A Good Track Record: Kemenah Looks to Build on Strong Start to 2008 at Virginia Motor Speedway Jamaica, VA-- May 23, 2008-- No Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series driver has had more success at Virginia Motor Speedway than...
A Good Track Record: Kemenah Looks to Build on Strong Start to 2008 at Virginia Motor Speedway
Jamaica, VA-- May 23, 2008-- No Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series driver has had more success at Virginia Motor Speedway than Chad Kemenah. He is one of just three series drivers that has competed at the track located in Jamaica, Virginia. He set the track record for a 410-sprint car in time trials in his lone trek to Virginia Motor Speedway, also winning a heat race and then finishing second in the A-Feature.
The 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year will look to use this experience at the high-banked half-mile on Saturday, May 24 as the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series makes their inaugural visit to the state of Virginia for the Armed Forces Appreciation 30. It will mark just the second 410-sprint car event ever held in the history of the track.
"The facility is beautiful and the racing was pretty good the time we were out there," said Kemenah of his visit to the track with the All Star Circuit of Champions in 2004. "It's been a while since we have been out there. The main thing I remember is that the facility was phenomenal. It's a really nice place."
While the track is a high-banked half-mile like Eldora Speedway in Ohio and Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York, it does not really resemble those tracks other than in the height of the banking. Kemenah hopes that his experience at the track will be beneficial when the cars roll out for time trials, which is always vital to having a good night at a big, fast half-mile. It will be one of four tracks the series visits for the first time this season and the only new half-mile on the schedule.
"It's not really similar to anywhere else we go," noted the native of Findlay, Ohio who drives the Kantor Oil Company Maxim. "It's a very big track. I don't know if it really helps having raced there against these guys, because they all adapt pretty quick. Hopefully it won't hurt us either."
Kemenah enters this weekend solidly in the Top-10 in World of Outlaws championship points, as he is eighth on the strength of four Top-Five finishes. He is just 46 markers out of the Top-Five, and earned a season-best third-place finish at Lernerville Speedway on May 13. He also has one fast time honor to his credit this year, stopping the clocks first at I-55 Raceway in Missouri last month, the same track he earned his first career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at in 2005.
"It's going right now a little better than we had hoped," said the four-time All Star Circuit of Champions title winner of the start to the 2008 campaign. "Other than a couple of times we have had some misfortune and not finished, it's been going pretty good. We want to win, but if we can stay consistently in the Top-Five and Top-10, the wins will come."
Prior to the season, the Hard Eight Racing team which is owned by Jon Kantor moved from Oklahoma to Ohio and now operates out of Kemenah's shop. They also hired veteran crew chief Mike Cool to turn the wrenches and that has quickly began to pay dividends.
"That's been the biggest thing no doubt," Kemenah said of Cool's addition to the team. "He is good at what he does. He has this team turned around and right now we are competitive. It feels good to get to the track each night and know that you are competitive."
Just like every other driver competing with the World of Outlaws in 2008, Mother Nature has been Kemenah's biggest opponent this season. Having some new variables on the team, each time they are able to race helps lessen the learning curve and build momentum. During a couple of breaks in the World of Outlaws schedule this spring, the team competed in Central Pennsylvania to get more track and to prepare for the series always tough races at Williams Grove Speedway.
"It's hard to stay active, when you are sitting around watching it rain," he said. "There has been a lot of that this year. Hopefully that's all past now and we can get some racing in. It's tough racing once then going back to the shop for two weeks. Mike (Cool) doesn't get to see what I like and we don't get to see what he likes and doesn't like when we are not racing. Hopefully we can get all of that figured out pretty quick when we get back to racing."
For Kemenah, the race at Virginia Motor Speedway will be his 12th on a half-mile this season. He finished sixth in his last start on a high-banked half-mile, which came at Eldora Speedway at the end of April. In his career, he has five wins on half-mile tracks, both at Eldora and at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida.
"The race track is a little bit differently shaped," he recalled of Virginia Motor Speedway. "It was a little slick as well. Turn two seemed liked the one that everyone had a little trouble with. There should be some good racing there."
After a podium finish at Lernerville Speedway last week, Kemenah had a strong run at Williams Grove Speedway, coming from the 27th starting spot after taking a provisional to finish in the Top-15, against one of the toughest fields of cars the series will face all season. He looks to keep this early season momentum going on Friday night at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway followed by the series inaugural stop at Virginia Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
"Anytime you run in the Top-Five makes it a good night," he said. "Hopefully we can get better than the Top-Five and get a win."
On Saturday, May 24 at Virginia Motor Speedway, general admission tickets for adults will be $35, with general admission tickets for seniors (ages 60-over) as well as military personnel $32, with general admission tickets for students (ages 13-17) $25, with general admission tickets for children ages 7-12 just $15, and kids ages 6-under will admitted free of charge with a paying adult. Reserved tickets will also be available for $40. For tickets visit: www.vamotorspeedway.com/tickets or call (804) 758-1867.