SALEM, Ind. – official release — ARCA photo — Nine-time Salem Speedway winner and local guy Frank Kimmel took advantage of his proximity to his home track with a test session Wednesday on the high-banked southern Indiana oval.
Kimmel, coming off a solid third place finish on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile dirt Monday, wanted to try out the new paving in turns three and four at Salem ahead of the next event on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour – the Federated Car Care Fall Classic presented by JayC Food Stores Saturday, Sept. 13.
“It’s definitely changed it some,” Kimmel said regarding the new pavement.
“Turns three and four are very smooth…no big bumps. It does seem to have a few more waves in it that it didn’t have before. There’s a pretty big bump going into three…I know they’re working on it. And there’s a pretty big bump coming off four…you can hear it. As far as the car wanting to get loose off turn four…that was better. It’s much improved all the way around three and four. The fast lane is still around the top, but the lower lane is improved too. Good news is…it’s still Salem and it’s still got all its character.
“It’s definitely smoother, we just need to get more ARCA cars on it and it will pick up more speed. It stayed slick most of the day. I’m anxious to see more cars on it. It’ll get more grip than what it had.
“It’s too soon to tell how many grooves we’ll get through three and four…I think in time, as smooth as it is, a bottom lane will come in. And, from what I could tell, the old three and four at Salem and the new three and four have a lot of the same characteristics. The tendency for the car wanting to go right to the top is still there.”
Kimmel and his Win-Tron Racing team actually unloaded to test Tuesday but rain prevented the team’s Ansell-Menards Toyota from getting out. With Win-Tron committed to the test, it was an easy drive over Wednesday for Kimmel, who lives about 20 minutes from the track.
“The Win-Tron crew worked their butts off all day to get consistency out of the car. From where we started to where we ended, we were much improved.
“The test was very beneficial. It was really the first all-out test that Mark (Rette/Crew Chief) and I got to do together. I think we figured out a better baseline to work from…of what I like in a car. And, this is a new car for me; I had never driven it, so we got some bugs out of it…things we won’t have to fool with when we come back for the race.”
With an upcoming weekend off from the ARCA Racing Series national tour, Kimmel’s headed back to the track this Friday and Saturday.
“My son Frankie’s coming home for the weekend so we’re going to let him race our late model at the Sportsdrome Friday night, then we’re headed up to the Speedrome in Indianapolis for the World Figure-8 show Saturday. I’ve got a friend I help with his Figure-8 car, so we’re going up there to give him a hand. I’m excited.”