One-on-one with Alex Kennedy
Photo by Brian DeGruchy/TheRacingExperts.com
Alex Kennedy climbs into his car during a qualifying session at Phoenix International Raceway in March 2015.
By Dominic Aragon
May 24, 2016
Alex Kennedy has competed in 21 Sprint Cup Series race since June 2013, with his most recent start coming at Martinsville on November 1, 2015.
The New Mexican has yet to make a start this year in any of NASCAR’s top-three series, but the 24-year-old driver caught up with The Racing Experts to talk about 2016 and the possibility of racing professionally this season.
Q. What’s been keeping you busy in 2016?
Alex Kennedy: “There’s been nothing going on, on the racing side for me. We’ve been doing a couple local things, one-off little fun races, nothing that’s really been anything significant. Really, a lot of my 2016 has been typical kid-my-age stuff; finishing up college, getting ready for [my] wedding in June, and everything else we’ve got going on.
“Just kind of don’t really have anything racing-centered other than trying to work on more deals and sponsorships, but with the limited seats that are now available, it’s kind of one of those things where we’ve got to wait and see how everything shapes out first.”
Q. You mentioned college; what’s your degree in and when will you finish?
AK: “My degree is in mechanical engineering… from Texas Tech. I’ll be finishing up this summer, actually. “With everything going on, I take a partial schedule through the online programs and I’ll be done in August.”
Photo by Dante Ricci/TheRacingExperts.com
Alex Kennedy races Joey Logano during the Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway in August 2015.
Q. With the limited amount of NASCAR seats available, have you reached out to any team owners, or have any reached out to you this season?
AK: “Yeah, we have. We stay in contact. We’ve talked to a couple people and there’s a couple people that would like to try and get me in their seat, but we’re just trying to do the best by our sponsors and do best by people we know and try to just get that all figured out.
“You don’t want to rush into any of these type of deals and have regret later on down the road whenever something doesn’t work out right, for both parties. You want to make sure you’re also right there for the owner, and so getting that all ironed out takes a while. Most people have the off-season to figure that out, and we didn’t.
Photo by Dante Ricci/TheRacingExperts.com
Alex Kennedy practices for the CampingWorld.com 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in March 2015.
“The two teams we were with last year shut down pretty much the beginning of December. And so we didn’t really see it coming, we didn’t have any other plans going on, we kind of thought we were going to be doing the same thing, and suddenly the door closed.
“We’ve got to try and make sure that the relationships we create are ones that are beneficial for both parties.”
Q. Would you say you are actively looking for a ride in any of NASCAR’s top-three touring series at this time?
AK: “Yes, absolutely. We’re looking at where we can to see what’s open. I’m not being picky on which level we’re driving at as just need to make sure we’re doing the best thing we can by our sponsors and by all those people that have supported us.
“And that takes looking at teams and seeing where everything shakes out. There’s a lot of new teams in the lower series, [XFINITY] and Trucks, and they’re interested in trying to get me in a car, or truck, but they have no history, so it’s one of those where we’ll try and be careful that we don’t get into a weird deal with people we don’t know.”
Q. And by the end of the season, how likely do you think you would have run at least one race in any of the three series?
AK: “I think it’s extremely likely. We’re not too far into the season right now to where it’s going to be one of those where it’s a write-off.
“[Three] years ago, my first race came at Sonoma in June, so that’s one of those where something like that could come into play. There are a couple guys times where we can drive the road courses... I think we’ll be at some of the road courses this year in one of the series, I don’t know which one, whichever one kind of shakes out and whichever one is the best fit for me for right now.
“I want to be back in the car desperately, but it’s one of those where we’ve got to make sure we’re in the right position first.”