The 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season has been unique for the Venturini Motorsports (VMS) team.
After several seasons of fielding at least one full-time driver for the series championship, the team focused its efforts on fielding its flagship No. 25 Ansell-Menards car in a split season for 10-time ARCA Racing Series champion Frank Kimmel and Richard Childress Racing Development Driver, Brandon Jones.
Both drivers were originally scheduled to split the 20-race ARCA schedule with 10 races each with Talladega reserved for Jones.
“Over the years, Frank has been one of our biggest rivals,” team co-owner Billy Venturini said. “We’ve raced him hard for race wins and championships, so it was a pleasant surprise when we were able to put this deal together at the beginning of the season. But we knew the way the deal was, we’d only have Frank for ten races. At Talladega, we have two young drivers in Brandon Jones and Cody Coughlin, and neither of them have a lot of drafting experience. We really pride ourselves in helping drivers develop the skills they need to go win races in an XFINITY or Cup car, which is why we worked so hard on this deal to get Frank on track at Talladega. It will be great to have his leadership to help our two young drivers in the draft, and he’ll have a great chance to get his third win at Talladega. Huge thanks to Menards, Richmond Water Heaters and 101 Ranch Records for jumping on board and making this happen.”
“I really want to thank Billy and all the sponsors for putting this deal together and giving me another race in one of the Venturini cars,” Kimmel said. “As a team, Venturini Motorsports had really fast cars at Daytona. Cody ran really strong, and although Brandon wasn’t in that race, Daniel Suarez was and we all had a shot to win. I think Brandon and Cody are both great young men and I can’t wait to get out there and work with them.
“Sometimes when you have a multi-car team you work extra hard to beat your teammates at the expense of beating everyone else. We’re going to make sure we don’t do that. We want to work together and get up front and then we’ll settle it among ourselves on the last lap.”
Menards is happy to extend its relationship with the Tide brand, a partnership that has seen the familiar orange and blue colors on many of the Eau Claire, Wis.-based retailer’s racecars over the years.
“Menards is excited to see both Frank Kimmel and Brandon Jones on the same track competing under the Menards name at Talladega. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Tide, Brandon Jones and Venturini Motorsports for the Talladega ARCA race.” said Jeff Abbott, Menards spokesman. “We have a longstanding relationship with Tide and are excited that they are involved with us at this great event.”
The No. 25 Ansell-Menards Toyota has finished among the top five in all three ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards events in 2015.
Kimmel started the season with a fifth-place run at Daytona while Jones scored a runner-up finish at Mobile and followed it with a fourth-place run in the series’ most recent event at Nashville. Jones will look to continue his top-five streak in this weekend’s Federated Auto Parts 200 at Salem Speedway.
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 is slated for 6 P.M. Eastern on Friday May 1. The race is will be broadcast on WSLM 97.9 FM, the Louisville area NASCAR station.