Kennedy set for first Sprint Cup race of 2015

Photo by Benjamin Palmer/

Alex Kennedy pull his car into the garage area at Phoenix International Raceway. Kennedy will start 43rd.

March 15, 2015


AVONDALE, Ariz.—With a qualifying time of 27.207 seconds at Phoenix International Raceway Friday, Alex Kennedy will make his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start of 2015 today.

Kennedy, the only New Mexican to make a Sprint Cup Series race in 22 years, will be running his first Cup race at PIR.

“I haven’t been in a [Cup car] since August, so this is a good place to start our season,” Kennedy said.

Starting 43rd, Kennedy realizes the struggles of PIR, acknowledging he hasn’t raced on the surface since the repave. But unlike the previous two seasons, Kennedy will make his first start of the season at an earlier point in the season.

“We’re entered for Rookie of the Year, so we’re going to try and beat the No. 26… that’s something that may or may not happen,” he said. “If we decide to pursue [Rookie of the Year honors], I think that we will be racing a lot more often this year.”

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/

Alex Kennedy climbs into his car Friday during qualifying.

Kennedy remains the only New Mexican driver since Al Unser Jr. to run at the Sprint Cup level. Kennedy talked about being the only top-tier driver from The Land of Enchantment.

“It’s nice to be labeled as that,” he said. “I know a good friend is working with [Team Penske]. New Mexico’s starting to expand out into the racing community. It’s really nice being able to represent New Mexico.

“It gets a little tiresome explaining to people I don’t have a green card.”

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