’s Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200.
The ARCA Racing Series is often regarded as the most versatile tour in America with its unique combinations of superspeedways, short tracks, road courses and even a couple of mile dirt tracks upcoming on the schedule in Springfield, Illinois in late August and in DuQuoin, Illinois in early September.
Practice for the ARCA Racing Series at Madison is scheduled for Saturday, August 25 from 1-1:45 p.m., followed by a final practice from 2:15-3. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell goes off at 4:40. The 200-lap Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200 at Madison begins at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, August 26. The race will feature live audio coverage and live timing and scoring on ARCARacing.com.
ARCA Celebrating 60th Anniversary Season
2012 is the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards’ 60th Anniversary Season, featuring 20 races at 18 tracks. The complete 2012 event schedule is available at ARCARacing.com.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned an ARCA national champion each year since its inaugural season in 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season. This year, the series visited Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway and Minnesota’s Elko Speedway for the first time.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in three professional touring series and local weekly events.
Griffin Hickman, ARCA
(419) 574-2685 (mobile)
Don Radebaugh, ARCA
(419) 450-0611 (mobile)