ARCA: Rivals No More; Kimmel and Ansell/Menards Move to Venturini Motorsports, Jones to Share Seat

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TOLEDO, Ohio — official team release — Venturini Motorsports photo —

Officials from Ansell Protective Products and Menards announced today that they will move their ARCA Racing Series team sponsorship program to Venturini Motorsports in 2015.

In addition to the team sponsorship announcement, Ansell and Menards disclosed that 10-time ARCA Racing Series champion Frank Kimmel would run a 10-race schedule in 2015, with development driver Brandon Jones driving the Venturini Motorsports Toyota Camry in the remaining 10 events. The car will be the No. 25, the flagship car of Venturini Motorsports.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to run for Venturini Motorsports,” Kimmel said. “Bill Sr. was a hero of mine growing up … certainly when I first started racing in ARCA. Billy and I had a more competitive relationship, but that’s only because we were racing against each other every week. He wanted to beat me and I wanted to beat him … that’s the way it should be.”

Kimmel has been sponsored by Ansell and Menards since 2009, including a championship season in 2013. Kimmel has finished among the top 10 in driver points for 23 consecutive seasons, dating back to 1992. In 490 career starts since 1990, Kimmel has 268 top-5 finishes and 368 top-10s, more than any other active driver in both categories.

“As the sponsorship world changes, we all know how difficult it is to run a full season, so we had to get creative with our sponsors Ansell and Menards,” Kimmel said. “It’s a situation where we all had to pool our resources to make this program go.”

Ansell and Menards will be co-primary sponsors on the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota for 15 events and each will serve as associate sponsors on the remaining five events.

“We’re really honored to have the opportunity to represent Ansell and Menards,” said Venturini Motorsports General Manager Billy Venturini. “They’ve done so much for the series over the years and we’re excited to continue that winning tradition this year in the ARCA Series.

“Working with Frank (Kimmel) will be incredible as we’ve never had a driver in our program as accomplished or experienced. It’s going to be quite a ride and I’m expecting great results. The combination of Kimmel and a talented, young and exuberant driver like Brandon Jones creates a great driver tandem which no doubt will translate to many on-track victories in 2015.”

Menards, the Wisconsin-based home improvement retailer, has supported auto racing at numerous levels for decades, including a large presence in ARCA the past six years.  In addition to the team sponsorship program, Menards has served as the ARCA Series presenting sponsor since 2010 and the title sponsor of the ARCA Toledo race in May.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to once again partner with the ARCA Racing Series,” commented Jeff Abbott, Promotions Manager and Spokesperson for Menards.  “It should be an exciting year working together with Venturini Motorsports, 10-time champion driver Frank Kimmel and developmental driver, Brandon Jones.  At Menards, we’re not just sponsors, but also big racing fans.”

Kimmel, ARCA’s all-time victory leader with 80 series wins, will attempt to capture his first victory at Daytona International Speedway when ARCA opens its 63rd season of competition on February 14. Daytona is one of just a handful of tracks the ARCA Racing Series visits where Kimmel has not won a race.

“Venturini Motorsports is competitive on the racetrack no matter where it is, and I know I’m very fortunate to be in their equipment,” Kimmel said.

Ansell Protective Products, the worldwide leader in hand protection, has partnered with Menards in the ARCA Series through a B2B relationship which has brought about the motorsports marketing program that has centered around Kimmel since 2009.

“We are excited to continue our official category sponsorship in the ARCA Racing Series” commented Jon Peddie, Director of Retail and Auto Aftermarket Sales for Ansell. “We are looking forward to working with such a strong team of Venturini Motorsports and our drivers, the incomparable Frank Kimmel and  Brandon Jones.  Our customers are big race fans and so are all the people at Ansell.  We can’t wait for the season to begin.”

Kimmel will be a driver, mentor, coach and spokesman at Venturini Motorsports. In addition to Daytona, Kimmel is expected to compete at Toledo Speedway; both Pocono events; Michigan International Speedway; Chicagoland Speedway; Berlin Raceway; the mile dirt tracks at both Springfield and DuQuoin, and the fall Salem event.

“It was a little hard for me at first knowing I wouldn’t get the chance to drive the 44, but the more I thought about it … the opportunity to drive the 25 is huge. That number has been in ARCA for a long time, and after I started thinking about it, it’s really a privilege to be able to drive the car. I’m actually really excited about it.”

Jones, the Richard Childress Racing development driver who won two of the three ARCA events he entered in 2014, will mix his 10 ARCA races in with starts in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

“I am very happy to be joining Venturini Motorsports for the 2015 ARCA season. Venturini has consistently been the premier ARCA team for many years,” said Jones.  “I am equally excited to have 10-time ARCA Series champion Frank Kimmel as a teammate. With Frank’s and Venturini’s experience I am confident I can win more ARCA races this year.”

Jones, who will turn 18 on February 18, 2015, will kick off his 2015 ARCA schedule at Mobile International Speedway on March 14. His ARCA schedule will include the April Salem race event; Nashville; Talladega; New Jersey; Winchester; Iowa; Lucas Oil Raceway; Kentucky and Kansas.

“It’s really neat to be able to weave Brandon Jones into the fold,” Kimmel said. “He’s a very exciting and talented young racer.”

CREDIT: Venturini Motorsports

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