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Jan 30
Friday
Sixteen Year Old Alex Kennedy Finishes 11th in Spraker Entry at Showdown
Press Release

January 30, 2009 - Mooresville, NC - The rainy weather in southern California could not dampen the spirits of the Spraker Racing team at the All-Star Showdown. With only a few laps of practice under their belts, the Jeff Spraker-led crew made some adjustments for qualifying, and sent their young driver out for time trials. Alex Kennedy, the teen-age “hot shoe” from Aztec, NM, who had never seen this track before Thursday, put down a blistering lap of 18.501 for 15th starting spot - besting former Showdown winners, East & West Series Champions, and 41 other competitors !

The 56 teams (14 East and 42 West cars) who journeyed to the half-mile Irwindale facility had to deal with persistent rain throughout the three days on site. As a result, the entire program was compressed into a narrow window of dry track conditions late Saturday afternoon. With qualifying, and the 50 lap Open Race complete, the field of 40 cars was set. Alex posted the 5th best time of the East Series contingent and started on the inside of the 8th row for the 250 lap All-Star Event.

Team owner, Jeff Spraker was optimistic after the solid qualifying run. States Spraker: “Alex is the youngest driver entered in this event, and he blew away most of the veterans with that qualifying lap. He really performed well with so little time for practice -that was a lap that turned a lot of heads !”

From the drop of the green, Alex maintained his position in the top-15. This required getting to the outside lane as soon as possible after re-starts, and necessitated some three-wide moves that are not normally executed successfully by a rookie contender. But, with Spraker coaching on the radio, Alex stayed in contention throughout the first 100 lap segment. The only interruption to their efforts was the aftermath of one of the multi-car wrecks that resulted in right rear damage to the #37. The crew members determined that the damage was mostly cosmetic and they entered the second 100 laps with renewed determination.

Several more caution periods peppered laps 101 to 200 for a total of 29 run under the yellow flag. All the time, Alex was making steady progress to the front, picking off cars as the laps were winding down. Even after sustaining damage to the rear bumper, the young gun was able to make his way to just outside the top ten for the final 50 lap shootout. With sparks flying and cars spinning, Alex brought the #37 home to an outstanding 11th place finish - one of only 13 cars on the lead lap !

Comments driver Kennedy: “Running with the best drivers from the East and West was a great experience. Jeff Spraker nailed the set-up, even with that limited practice session, and we had a great car all night. It was a challenge dodging all of the wrecks, but I really liked this track and some of that three wide racing!”

And owner Spraker added: “It’s hard to believe that Alex is only 16! He adapted to this track with only a few laps of practice, and drove the race like a veteran. He pulled off some moves that were hard to believe, but he has a great combination of car control coupled with tremendous natural talent. He’s a pleasure to work with and he made all of us proud tonight!”

Meet Alex Kennedy

In 2006 Alex Kennedy was featured on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” show interviewed by Mike Massaro for a special about young drivers. “I can’t drive to Sonic to get a cheeseburger but I can drive a racecar,” said Alex. Since that interview Alex has been named National Ambassador for Dream Factory Inc and became the youngest driver to post a podium finish in ASALMS history. NASCAR.com’s Raygan Swan interviewed Alex this season for her future star series. Nicknamed the “New Mexico Rising Star” back at his home track of Sandia Motorsports Park, Alex has teamed up with Spraker Racing Enterprises for the Toyota Showdown.

About the Drive for Dreams

Sixteen-year-old driver Alex Kennedy has a dream to race in NASCAR. As he pursues his dream, Alex wants to make dreams come true for kids involved with Dream Factory Inc. Through his racing Alex will raise awareness of the Dream Factory Inc organization while also raising needed funds for chapters all over the United States. “I feel so proud to represent Dream Factory Inc and bring racing to these kids that don’t get to do the fun stuff I get to do,” said Alex Kennedy. Joey Lindsey from the Central Missouri Chapter is Alex’s number one fan! Alex joins NASCAR driver Carl Edwards and game show host Wink Martindale as National Ambassadors for Dream Factory Inc! Sponsors can join the “Drive for Dreams” and get their brand in 100,000 coupon books delivered nationwide.

 

Spraker Racing Enterprises, Press Release

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