Kemenah Looks to Continue Success on Short Tracks Chad Kemenah cut his teeth racing on the short tracks of Ohio and after four consecutive events on tracks that were at least a half-mile in length he will have the chance to return to a true ...
Kemenah Looks to Continue Success on Short Tracks
Chad Kemenah cut his teeth racing on the short tracks of Ohio and after four consecutive events on tracks that were at least a half-mile in length he will have the chance to return to a true bullring this weekend with the World of Outlaws.
After earning a solid ninth-place finish on the largest track on the World of Outlaws schedule, the sprawling 5/8-mile Orange County Fair Speedway in New York last week, Kemenah will look to extend his string of strong runs on short tracks on Friday and Saturday as the series head north to Princeton Speedway in Minnesota, a high-banked tight ¼-mile for the Princeton PolyDome National on October 5-6.
Kemenah finished sixth in the series last event on a short track on September 16, at Charter Raceway Park in Wisconsin, which is a high-banked 1/3-mile and he was eighth the race prior to that at Heartland Park Topeka on a tight 3/8-mile track on September 14. Last season at Princeton Speedway, Kemenah finished 10th in the finale of the two-day event, after finishing 11th on the opening night with a very strong field of cars on-hand.
"We've been running pretty good lately," said Kemenah, driver of the Kantor Oil Company Maxim. "I like racing at Princeton and we did well over there last time. We'll go up there and try to get another Top-10. I would like to get a win for Jon Kantor (team owner) before the end of the season if we could. I think we are headed in the right direction."
While Kemenah has had a very strong set-up on short tracks this season, he is quick to credit his Hard 8 Racing Team for their hard work at all the tracks on the schedule. Despite being a ¼-mile, Princeton Speedway still requires a strong running engine with the speeds that are carried on the high banks, and Kemenah knows just how important that will be in time trials each night.
"The motors are always important," he noted. "The big thing is to have everyone on the team working together. That's probably the biggest plus for this team is that everyone is on the same page."
After joining Hard 8 Racing at the beginning of July, Kemenah has had the opportunity to work with veteran crew chief Ray Brooks for a couple of months. Along with his nephew A.J., who had been working with him the entire season, Kemenah is pleased with how well the team has gelled.
"We get along pretty good and that is important," said the reigning Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. "We have gotten used to figuring out what I like and what he (Brooks) is accustomed to. I've driven long enough now that I am pretty set in my way as to what I like. That's makes it a little more challenging sometimes. You are not just trying to explain something to someone that has never raced. All in all, things are going pretty well."
Kemenah heads to the Princeton PolyDome National solidly in the 17th spot in the World of Outlaws championship standings, on the strength of 13 Top-10 finishes. He earned a season-best third-place finish at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky earlier in the season, while driving his own No. 3X machine. He has two Top-10 finishes on ¼-mile tracks this season, at Riverside International Speedway in Arkansas and at Tri-State Speedway in Indiana. He earned his first Top-10 with Hard 8 Racing at Kings Royal at the famed Eldora Speedway in his home state of Ohio in just his fourth race with the team.
"We just need to be more consistent everywhere," explained Kemenah. "I don't think that we are better or worse on big or small tracks. It doesn't matter to us if we go to a big track or small track. If we can continue to run in the Top-10, we'll be happy."
With just seven events remaining on the 2007 calendar for the World of Outlaws, the series will only compete on the weekends, which gives Kemenah and his team extra time to do maintenance on their car each week and for travel. The four-time All Star Circuit of Champion titlist was also able to spend some time at home in Findlay, Ohio with his wife and two children before heading to Princeton Speedway.
"As a race car driver you always want to race as much as possible," Kemenah smiled. "It's getting to be that time of the season when the kids are in school and there is high school football and that stuff, so everything slows down. Everyone knows the end of the season is coming, that is just what happens."
As the season winds down, Kemenah looks to continue running strong, as he and the team begin to prepare for the 2008 campaign. Having won a World of Outlaws A-Feature event in each of the last two seasons, his goal is to extend that streak. Looking ahead to 2008, team owner Jon Kantor purchased the assets of Toni Lutar Racing out of Canada in August, which included a truck and trailer that, has given the team more storage room for an addition car as well as extra engines.
"Like I said, I would really like to get a win for Jon Kantor before the end of the season," said Kemenah. "If not, we need to get as consistent as we can and be in the Top-10."