ARCA champion Kimmel relishing Homestead atmosphere
The open chapter in Kimmel's career began two years ago, shortly after he signed a deal to drive for the Thorsons' newly-formed ARCA team in 2012.
It was Kimmel's debut with crew chief Jeriod Prince and truck and car chief Rich Lushes -- a combination that's won six ARCA races over the last two years along with this year's title -- but the truck, which was plenty fast enough, was a non-starter when qualifying was rained-out.
"I'm sure Jeriod knows a whole lot more now about how I'd like the truck to feel, than he did then and I think we'll have something pretty good to work with because this is a truck out of Matt's stable. I can't wait to get started."
Kimmel will find that out Friday in a Toyota Tundra that looks virtually identical to Crafton's No. 88 Ideal Door / Menards Tundra -- and is also virtually a carbon copy of Kimmel's typical Menards-yellow ARCA car, though that Toyota is No. 44.
Kimmel has 13 career Truck Series starts, including his career-best eighth-place finish, at Daytona, for owner Bob Keselowski. His most recent Truck start was at Iowa Speedway in July, where he finished 20th.
"With the Truck owners' championship still up for grabs, one of the things that you're concerned about when you come in doing a one-off deal is messing any of the regulars up on their points racing and we definitely don't want to do that. But I think to be able to go down there with no pressure on us and most of the pressure off Matt and Johnny is having such a great fall run -- he's in contention to finish in the top two or three in points himself and that's just remarkable -- so this is a really special way to finish off our season."
Friday's 134-lap, 201-mile main event will be telecast live on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, preceded by The Setup pre-race show at 7:30. The live broadcast on MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio also begins at 7:30.Live timing & scoring for the day's events will be at www.nascar.com.