Kennedy continuing to learn,
gain experience in Cup
Photo by Mark A. Brown/Mark A. Brown Photography
Alex Kennedy poses with SMSgt Rob Shafer, U.S. Air Force before the start of last Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.
When Alex Kennedy climbed out of the No. 33 car at Pocono Raceway last Sunday, the 22-year-old driver scored a 28th place finish—a career best in his sixth start.
Kennedy battled a mix of loose and tight conditions with his car throughout the weekend’s practice sessions. Yet the circumstances produced a “well-balanced car” for Sunday’s race, according to Kennedy.
“It was a great day for us,” he said of his Pocono race. “On that last restart, we could have got a little bit better finish, but we ended up getting four-wide with Kurt Busch on the bottom, and me on top of the four-wide, so it kind of ruined our chances of moving forward on the final restart, but overall, a great day.”
Because of his road course racing background, Kennedy will be running the No. 33 car in his fourth scheduled race of 2014 at Watkins Glen International. The event will be Kennedy’s fourth consecutive Sprint Cup road course race.
Photo by Elsa Garrison/Getty Images
Kennedy turns laps at Pocono Raceway.
“We did pretty good at Sonoma, and I think we can transition that into a really good run The Glen,” Kennedy said.
While Sunday’s race is Kennedy’s last scheduled start of 2014, more races could be added with Circle Sport Racing.
“We haven’t set anything in stone yet,” Kennedy said. “We’re looking at a couple more races in the 33 [car]. We haven’t talked to any other teams—Nationwide or anything; so right now, it’s up in the air.”
Kennedy's ride at Pocono in June.
Fans may or may not know Kennedy resides in Aztec, New Mexico, over 1,800 miles away from the NASCAR-hub that is Charlotte, North Carolina.
But as of right now, the distance barrier isn’t much of an obstacle.
“It’s not too troublesome yet,” Kennedy said. “Obviously, once I get more involved with this specific team, it’s going to get a little harder.”
Kennedy said he flies commercial from the Albuquerque International Sunport to the various destinations because the team flies earlier than he does.
What eases the hurdles of being located far from North Carolina is the flexibility of Kennedy’s employer in New Mexico. He said they allow him to take the time off he may need to stay committed to his position at Circle Sport Racing.
“Even if live in Northern New Mexico or Charlotte, we have to fly to the racetrack anyway,” Kennedy said. “And for what I do for [my] 9-to-5 job back home, I’m allowed to be gone quite often, so if the team needed me to be at the shop, I can get there no problem.”