|Alex Kennedy Featured In Special Edition Of ESPN's "Outside The Lines"
08-23-2006 | TruckSeries.com Report
New Mexico Rising Star Gaining National Attention
Alex Kennedy dreams of one day making it in NASCAR's top Series. Like many 14-year-olds, Kennedy dreams of going fast, of driving in circles, of celebrating in Victory Lane. But Kennedy, of Aztec, New Mexico, isn't just dreaming - he's working to turn his racing dream into a reality. With numerous race wins and track championship under his belt, reality may not be too far away for the young phenom.
In fact, Kennedy has even caught the eye of ESPN's "Outside the Lines." In the show, which aired last Sunday on the national network, Kennedy talks about racing at such a young age, his current success and what the future holds.
"I've always wanted to race, I knew at a very young age that racing would probably be my career path," Kennedy said. "I have worked really hard in my career; I have overcome a lot of obstacles, age being the major one. I would really like for all my hard work to pay off in a career in NASCAR."
Kennedy's passion for speed developed at a young age. Since the age of five, he has set his small town tracks, road courses, and dirt tracks on fire. He has raced BMX bikes, quarter midgets, bandoleros, and legends cars. And he has won in every division he has competed.
Just last year, Kennedy won 11 Track, State and National Championships including World Road Course Young Lions Champion. He also became the youngest New Mexico state champion ever.
Like most racers, Kennedy's road to NASCAR started at a young age. He began racing BMX bikes at the tender age of 5. The passion that burned in Kennedy helped him to win a state championship by the age of eight.
Now at 14, Kennedy is racing full time in late model stock cars at Sandia Motorsports Park located in Albuquerque. Each weekend, Kennedy and his family travel 200 miles one way to race late models.
Distance isn't the only obstacle that Kennedy faces to race each weekend. He also has had to battle questions about his young age.
Last year, his age kept Kennedy from winning a points championship. The final race of the season was held at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. To win the 2005 National Legends Championship, Kennedy only needed to start the race. But because of the age limit at the track - competitors are required to be 16 - Kennedy had to sit out the race. He finished fifth in the points.
"It was really disappointing," Kennedy said. "We had worked hard all year, and it all came down to the final race at Infineon. We thought we were going to be the champions, but due to my age I didn't even get to try and win the title."
Some of Kennedy's competitors also think he is too young to be racing. But Kennedy isn't fazed by their concern.
"There are some people who thought I was too young to be racing," Kennedy said. "I have raced against guys twice my age and beat them. It must be hard to lose to a kid when you've been racing for years.
"However, I believe that I'm just as experienced in the fundamentals of racing as most of the guys on the track. Otherwise, I would not have been as successful as I have been."
Kennedy hopes to one day make it to the upper levels of NASCAR so that he might be as successful as his hero Mark Martin, but only time will tell if Kennedy has that winning spark that will set NASCAR on fire.
Although Kennedy's sights are firmly set on NASCAR, he knows that turning his dreams into a reality isn't easy. So Kennedy is just as focused on his school studies as he is racing.
"If racing doesn't work out I have had fun, met a lot of great people and hopefully made some good impressions along the way," Kennedy said. "Hopefully, I will have an engineering degree to go do something else in racing."
For further information on Alex, visit his website at www.alexkennedyracing.com