BROWNSBURG — Age didn’t matter during a great night of racing.
Hoosier Frank Kimmel, a veteran in the ARCA Racing Series from Clarksville, Ind., won his 75th race after a 75-race drought in the ARCA Messina Wildlife Animal Stopper 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Lucas Oil Raceway on Friday night.
“Thanks for Menards to sticking by me and giving me this opportunity to show that an old guy can still do it,” Kimmel said.
Pole-sitter Matt Crafton looked like the car to beat early and looked like a rocket ship racing through the field, catching the end of the pack on Lap 12.
He continued to cruise through lapped traffic, leading the field until he appeared to scrape the wall coming into Turn 4 on Lap 50. As Crafton came between Turn 1 and Turn 2 on Lap 51, he got loose and wrecked hard into the wall, ending his day.
Then it became a three-way battle between Kimmel, Chad Hackenbracht and Mason Mitchell. Hackenbracht took the lead on Lap 62 and would lead almost every lap until Mitchell took the lead on Lap 150.
Hackenbracht would have to pit again, just about 10 laps after his last stop and would lose several laps as his team worked on his car.
Kimmel took the lead on Lap 166 and pulled away slightly. He would be challenged by Mitchell and Brennan Poole down the stretch, but continued to have the better car on restarts, including one with three laps to go for his long awaited victory.
“We had a good handling race car after we made some adjustments, every time it got better and better,” Kimmel said. “We were able to cut through traffic and that made the difference.”
The victory was long over due.
“We don’t remember No. 74 it’s been so long ago, of course you don’t think it’s going to be that long, but that’s why I said people are so happy in victory lane. It’s hard to get here sometimes,” Kimmel said.