Barnes Takes Polar Bear 150 Victory at Rockingham Speedway
Victory was third in four years for Louisville, Ky. driver
Track PR

Chuck Barnes, Sr. overcame an early-race spin to edge Frank Kimmel II by a nose to take the victory in the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals (FKSSN) Polar Bear 150 at Rockingham Speedway.

The win is Barnes' third Polar Bear victory in four years.

"I was prepared to take second," said Barnes from Rockingham Speedway's victory lane. "He was a little better than me on those longer runs. He just got loose, and I just got underneath him in (turn) four on that last lap."

The .016 seconds margin-of-victory was the closest at Rockingham Speedway since Matt Kenseth edged Kasey Kahne by .010 seconds in the last NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the track in 2004.

"We really got lucky today," said Barnes about the lap 33 incident that sent his car around in turn one. "It's tough racing with all these lap cars with some running 50 miles per hour slower than others. But it's fun passing all those cars on a track like this."

"It seemed like I was terrible off of (turn) three," said a dejected Kimmel. "But since it was so loose, the car continued to turn through four, which made it really fast down the front stretch. I could pass him down the front, because we had a little more motor. My game plan was to be second at the white flag, and pass him on the last lap and keep him on my outside. It just didn't work out that way."

Kimmel had to overcome troubles of his own to be in position to win.

His No. 72 Chevrolet cut a right rear tire during a caution period on lap 104. When the race resumed Kimmel found himself in 12th place, the last car on the lead lap. But Kimmel only needed 27 laps to work his way back to the front.

That the race came down to a last lap battle between Barnes and Kimmel was fitting as they were the only two to lead laps on the day. They officially swapped the lead 17 times in the 150-lap event.

Cliff Gaumond, running only his third FKSSN race, finished third.

"I didn't know how much to push it right away because I didn't want to ball it up in the beginning," said Gaumond. "Because I don't have a lot of experience in these cars, I was riding at 90% for most of the race, and when I turned it on I just didn't have enough to get them."

Clint Watkins and Tony Conway rounded out the top five in the final running order.

The race was slowed 11 times for 57 laps. Of the 54 cars that started the race, 10 were on the lead lap at the end.


Chuck Barnes Sr. (No. 5) used a turn four pass to edge Frank Kimmel II by .016 seconds in the Polar Bear 150 at Rockingham Speedway. (: Andy Cagle/Rockingham Speedway Photo)