Alex Kennedy to "DRiv3" Dover; Details
 
Alex Kennedy, left, spends time with Austin, middle, during the Auto Club Speedway for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. 
Please note: All pictures used with permission from Alex & Terry Kennedy, and AlexKennedy.com

 

By Dominic Aragon
TheRacingExperts.com Reporter
5/9/2011

                          

 

The desert of the Southwest is home to cactus, dirt, tumbleweeds, and a few million people. With the sun beating down on the landscape, the region of New Mexico seems like a very unlikely place to produce racecar drivers. One driver, however, is defying those odds with overall goals of racing in the Sprint Cup Series.

Alex Kennedy, 19, grew up in the Four Corners region of Aztec, New Mexico. A town of only a few thousand, Kennedy’s early racing career required a lot of traveling.

“We would have to travel to Dallas, Texas or west to Las Vegas, Nevada,” recalled Kennedy. With only one asphalt track in the state of New Mexico, Kennedy said that his career in racing was really hard to get started. “I started in Bandoleros when I was 10. Since everything here is dirt [tracks], I really couldn’t do anything [in-state] at ten.” 

In June 2010, young Alex would get to wheel the #23 Nationwide car at the Road America road course for R3 Motorsports. Finishing 28th in his debut, Kennedy recalls the day as a very good outing for the team.

For 2011, Alex has made one of ten Nationwide races. Racing for R3 Motorsports, he qualified a second entry car into the Auto Club Speedway race a few weeks back. Starting 28th with the St. Baldrick's Foundation on board, Kennedy explained that the race weekend was hectic. “Fontana had its good aspects. We qualified good, but we were caught up in the early wreck. Jason Leffler got into the back of us just enough that we broke something in the rear end.”

During the Fontana weekend, Alex told us that he got to make the difference in a child’s life. “I got to hang out with a kid named Austin. He’s a cancer survivor and he just had his end-of-chemo party. I spent the weekend with him. It was nice to spend time with a kid who is full of life. … God’s given me the ability to drive, so it’s the least I can do help out kids. A lot of survival comes from the will to survive, and if feels good to help a child feel better and keep on going.”

Like the race this past Friday night with Scott Riggs, R3 Motorsports will have a different driver for the 23. “I’m filling in for Robert Richardson Jr.,” said a hopeful Alex Kennedy. “I’m pumped. I love Dover. It’s been a favorite track of mine since I ran a K&N East car there. I’m really excited.”

Looking towards the future, Alex Kennedy’s ultimate goal, like most young drivers, is to race in the Sprint Cup Series. However, Alex’s short term goal is to go full-time in 2012 in the Nationwide Series. Hoping to be the next driver to race a Cup race since Al Unser Jr.’s 1993 Daytona 500 run, Kennedy rules out the option of running for a start and park team to get valuable seat time.

“The more I look at it, I don’t want to,” said Kennedy, “but, [I might have to.] Landon Cassill’s had to do it but he knows how to qualify well. I used to hate to hear about start and parks, but I might have to take it based on the outcome. The more you are in a car, the easier and easier it gets every time you get in.”

For next season’s hopeful full-time venture in the Nationwide Series, “We are trying to get a full time Nationwide deal together. I don’t jump up too soon though, because the Cup guys can eat you alive.”

 
Alex Kennedy getting ready for the Road America race; June 2010