By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
Frank Kimmel has set a record that more than likely will never be touched again. 80 career wins in the ARCA Menards Series with his last win coming at Kansas in 2013. At Kansas, Ty Gibbs captured his 10th career victory. That’s just 12.5% of Kimmel’s record.
The drivers first through more than likely 11th on the all-time wins list are more than likely safe from having their record broken. With 16 races remaining in the ARCA Menards Series season, Gibbs could very well advance to the next level with 20 wins to his credit. Kimmel won his 20th career win in 2000, 21 years ago. Gibbs hadn’t even been born yet.
Iggy Katona (79), Jack Bowsher (49), Nelson Stacy (43), Tim Steele (41), Les Snow (34), Ramo Stott (27), Bob Keselowski (24), Harold Smith (23), Jack Farris (21), and Marvin Smith (21) all are grateful that very few drivers spend their career in ARCA because their records stand. On this list, Steel earned his record-setting victory most recently winning in 2001 at Talladega. M. Smith, Farris, H. Smith, and Keselowski all could see Gibbs break their record but Gibbs would have to win every race from Toledo to Kansas. If he does that, he’ll be one victory below Stott which would put him eighth on the all-time wins list.
Gibbs is currently in a six-way tie in 31st on the all-time wins list with Russ Hepler, Moose Myers, Dean Roper, Parker Kligerman, and Chris Buescher.
The only drivers higher than Gibbs to win from 2000 and beyond are Grant Enfinger (16), Ken Schrader (18), and Bob Strait (16). As noted above Kimmel and Steele tallied their record-setting victory in the 2000s. A small number of just three drivers have earned their 15th+ victory in the 2000s.
He is in a league of his own though when it comes to active drivers. With Michael Self leaving ARCA for TransAm and Chandler Smith focused on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title with Kyle Busch Motorsports, Gibbs is the highest all-time winner who is currently active. Sam Mayer will be running for Bret Holmes Racing this season and he sits 71st all-time tied with eight other drivers with just five victories.
Corey Heim, a rival to Ty Gibbs for the ARCA Menards Series championship this season sits 95th on the all-time wins list. He’s the only other active driver on this list with more than one victory at three. Drew Dollar, Bret Holmes, and Ryan Unzicker all have one career victory.
With 16 races remaining in the season and who knows how many more in Gibbs ARCA career, he could very well reach levels that drivers haven’t been budged in many many years. From his performance in the very few NASCAR Xfinity Series races, its’ likely that much like the rest of ARCA drivers, their time here won’t be very long. The pace that Gibbs has set though is worth noting on a historical record. Drivers find their click and that is exactly what Gibbs has done in ARCA.