ARCA racing: Kevin Swindell scores first career victory
By Dick Goss email@example.com July 21, 2012 11:02PM
Kevin Swindell (55) wins the ARCA Ansell ActivArmr 150 hosted at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday. | Paul Bergstrom ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 23, 2012 10:43AM
Expect the unexpected.
Kevin Swindell, who had made four 2012 starts in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards and not finished higher than 11th, started on the pole and never relinquished the cherished position as he kicked off the weekend of racing at Chicagoland Speedway by winning the Ansell ActivArmr 150 Saturday afternoon.
“We felt we had the best car,” said Swindell, the first wire-to-wire winner of an ARCA race since Ryan Hemphill in a rain-shortened event in 2004 at Kentucky. “We were able to run a lot in clean air and avoid trouble in traffic.
“I want to thank Venturini Motorsports. Those guys gave us a heck of a car.”
It was all part of a big anniversary weekend for Venturini, a Chicago-rooted family celebrating its 30th year in ARCA. Not only did Swindell, 23, earn his first career win in 11 starts, but his teammate, Brennan Poole, made things interesting before finishing second.
Poole started in the rear of the 34-car field and reached the top five by lap 27. On lap 69, he took the second spot from ARCA veteran Frank Kimmel, who would finish third, and remained there the rest of the way.
“Congratulations to the whole Venturini team,” said Poole, who is second in points behind fourth-place finisher Chris Buescher. “It was a blessing to come out with second. It’s fun to come from the back like that. But it does make the race harder because track position is definitely a key.”
Poole, a two-time winner this season, was as close to the leader as 0.775 seconds as the race wound down, but Swindell never wavered.
“I hope this win will help continue to prove I can do this,” Swindell said of racing stock cars. The Germantown, Tenn., driver won the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, which Tony Stewart won in 2002 and 2007.
“The sprint car stuff solidified my career there,” Swindell said. “They say the best of the best are in stock car racing, though, so that’s what I would like to do.”
Kimmel, third in points but without a victory this season, continues to pursue Iggy Katona for the all-time series win leader. Katona has 79 wins, Kimmel 74.
“That’s our goal, to catch Iggy,” Kimmel said. “For a while there in the past we expected to win. Today we were disappointed with third. That’s a good sign.”