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Alex Kennedy Makes An Impression At Thompson Event
After practicing in the top three, Alex recorded a 19th place qualifying time at a venue he had never seen before Saturday morning. This starting position would require a great deal of skill, as well as patience, but the 16 year old was up for the challenge !
Kennedy was piloting the Spraker Racing Enterprises ,owned and prepared #37, with NASCAR East Series veteran, Jeff Spraker acting as Crew Chief, Spotter and Coach. Spraker has years of experience at the Thompson track, dating back to his days in the NASCAR Modified Tour, and he has also developed a strong reputation for working with talented young drivers as they gain experience in the regional touring divisions. Stated Spraker: “Alex has tremendous ability and it’s a pleasure to work with such a talented young man. He is eager to learn and is willing to listen, and those are two key elements in developing his driving skills..”
Alex had his work cut out for him at Thompson, starting the 100 lap race from inside the 10th row, at the drop of the green. But, he methodically made his way through the very competitive field of CWE drivers. One-by-one, he started picking off cars - 13th by lap 42 - 12th at halfway - and into the top 10 on lap 60. The other competitors knew he was a force to be reckoned with at this point, as he maintained the 10th spot until the caution flew for the 6th time on lap 85. With four to go, he had diced his way to seventh and it looked like this would be a great finish for Alex and the Spraker Racing team. But, on the final lap, he cut down a right front tire, after contact with another car, and had to coax his wounded machine home to 20th place. The final results were certainly not a true indication of his performance during the race, and Alex was still upbeat as his came into the pits: “ I learned a lot tonight - about the track, the other drivers, and what it takes to compete in this series. I want to thank Jeff Spraker and his crew - the car was really hooked up and Jeff was a great on the radio. It’s too bad we cut that tire on the last lap, I really thought we had a solid top-ten, but hopefully I’ll have a chance to accomplish that next time.”
Jeff Spraker commented after the race: “I’m really proud of Alex’s performance tonight - he was patient when he needed to be, and he made some great moves as he made his way up to seventh. He proved that he has the capability to run competitively in this series, and hold his own with the other rookies, as well as the veterans. He gained some very valuable experience at this event - this an extremely competitive series and he did a great job all night !”