JOLIET, Ill. — Will Kimmel is going to be a very busy man Saturday.
Kimmel is scheduled to race in Saturday’s Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in suburban Chicago. The race begins at 3:45 pm ET.
But while most of his competitors will call it a day once the checkered flag drops, Kimmel’s day will just be half over.
He’ll catch a flight and jet down to Salem, Ind. — a distance of about 275 air miles — and land on a little airstrip (with the bigger-sounding name of Salem Municipal Airport) adjacent to turns one and two of Salem Speedway for Saturday night’s Federated Car Care Fall Classic. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 7:15 pm ET, although ARCA officials may give Kimmel a little wiggle room to get into his car so the race can start.
“I’ll just go as fast as I can when the race starts and hope it gets done early,” said Kimmel, who will drive for TriStar Motorsports in the Nationwide event. “As soon as it’s over, I’ll come out of the car, change on the way to the airport and get in a plane that’s running and ready when we get there.”
Then, as Kimmel said so succinctly, it’ll be “hammer down” en route to Salem.
Veteran ARCA driver Chris Bailey will practice Kimmel’s ride there and keep the seat warm until Kimmel arrives. If the Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland goes long, Bailey may also have to start the race for Kimmel.
Bailey is scheduled to qualify Kimmel’s ARCA ride and could start in his qualified position if that occurs. However, if Kimmel arrives before the green flag, he’ll have to start from the back of the field.
“If we make it back in time, we’ll be good,” Kimmel said. “I really think we’ve got a good shot to win it. … We’ve just gotta get there.”