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ARCA: Race Report and Standings from Salem

20 April 1998

For Immediate Release
By Don Radebaugh

Frank Kimmel Takes ARCA Salem Honors		

Frank Kimmel drove Larry Clement's Advance Auto Parts-Riteway Industrial
Chevrolet to victory Sunday at Salem Speedway in the Kentuckiana Ford
Dealers 200 scoring his sixth career ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series victory
and first ever ARCA win on the half mile high-banked Indiana oval.    

Kimmel, from nearby Jeffersonville, Indiana, gave the local fans the
charge they were looking for when the current series point leader
crossed the final finish line three car lengths in front of Mark Gibson,
the only other driver on the lead lap.  "I want to thank all my fans for
standing behind us," said Kimmel in victory lane.  "We wanted this one
bad and I know you did too.  It's tough to survive here at Salem for 200
laps and your car has to be set up just right to do it.  Fortunately my
crew set me up with the perfect handle here today and it showed.  This
car would stick anywhere."

Josh Baltes, who led 12 laps, Dan Pardus and Rick Groetsch scored their
best career ARCA finishes after finishing third, fourth and fifth
respectively just one lap down.  Two-time ARCA winner Eric Smith
finished sixth while Cavin Councilor, in his first ARCA short-track
start, finished seventh ahead of Jeff Finley, Randy VanZant and Joe
Cooksey to complete the top ten.  

Kimmel was impressive all afternoon leading three times for 87 laps,
nearly half the distance.  However, Kimmel had his hands full for much
of the way having to fend off constant challenges from Bob Strait, Dill
Whittymore and Gibson.  Strait, who started the race from the pole, led
52 laps and was a constant threat until the 13-time ARCA winner got
caught up in a turn two accident trying to sneak underneath the spinning
car of Mike Lorz.  Whittymore, from nearby Seymour, Indiana, also had
his hometown contingent cranked up after leading 34 laps, but a brush
with the turn four wall ended his day while running second just 21 laps
from the finish.  Strait, Lorz and Whittymore were uninjured.  Gibson
was a show all in himself.  After crashing his primary car in an earlier
practice session, Gibsonís crew had to unload the backup car, plant a
motor beneath the hood and watch as the Winder, Georgia driver
methodically raced from the 29th starting position to challenge for the
win.  Dirt late model specialist John Gill led 15 laps and appeared to
be one of the drivers to beat until his engine expired on lap 63.  
The raced was slowed 13 times for 78 caution flag laps, all for fairly
minor incidents and debris.

Kimmel also picked up the Auto Value Parts Stores halfway leader award
while Gibson took the Thermo-Tec Cool Drive honors and the Hoosier Tire
Midwest Hard Charger award for advancing the most positions.  VanZant,
in his first ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series start, finished ninth to earn
the STP-Prestone highest finishing rookie award.


FRANK KIMMEL	       700
MARK GIBSON	       635 
BOB STRAIT	       535
ANDY BELMONT	       495 
JEFF FINLEY	       490
NORM BENNING	       415
BILL BAIRD	       370