Frank Kimmel won the Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, capturing his 75th career ARCA series win. In addition, Kimmel ended a streak of 75 races without a win.
“This is a great win for me and the [Frank] Kimmel family,” said Kimmel.
Kimmel started the race in 8th position and was not a major factor in the beginning of the race. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Matt Crafton captured the pole with a lap of 22.204 seconds (111.223 mph) and established a new ARCA qualifying record at the track. Crafton immediately charged to the lead at the start of the race and completely dominated the first 50 laps of 200 lap feature. But as ran down the main straightaway on lap 51, he cut his driver-side front tire sending him to turn one wall.
Crafton, who has 11 prior Truck Series starts and an ARCA start at the Lucas Oil Raceway. Crafton finished a disappointing 32nd in his ARCA appearance at Lucas Oil last year, finished in 31st in this year edition.
Crafton’s misfortune opened the door to Mason Mitchell and Chad Hackenbracht who put on a show battling for the lead seeming lap after lap. Hackenbract just not having enough to pass. After caution and pits, Hackenbract took a brief lead with Frank Kimmel taking second after a quick pit stop.
Eventually Mitchell worked his way back into the lead passing both and Kimmel and Hackenbract. But once again, ARCA racing legend Frank Kimmel seemed to be shot out of a canon and passed Mitchell on 157.
Caution came out on lap 162 and on the restart once again, Kimmel instantly shot to the lead and looked to be cruising to the victory when one last caution came out on lap 193. Rookie, Mason Mitchell was in second place. For Mitchell this was his second ARCA race but the veteran Frank Kimmel again shot to the lead as Mitchell spun his tires on the restart and eventually finished in 5th place.
“Rookie mistake,” said Mason. “You live and learn.”
Mason will wait for another day to win his first race. For now Kimmel will savor his long awaited victory.
“It is almost like our first win,” said Kimmel summarizing his historic 75th ARCA victory.
The ARCA series will race Allen Crowe 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday, August 19.
1. Frank Kimmel
2. Tom Hessert
3. Kevin Swindell
4. Brennan Poole
5. Mason Mitchell
Story by: Kevin Proot
Photos by: Larry Vancil and Kevin Proot