ARCA legend Frank Kimmel embarking on new career as a crew chief
Ten-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel is set to embark on a new chapter of his racing career.
Kimmel, who stepped away from driving two years ago, is going to venture into the role of crew chief this season for the first time in his career.
Kimmel will serve as a crew chief for Venturini Motorsports’ Toyota Racing aligned driver development program and will debut in his new role next month when he will serve as crew chief for driver Leilani Munter in the ARCA season opener Feb. 10 at Daytona International Speedway.
“These are exciting times for me,” said Kimmel, 55. “I never knew exactly what I was going to do after my driving days ended, but I knew the natural progression was to stay in the industry in some capacity.
“Fearing I’d go stir crazy sitting around, I’ve been talking with a lot of people lately looking for the right opportunity. When the chance came up with this deal I took it. Venturini Motorsports is a great organization with tons of young talent behind the wheel. Helping these young drivers will be fun and very fulfilling – I’m in a good place.”
Since exiting the car in 2016, Kimmel has maintained his prominence in the industry serving as driver coach, spotter and most recently as a consultant for the now-dissolved Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
During Kimmel’s 27-year ARCA career (1990-2016) he made 503 career starts, amassing 80-wins, 45 poles, 273 top-five and 374 top-10 finishes. Kimmel made 11 starts for Venturini Motorsports during the 2015 season.
“I’ve done a lot of work over the years with my son Frankie and a bunch with local drivers but this will be my first official role as crew chief,” Kimmel said. “Building and working on race cars is what I love to do. But sitting up on the pit box making the tough calls is a totally different game than driving the car.
“When you’re up there you see so much more – you see the race unfold and watch what the other teams are doing with pit strategy. It’s now my turn to make those calls.”
Team owner Billy Venturini said Kimmel’s experience and knowledge will only make their organization better.
“It’s hard to put into words how meaningful it is to be able to bring in a guy with such a meaningful legacy in our sport,” Venturini said. “The Kimmel – Venturini relationship goes back years. We were fierce competitors on the track – what started as a rivalry has evolved over the last few years into a strong friendship.
“I’ve got a tremendous amount of respect for Frank. His presence in the garage looms large – having him in our corner and working with these young up and coming drivers is a huge win for this team.”
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