CHINA GROVE, N.C. (July 12, 2010) – Alex "Kid" Kennedy will be making a return run with R3 Motorsports for this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway. The recent high-school graduate of Aztec, N.M. will pilot the No. 23 MediaMaster Chevrolet under the lights of the 1.25-mile tricky oval on Saturday night.
Kennedy made his first NNS start at Road America last month posting the 10th-fastest time in the final practice, qualified 15th and was running 10th with nine laps remaining before getting taken out from behind and t-boned by another car to finish 28th. While the final result was no indication of the driver and team’s efforts, it showed Kennedy had what it took to get the job done.
While this will be Kid Kennedy’s first-ever start at Gateway, he’s already shown a prowess on short tracks. During his top-10 points finish of the 2009 K&N Pro East Series season, he earned respectable marks during his eight short-track starts.
Fast Facts: During those eight short-track starts in the K&N Pro East Series through the last two years, Kennedy has earned an average 14.5 starting position. The driver of multiple K&N Pro East and West, Late Model and Legends races on oval track and road courses will be making his second NNS-career start; and first ever at Gateway.
Car Facts: Steve Plattenberger and team are rolling out chassis No. 43 for this weekend’s race. Last used at Texas Motor Speedway in the fall of 2009, the car has been refurbished and updated. This will be the first time the car has seen on-track action this season.
Update on the O.P.: After 18 races on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, R3 Motorsports sits 28th in the Owner’s Points standings. They trail the No. 6 team by six points in 27th place, the No. 09 by 20 points in 26th place and the No. 87 by 27 points in 25th place.
Did you know: Only one, of 13, races has been won from the pole (Martin Truex, Jr. 2004) at Gateway, but four drivers have won from the outside pole. The furthest back anyone has qualified and gone to Victory Lane was 18th place; done by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in 1999.
Come see Kid Kennedy: Alex will be joined by several NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series drivers for an autograph session starting at 3:15 p.m. (CT) at Gateway International Raceway.
Alex Kennedy quotes
How do you feel about getting back into the No. 23 car with R3 Motorsports:
"I can’t wait. The team was great to work with at Road America and I wish we could have had a better finish than how it ended. But, I’m going to do my best to show them and my fellow drivers I’m capable of running on oval tracks and road courses. I’m going to learn all I can in practice, do my best in qualifying and race as hard as I can to get a good finish for this team."
You’re making your second Nationwide Series start, but first ever at Gateway. The track is a bit tricky, any worries:
"Actually, I’m not worried about figuring out the track. Last year in the K&N East Series races, I was going to a new race track almost every week having to learn the fast way around them, too. We’ll just take our No. 23 MediaMaster Chevrolet to Gateway and I’ll work with Steve (Plattenberger, crew chief) and the rest of the R3 team to get comfortable. We really hit it off the last time I was in the car, so I’m confident we can do the same this weekend."