ARCA: Frank Kimmel takes Toledo; Scott Baker fatally injured
24 June 2000
Toledo, OH--Frank Kimmel won the Jasper Engines & Transmissions ARCA 150 Friday night at Toledo Speedway, a race marred by the death of Holland, Michigan driver Scott Baker. Baker, running eighth at the time, made contact with an inner tire barrier just past the start-finish line just after he completed his 146th lap of the 150-lap event, and was transported to St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo where he was pronounced dead. Kimmel, in Larry Clements Advance Auto Parts-Pork White Meat Chevy, took the lead for good on lap 115 and stretched his advantage to 10 lengths over Tim Steele before the red flag halted the event for good on lap 149 resulting from Bakers accident. Steele was credited with second ahead of Brian Ross in the Damons RV Chevy in third while Bobby Gerhart and Mark Gibson completed the top-five in fourth and fifth respectively. We sure werent looking for victory under these circumstances, said an emotional Kimmel in victory lane. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bakers and its tough to get beyond that at this point. Im happy for all the guys that work so hard on this deal but we cant see any cause for celebration here at the moment. Were awful worried about Scott (Baker), he took a hard lick out there. Talladega Pole Award winner Tim Steele, in the HS Die-Softech Ford, led at the onset with Ross, Kimmel, Kirk Shelmerdine and Joe Cooksey in tow before Kimmel charged ahead to challenge. After working on Ross for a half dozen rounds, Kimmel raced into second and soon reeled in Steele. With Steele firmly encamped in the bottom groove, Kimmel took off for the high-side and raced side-by-side with the leader for 10 laps before taking command of the top-spot on the 42nd lap. Kimmel led through lap 91 before a caution flag, one of 7 in the race, gave the Jeffersonville, Indiana driver the opportunity to head down pit road for service. While Kimmel, Steele, Ross and point leader Bob Strait came down pit road for new rubber and a splash of 76 racing gas, the rest elected to stay out. When racing resumed, Andy Belmont, in the AOL Ford, led with Shawna Robinson in the Kmart Ford running second. Belmont led 4 circuits before Robinson, nursing a broken right shoulder and two broken ribs, charged underneath to lead lap 96. Robinson, who had led no laps in ARCA competition prior, was now in command with the lapped car of Shelmerdine lined up in her mirror ahead of Belmont, Cooksey and Gerhart while Kimmel and Steele, from the tail-end with new tires, quickly raced through the pack to join the mix. Robinson led 19 laps before Shelmerdine maneuvered her out of the way opening the door for Kimmel, Ross and Steele as well. With Robinson and Belmont on older tires and beginning to fade, Steele passed Ross for second, and with time running out, set his sights on Kimmel. Steele slowly whittled away at the eventual winners advantage but ran out of time when the red flag appeared signaling the end of the race. Belmont wrestled sixth away from Robinson who held on for seventh in front of Cooksey, Eric Smith and Strait to finish out the top-10. Gerhart, who started 17th, won the Hoosier Tire Midwest Hard Charger Award for advancing the most positions as well as the Thermo-Tec Cool Drive Award for his efforts.