Kimmel Racing started in 1949 when Bill Kimmel Sr. saw a good friend Cotton Priddy hauling his race car to Sportsdrome Speedway in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Bill Sr. would have a car of his own the very next week and Kimmel Racing was born. Bill Sr. raced through out the Midwest from Michigan to Florida, New York to Illinois and all points in between. He won over 500 feature events and over 12 track championships. Bill Sr. passed his racing abilities to his three son’s Thom, Bill Jr. and Frank.
Thom would compete against his dad and many other great drivers of the sixties before going off to service our country in the Vietnam War. Just before Thom left for the war he won a trophy dash at the old Danville Speedway that included Bill Sr., Charlie Glotzbach and Bobby Watson. It was obvious Thom was on his way to a great career before the war stopped him.
Frank and Bill Jr. followed their Dad in the late 70’s and 80’s. Frank would start driving before he ever had a driver’s license while Bill Jr. would continue to work on Bill Sr. car. Local late model racing shifted from the Louisville Fairgrounds to the Sportsdrome; Frank was racing in street stock division and Bill Sr. was really wanting Bill Jr. to start driving as he had most certainly ran his share of races.
Charlestown Speedway in Charlestown, Indiana opened in the mid 1980’s. Frank would compete in the late model class and win two championships in 1986 & 1987. Bill Jr. was racing full time now at the Sportsdrome in the car that Bill Sr.last drove.
Louisville Motor Speedway opened in 1988 –a ultra modern facility. Frank went full time to Louisville Motor Speedway while Bill Jr. stayed at the Sportsdrome and Charlestown Speedway, winning the 1989 Championship at Charlestown Speedway. Sportsdrome quit running late models in 1988. Charlestown Speedway closed in 1990 and Louisville Motor Speedway really grew bigger. Frank won Louisville Motor Speedway Championship in 1990, and moved to the ARCA Series where he is at today since 1992. Bill Jr. raced at Louisville Motor Speedway until 1998, winning Late Model Championship in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998. At the end of the racing season in 1998, Bill Jr. became Crew Chief for Frank in the ARCA Series beginning the 1999 season.
Frank won ARCA Championship in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
In 1998, Will Kimmel started his racing career in Mini-Cups. Will is the 2X Valvoline Champion, 2X National Open Champion, 2005 Salem Super Stock Rookie of the Year,
2006 Salem Speedway Super Late Model Rookie of the Year and 2007 Salem Speedway Super Late Model Champion. Will has over 90 feature wins.
Frank II also started his racing career in 1999 with Mini-cups. He was 2001 Future Star Champion, 2006 Sportsdrome Mini-cup Champion, 2007 Salem Street Stock Rookie of the Year.
As you can see with the thoroughbred line, Kimmel Racing is still going strong after 70 years.
We have had a lot of help over the years to help us reach these championships. Without each of you no matter how small or how big a part you played, we certainly do Thank You for making Kimmel Racing so special!