What’s better than recording your record-breaking 80th win? Clinching an unprecedented 10th series championship at the same time. As of last Friday’s race at Kansas Speedway, Frank Kimmel is officially the most winning competitor in ARCA Racing Series history.
"This is kind of a dream come true, to win the championship and get our 80th win on the same day," Kimmel said in victory lane. "It's a great day for us, a great day for Ansell and Menards. It's a cool day."
Kimmel had previously been tied with Iggy Katona, at 79 wins apiece, prior to completing the Kansas race. Officials were forced to shorten the Kansas Lottery 98.9 by 34 laps, with inclement weather approaching.
"I saw the lightning off behind the grandstands," Kimmel said. "I'm glad I didn't have to make the call, but I was happy about it.”
A crucial pit stop on lap 20 allowed Kimmel to stay out when the other leaders pitted. As the result, he was the leader at the halfway point as well as when the call was made to end the race at lap 65.
"Jeriod (Prince/crew chief) made that call," Kimmel said. "Once we got out front, we were really fast."
Second place went to Mason Mitchell in the No. 82 Happy Cheeks Ford, followed by John Wes Townley, pole-sitter Dylan Kwasniewski, and Justin Boston of the Venturini Motorsports camp. Townley put on a good race, and was hoping to bookend the season after winning the opener in Daytona. Spinning during qualifying, had the No. 15 Zaxby’s Toyota starting in 15th, though.
Mitchell was another great story this year, finishing the season with nine consecutive top 10 finishes. The 19-year old made his debut last year, and earned quite a few points in the SCOTT Rookie Challenge. However, it appears Boston will take the rookie of the year honors, as he ended the season with the most points in part due to the fifth place finish in the No. 25 ZLOOP Computer & Recycling Toyota. Also of note, James Hylton, who finished 18th, bid farewell after the Kansas race. The 79-year-old spent six decades in the sport.