Sweepstakes Winners Enjoy Weekend With Kimmel Racing At Daytona ARCA Event

By: Blane Burnett02/23/2016 < Back to Blog Home
A waving green flag signified the start of the 2016 ARCA season Valentine’s Day weekend at Daytona International Speedway, much to the satisfaction of die-hard fans. It was also a prime opportunity to introduce two ACCEL sweepstakes winners to their first Daytona experience!

Cathy Rantz and Adam Monteleone from New Orleans, Louisiana were the winners of our Accel $10k Daytona Racetrack Experience Sweepstakes. Their prize? An all-expense paid trip to the Daytona ARCA race as well as a $10,000 shopping spree toward Holley/MSD/Accel products!

Cathy and Adam stepped off their Delta flight at Daytona International Airport on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend with the Holley/MSD/Accel folks. They would have the rare opportunity to get an inside look at the ARCA season opener race at Daytona's famous tri-oval. Over the course of the weekend, Cathy and Adam would meet the fine folks at Kimmel Racing. Driver Will Kimmel happily showed them around their rig, explaining their family’s racing history along with the ins-and-outs of what it takes to make it in the ARCA series.

Kimmel was behind from the very start at Daytona, having lost both of their regular racecars at a testing event less than a month earlier. The whole crew hustled to build a new car and make it to the race, spending the first couple days of practice familiarizing themselves with the new car and dialing it in. Kimmel ran mid-pack during the Thursday’s practice. The crew made several changes to the car in preparation for the final hour long practice session at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning. When asked if he felt positive heading into the final practice, Kimmel half chuckled a reply, “Ask me how I feel at 10:30!”

Evidently the crew’s changes paid off, as Kimmel led the practice session, matching the exact time and top speed of Thursday’s top driver, Chase Briscoe (#77 car) of Cunningham Motorsports, with a 47.543 second lap and 189.302 miles per hour. Qualifying drew to a close that afternoon, with Kimmel slated to start Saturday's race in 9th position in a 40 driver field.

That evening Cathy and Adam joined Will and the Kimmel family for dinner and shared in the positive vibes of the practice earlier that day.

Saturday gave Cathy and Adam an experience they’ll never forget. After arriving at the pits that morning, they were introduced to several teams during pre-race preparation which included fueling up, moving tires around, and setting their pit crews up in qualifying order on grid. The fans were allowed on pit road prior to the start of the race, and things kicked off at following the singing of "God Bless America."

Kimmel enjoyed a safe race, working his way up from his qualifying position of 9th to 1st and led a good portion of the race. Unfortunately, a fuel miscalculation would mean an 18th place finish for Kimmel Racing. The crew finished this race on a positive note, however, with a sorted car in one piece, and the experience under their belt, prepping them for a solid run at the next ARCA race at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee.

Our sweepstakes winners were able to grab a bite to eat at the Rolex 24 Daytona Lounge shortly before the Sprint Unlimited race got underway following the ARCA 200. Cathy and Adam enjoyed viewing the race from the top of the newly renovated Daytona International Super Speedway venue.

Cathy emailed us shortly after returning home, letting us know that for her and her godson Adam "it was truly a once in a lifetime experience."