From the Track to the Links: Chad Kemenah Ready for Wilmot Speedway Wilmot, WI--October 11, 2006-- There are a few reasons why Chad Kemenah does not look forward to late fall and early winter. First and foremost the change in temperature usually...
From the Track to the Links: Chad Kemenah Ready for Wilmot Speedway
Wilmot, WI--October 11, 2006-- There are a few reasons why Chad Kemenah does not look forward to late fall and early winter. First and foremost the change in temperature usually means that the racing season is winding down. Also, the cool and oftentimes wet weather presents less of a chance for him to hit the links and play a round of golf.
Kemenah, who is currently leading the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt, enjoys getting out on the golf course as often as he can. Though that is very difficult being a full-time racer, with the number of days and nights he spends at the race track over the course of the season.
Kemenah, will put any plans to golf this weekend on hold, as he will travel to Wilmot (Wisc.) Speedway on Saturday night for the World of Outlaws Sprint Series inaugural visit to the tight and racy 3/8-mile track. The event was originally scheduled for September 23but was postponed due to rain. With the hard work of World of Outlaws Officials and SLS Promotions, the fans in Wisconsin will have the chance to see the series for the second and final time this season.
For Kemenah, golf is not only about competing just as he does on the race track night in and night out, but also very much about having fun. It is a very relaxing activity for the 4-time All Star Circuit of Champions title winner.
"I like to get out on the course and get away from everything," said the driver of the Underground Utilities Inc/RacinSoles.com Eagle. "You shut your cell phone off, and just go out and enjoy yourself. It's fun to hit the ball around and to chase it."
The type of season that Kemenah is having on the track can usually be gauged by how often he is found on the golf course. If he hits the links a fair number of times that usually means he is running consistent and strong.
"We try to play as often as we can," stated Kemenah. "As long as we have time, we can sneak off and go out there. At the beginning of this year it was tough to find time (to golf), because we tore up a lot of race cars. We were working throughout the week putting the cars back together. The last part of the year, we have gotten to out probably once every couple weeks."
A couple of those outings were in California at the beginning of September as part of the Gold Rush Tour for the World of Outlaws Sprint Series. During his first visit to the Golden State to race, Kemenah made sure to take full advantage of the sunny and warm weather to play a round or two on the course.
While he is often able to get his own team and crew members on the course, the native of Findlay, Ohio also likes to take other drivers and teams that he races against on a daily basis out for a round of golf. This season, Kemenah has found some new partners with a fellow rookie on the circuit.
"Usually we'll get a group of guys to go out with us," he said. "This summer it has been Jason Martin's guys and us going out to play a round of golf. We try not to get too frustrated and to not tear up too much grass."
Similar to racing, golf takes a lot of patience and concentration. While Kemenah is not sure how much patience he and his partners show when on the course, he knows that they do use a lot of concentration. They also are able to make light of the game and do not focus all that much on what the scorecard reads after the 18th hole.
"We don't learn too much patience with golf," said a smiling Kemenah. "I think we lose our patience a lot. It's just fun to go out and relax and have a good time laughing at each other."
While he knows that other athletes marvel at what he and his counterparts do in their 850-horsepower sprint cars, Kemenah is in awe of the skill and precision that it takes to play professional golf.
"It definitely takes a lot of hand and eye coordination to play that game," he explains. "You can really respect somebody like a Tiger Woods, who plays with as much accuracy as he does."
Part of the learning curve for Kemenah this season as a rookie with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series has been visiting many tracks for the first time, and this weekend will be no different as he heads to Wilmot Speedway for the race on Saturday October 14. This will be the series 13th race on a 3/8-mile track this season.
"The first time I had ever seen it (Wilmot Speedway) was the night we were up there and got rained out," he said. "It's definitely a small little place. Hopefully weather permitting, we can go up there and put a show on for everybody."
While he won the season opener at Volusia Speedway Park, a track that he had raced at and had plenty of success at in the past, Kemenah has had to on countless occasions get the feel for a track that he had never seen, by turning a few laps in warm-ups, then attempting to turn in two quality qualifying laps to set the tone for the rest of his night.
"One of the biggest things we have noticed this year is that you have to get yourself set up quick enough to be able to go out and compete with these guys," explains Kemenah. "Sometimes this year, nobody has seen a couple of the tracks we have gone to. That's definitely a big change and you learn to keep good notes. Hopefully we'll get the opportunity to come back and do this thing again, and be a little bit more prepared."
With five races left on the year, Kemenah has a couple of goals. One of those being to bring home the rookie title. He enters the final three weeks of the season seventh overall in World of Outlaws championship points, on the strength of 25 Top-10 finishes.
"Hopefully we can stay in one piece for the rest of the year," Kemenah said. "I want to try and get a win before we are done here. We started the year with a win and then ran into a wall of bad luck. We're still having fun and we're still out here, and that is what matters."
With the World of Outlaws Sprint Series schedule wrapping up in Arizona and Las Vegas, expect Kemenah to hit the course a couple more times before the season is over. This weekend though his complete focus will be on his maiden voyage to Wilmot Speedway to battle a very stout field of cars that is expected.
For ticket information about the race at Wilmot Speedway on Saturday October 14, visit www.slspromotions.com, or call 815-344-2023. Adult reserved tickets will be $35, with adult grandstand tickets just $12. All tickets for children ages 6-12 will be only $12, while kids 5-under will be admitted free of charge with a paying adult. Pit pass combos will also be available for $38. Tickets purchased for the original race on Sept. 23 will also be honored.