R3 Motorsports press release
Alex “Kid” Kennedy finishes 23rd in Watkins Glen Nationwide Series race
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 13, 2011) – When the checkered flag finally flew over the 11-turn road course of Watkins Glen International on Saturday afternoon, Alex Kennedy and the No. 23 Primalyn Enterprises/Dream Factory Chevrolet overcame a lack of cautions and kept their nose clean to finish 23rd in the race.
During the two-hour practice session on Friday, Kennedy logged the 26th fastest time. He backed that up in qualifying on Saturday morning when he took the initial green flag 25th on the final grid.
Once the race started, Kennedy maintained his starting position before moving up two positions to 23rd place in the first four laps. On lap five, Kennedy overshot the bus stop turn and had to come to a complete stop before he could get back to racing through the carousel turn.
That cost him eight positions dropping the No. 23 down to 31st place. A scheduled stop on lap 13 brought Kennedy down pit road for fuel, four tires and tape off the grill because the car was running hot. Returning to action on lap 15, the No. 23 Chevrolet was now 35th on the scoring chart.
Green flag stops for the leaders started on the 16th circuit, showing others were taking a similar pit strategy in the early going.
By lap 25, Kennedy radioed into crew chief Walter Giles the running temperature was high. This forced another trip down pit road to remove more tape, but also a chance to add more fuel. Right after he got back on track, the yellow flag flew for a car stopped on the course.
Giles took this opportunity to once again hit pit road to top off the tank. This lined up Kennedy in the 32nd position, as one of 10 cars a lap down to the leaders, for the lap-28 restart.
From there, it was a battle forward as Kennedy was running 27th by the halfway point of the scheduled 82-lap race. By lap 50, he was up to 26th and had to pit under green for fuel and four tires under green two circuits later.
By this time, there were only 22 cars on the lead lap leaving little room for improvement in the running order. What got real interesting for Kennedy and the No. 23 Primalyn Enterprises/Dream Factory team was the fact they were running their fastest laps of the race from laps 60 to 68 as they ticked towards the checkered flag.
By lap 76, Kennedy was now up to 23rd place before being forced to pit road for fuel under green. This took place while the race leader hit pit road, as well, needing fuel to go the distance.
The driver from Aztec, N.M. was running the same lap times as the top-10 cars when the caution came out on lap 81 forcing a Green/White/Checkers finish. And, when the checkered flag finally waved to end the race on lap 85, Kennedy and team finished 23rd in the No. 23 Chevrolet.
Next weekend, Kennedy returns to the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports at Montreal.
Alex Kennedy Quotes: “This car was running just incredible about three-quarters of the way through as we were keeping up with some of the leaders, even though we were down a lap.
“I hate that we ended up having to pit for fuel there in the middle like we did, but you need to have that to race and make it to the end. I can’t believe there were only two cautions in the entire race. I mean, I’ve seen what’s happened here and in other road course races and was hoping we could’ve taken advantage of some more cautions to improve our running position.
“We had a good car and should have had a much better finish than what we showed here today at The Glen. That gives me a lot of encouragement when we race Montreal this coming weekend.”