March 11, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Frank Kimmel's streak of 387 consecutive starts in the ARCA Series will come to an end Saturday when he sits out at Mobile International Speedway.

The 10-time ARCA champion will shift from driver to coach and spotter at the Alabama half-mile track. Kimmel is 52, and said he knew the day he'd have to get out of the car would eventually come.

''As you get later in your career, things change. I feel very fortunate to have done this as long as I have,'' Kimmel said. ''I know I'm very lucky to have the career I do, but when it does finally happen, it's a little disheartening.''

The last ARCA race that Kimmel missed was the season-ending event at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1996. Since then, Kimmel has driven in every ARCA race.

He'll help Brandon Jones at Mobile. The two are sharing the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota this season, with each driver slated for 10 races.

Kimmel said he's still hopeful to get more races.

''If something turned around this year, and we secured the necessary sponsorship, I'm still very interested in driving the rest of the schedule,'' he said.

Kimmel has 491 career ARCA starts since his 1990 debut. He is the all-time winner in series history with 80 victories.


KV-COLETTI: KV Racing Technology has hired Stefano Coletti for its second car in the IndyCar Series.

Coletti tested with KVRT in February at NOLA Motorsports Park. He'll drive the No. 4 Chevrolet and make his IndyCar debut later this month at St. Petersburg.

The 25-year-old Monegasque will be teammates with Sebastien Bourdais, who Coletti idolized as a boy.

''I've always wanted to race in IndyCar and have the opportunity to live overseas,'' he said. ''It's a great opportunity to be on the same team as a driver like Sebastien Bourdais who is very experienced, very quick and a nice person to work with. I couldn't have asked for better for my rookie year.''

Coletti spent the last four years in the GP2 series, often in close contention for the championship. He won eight races - including one in the GP2 Asia series in 2011 - and one pole in 90 GP2 races.

''Stefano has shown he can win at a very high level during his time in GP2, and we were extremely impressed with his knowledge and feedback during the test last month,'' team co-owner Jimmy Vasser said. ''There will obviously be a learning curve, especially on ovals, but I think everyone feels that Stefano is up to the task.''


RAHAL-D-A LUBRICANT: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has signed D-A Lubricant Co. as the primary sponsor at New Orleans for Graham Rahal.

The privately owned heavy duty, and industrial lubricant compounder/blender has joined the team as a multi-year, major associate sponsor of Rahal's No. 15.

The partnership marks a return to Indy car racing for D-A Lubricant Co., which sponsored entries in the Indianapolis 500 from 1955 through 1958. It was the sponsor on Bob Sweikert's sixth-place car in 1956.

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