Continuing to Close In: Kemenah Looks for First Win of 2008 at Skagit Speedway this Weekend Alger, WA-- August 28, 2008--It didn't take Chad Kemenah very long to get up to speed the first time he visited Skagit Speedway in 2006. He was fourth...
Continuing to Close In: Kemenah Looks for First Win of 2008 at Skagit Speedway this Weekend
Alger, WA-- August 28, 2008--It didn't take Chad Kemenah very long to get up to speed the first time he visited Skagit Speedway in 2006. He was fourth quickest in time trials on the opening night of the two-day event, racing his way into the Crane Cams Dash to earn a Top-10 starting spot in the A-Feature and ultimately finished fifth in the 40-lap main event. The following night he was second fastest in time trials and once more found himself in the Crane Cams Dash, and at the end of the night was fifth yet again.
He'll look to use the experience he gained in those two events, as the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series kicks off a very busy Labor Day weekend at Skagit on Friday, August 29 and Saturday, August 30. He and his team have plenty of notes from the high-banked three-tenths mile that they accumulated last season as well when they roll through the pit gate. Kemenah also is able to utilize notes from a couple of tracks back in the Midwest that remind him of Skagit, including one of his home tracks in the state of Ohio, where he finished fourth earlier this season with the World of Outlaws.
"It reminds me a lot of Attica, (Raceway Park in Ohio) but it has a wall around it," noted Kemenah when describing Skagit Speedway. "It's usually a really nice track and surface, especially racing wise. We'll just have to get qualified well and get a good starting spot and run up front."
Kemenah has been running very strong on short tracks this season and Skagit is the lone three-tenths-mile track on the 2008 schedule. He has finished in the Top-10 in every event on a quarter-mile or 1/3-mile this season with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series aboard the Kantor Oil Company Maxim. When asked is set-up is more important than horsepower at a track like Skagit, the veteran driver was quick to point out that a delicate balance is needed.
"You definitely have to have them both going there," explained the 2006 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. "You always need to have the horsepower, but you have to get the race car going around there too. Lately we have been fortunate we have been heading in that direction with the car."
While many drivers point to the second half of the season once the Knoxville Nationals and "Month of Money" are over as being more relaxed, Kemenah is just the opposite. He and his team are more focused than ever as they look to finish out the season on a very strong note. He would like nothing more than to get a win for his car owner Jon Kantor.
"I don't think any part of the World of Outlaws schedule is less stressful," Kemenah said with a smile. "When you have 20 of the best cars in the country out here, the stress is always up. It's just how you deal with it, is whether it effects you or not."
With a break in the schedule this week between the events at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton and the two nights of racing at Skagit Speedway in Washington, Kemenah was able to return home to Ohio to spend some time with his wife and children. The events at Skagit this weekend will begin a stretch of 12 races in an 18-day period for the World of Outlaws, as the season begins to wind down.
"My nephew A.J. (Havens) and I actually drove down to Seattle right after the Canada race and flew back home on Monday to spend some time at home," he shared. "It's good to get back home and spend some time with my wife and kids. We'll then fly back out on Friday morning. It definitely helps to get to spend some time at home with the family and get your mind off the race car for a few days."
Kemenah heads to Skagit Speedway a very solid seventh in championship points, on the strength of 27 Top-10 finishes with 10 of those being Top-Five performances. He earned a season-best runner-up finish last Friday night in the Oil City Cup at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton. He has finished ninth or better in four of the last five series events.
"We want to win first and foremost, but we have to learn how to be consistent before we can start winning," noted the four time All Star Circuit of Champions title winner. "The last three or four months, we have figured out how to be consistent and run up front. We've been close and we are going to win one for Jon Kantor (car owner) before the end of the season."
Kemenah has led 49 laps of A-Feature racing competition this season, which is the most of any driver that has yet to win a main event. With the season in its stretch run, Kemenah and his team are focused on running up front and picking up that elusive first win of the 2008 campaign. He has set fast time on three occasions this season and also has won the Crane Cams Dash twice to earn pole positions in A-Feature events.
"Everybody wants to win out here and unfortunately each night you only have one winner," commented the native of Findlay, Ohio. "Hopefully we can get one and maybe a couple will follow behind that. Right now we are happy that we are running in the Top-10 and that makes it better."
Kemenah has always been a very hands-on driver and for a majority of this season, he was not only driving the race car along with the truck and trailer, but also was doing a large portion of the routine maintenance on the race car, along with his nephew A.J. Havens. Toward the latter part of June they welcomed a new crew member and picked up a couple of Top-Five finishes immediately after he joined the team.
"For a while it was just my nephew and myself doing this for a couple of months," said Kemenah. "A.J. (Havens) has stayed with me through everything and we now have Adam (Brough) from back around home working with us. That took a load off of us. We can concentrate on doing one thing rather than 50 at a time. They have worked their tails off and hopefully we can get them a win. That would make the work a lot easier for everybody."
On Friday, August 29 at Skagit Speedway, adult tickets will be $35, with tickets for juniors (Ages 7-17), as well as seniors (Ages 65-over) and Military personnel $25, with kids ages 6-under $10. For ticket information visit: www.skagitspeedway.com/pages/tickets.
On Saturday, August 30 at Skagit Speedway, adult tickets will be $35, with tickets for juniors (Ages 7-17), as well as seniors (Ages 65-over) and Military personnel $25, with kids ages 6-under $10. For ticket information visit: www.skagitspeedway.com/pages/tickets.