R3 Motorsports will have Alex "Kid" Kennedy in the No. 23 St. Baldrick's/Media Master Dodge this weekend at Road America. The 19-year old resident of Aztec, N.M. is scheduled to make at least two other starts with the team in Watkins Glen and Montreal.
This will be his third start with the team in 2011 and second at the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In last year's event, Kennedy made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut recording an eye-opening 15th starting position in the 43-car field.
Throughout the race, he kept earning positions and found himself in the top 10 with less than 10 laps to go when he was tagged from behind after a restart. This sent him sideways where he was a sitting duck for another car coming out around a corner and was T-boned in the driver's door.
Four laps into the garage for repairs and he returned to finish 28th. This year, however, Kennedy knows what to expect and is looking forward to his return to Road America.
Included in the weekend's events is a St. Baldrick's Foundation Headshaving Fundraiser, scheduled to take place Friday evening at 6 p.m. on the Road America grounds. Word is a few of the R3 Motorsports team members might be donating their cranial follicles to the cause.
Fast Facts: Kennedy is making his ninth career NNS start, third of the season with R3 Motorsports and second at Road America. His best finish took place at Watkins Glen last year when he finished 16th at the Central New York road course.
Track Facts: In this race last year, Kid Kennedy's 15th-place qualifying effort garnered him some good attention for his NNS debut race, which is still his best to date. After that late-race tap from behind sent him spinning, then t-boned on the left side sending him into the garage for repairs, he still managed a 28th-place finish.
Car Facts: Walter Giles and team are bringing chassis No. 50 to Road America. This is a new car to the R3 Motorsports stable taking to the track for the first time.
Close shave for St. Baldrick's? As part of his association with the St. Baldrick's Foundation, Racing to Find a Cure, Kennedy will take part in the Headshaving Fundraiser on Friday night at Road America. Money is raised via donations and pledges by people willing to have their heads shaved for the cause. As of right now, two members of the R3 Motorsports crew hope to partake in the event if time allows. No word on Kennedy's participation - yet.
Tune in for the Win: There are two practice sessions on Friday at Road America before qualifying takes place 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. Fans can catch the race action on ESPN for all 50 laps beginning at 5 p.m.
Alex Kennedy Quotes: "I am looking forward to getting back on the track at Road America. We had a great run in the No. 23 of R3 Motorsports last year before that deal at the end, so I'm looking for a little personal redemption in Wisconsin.
"The best part is I'm going back to a track I've run before and I know Walter and the crew have done a great job in building our Media Master/St. Baldrick's Foundation Dodge for all the twists and turns. I'm going to use every lap to get better and better during practice and then the race.
"As far as me shaving my head for the St. Baldrick's Headshaving Fundraiser, all I'm going to say is - I love watching them take place - and leave it at that. They do a great job and raising money for their cause for children's cancer is incredible."