NST: NASCAR star Kahne returning to Elma

NASCAR star Kasey Kahne returning to Elma in July Brownfield Promotions Inc. is proud to announce NASCAR Nextel Cup star and Enumclaw native Kasey Kahne will be in Elma, Wash. for two nights of Northern Sprint Tour action in July. Like he was...

NASCAR star Kasey Kahne returning to Elma in July

Brownfield Promotions Inc. is proud to announce NASCAR Nextel Cup star and Enumclaw native Kasey Kahne will be in Elma, Wash. for two nights of Northern Sprint Tour action in July.

Like he was two years ago during his Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year season, Kahne will be at Grays Harbor Raceway July 28-29 for the Evergreen State Sprint Challenge.

The two nights cap off a busy "Northwest Speedweek" which consists of five races in six nights at four tracks in two states. The week starts July 24 at Southern Oregon Speedway before traveling to Cottage Grove Speedway July 25, and then Willamette Speedway July 26.

July 27 is the only night without racing during the week, but there will still be plenty of action that night with the second annual "Beach Hut Vacations Speedweek Fanfest Party" at Grays Harbor Raceway. This free event will include a meet, greet and autograph session with drivers, live music, plenty of food and drink as well as favorite driver and best appearing car competitions.

When on-track action returns July 28, the best drivers in the Northwest will be battling each other as well as Kahne, the 1997 Rookie of the Year in the Northern Sprint Tour.

If 2004 serves as any indication, a sellout crowd is expected to be on hand for the two nights of racing. There is the potential to seat as many as 10,000 fans if needed in Elma.

Tickets will be available starting Monday, May 22 by calling 1-800- 825-4832. Reserved seats are $20 per night.

While plenty of eyes will be watching Kahne, BPI and NST founder Fred Brownfield said there will be plenty of strong competitors like Roger Crockett, Billy Nutter, Dale Smith, Travis Rutz, Joe Ramaker and more for Kahne to contend with.

"This will give him an opportunity to race against the best guys in the Northwest," Brownfield said of Kahne. "It's not a cakewalk, no matter how good you are."

Kahne notched his first Nextel Cup win last year in Richmond, Virginia and has had a hot start to 2006. So far Kahne has two wins this season and currently sits third in points, 51 out of the lead, heading into the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday in Talladega, Ala.

"I think last year's rough season was probably good from the standpoint he now knows what that feels like, and he don't like that," Brownfield said. "He's using that as a stepping stone. He's in a better position now to do the job."

Kahne grew up racing around the Northwest. His father, Kelly, has been a longtime Northwest Sprint car owner. Kasey has followed the tradition by owning a Sprint car team that competes on a national basis.

"For me it's important because I know how important it is to Kasey," Kelly Kahne said. "I've raced Sprint cars most of my life, so I have a deep love of them myself. To see him still get in them and still have the enjoyment is neat. He is going to be after it, guaranteed."

Kahne will be driving a car built by his Kasey Kahne Racing team for the Elma races.

Kahne's mother Tammy, who runs her son's fan club as well as his online store (www.kaseykahnestore.com) and a store front at 726 Roosevelt Ave. in Enumclaw, said Kasey will be having a fan club picnic July 30. The event is only open to fan club members.

Before that event, Tammy Kahne is ready to watch her son kick up some dirt in Elma.

"I'm very excited," she said. "Sprint cars are one of my favorite types of racing. I love the dirt tracks. I always have. I've been around them so long. You get all dirty. It's great."

Likewise, Kasey's dad is looking forward to seeing his son take on the Northwest's best Sprint car drivers.

"I think it will be wonderful," Kelly Kahne said. "I can't wait for him to get back here again, and to watch him race a Sprint car again."

Brownfield is proud that Kahne will be racing again in Elma.

"He's never forgotten his roots," Brownfield said. "He likes performing for the fans of the Northwest."

The 2006 Northern Sprint Tour season kicks off this weekend with two races. On Friday, April 28, Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore. will play host to the series opener. The tour then travels north to race in Elma on Saturday, April 29.

-nst-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Kasey Kahne