It’s been a big month for Ross Kenseth. He just won his first ARCA Racing Series event at Michigan International Speedway. He made his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut a week later at the Chicagoland Speedway. Now he’s joining one of the top Super Late Model teams in the country for the remainder of the 2015 season.
Beginning with the ARCA/CRA Super Series Redbud 300 at Indiana’s Anderson Speedway, Kenseth will pilot the blue no. 98 for Carswell Motorsports. Kenseth is a former winner of the event and Carswell Motorsports won the race last year with Hemric at the helm.
“Last week Jake (Carswell) called me and asked me if I’d be interested,” Kenseth told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Something came up with Daniel (Hemric) and he wasn’t able to run the rest of the races. Obviously they’ve been really competitive the last five years. It was just something I really couldn’t say no to.”
Current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Daniel Hemric had been behind the wheel for Carswell Motorsports, but Carswell was recently informed that Hemric would be focusing more of his efforts on his Truck Series program with NTS Motorsports.
“We were informed last week by Daniel that the sponsors of the Truck team decided it wasn’t in their best interest to have Daniel keep running the Late Model,” Carswell said. “It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to us, but that’s what they said. They gave us a schedule at the beginning of the year and we’ve tried working around it. We knew that if something came up and he needed to miss one of our races they’d let us know in advance and we’d make arrangements. It’s kind of a surprise, but that was his primary obligation and we knew that coming into this year.”
Carswell said it’s only “kind of a surprise” due to the fact of the uncertainty of Hemric’s schedule from the onset of this year.
“We’d already been talking with Ross because we didn’t know what Daniel’s plans were at the beginning of the year when his Truck deal was up in the air,” said Carswell. “At the time it worked out to have him in the car even while running the Truck, but we kept up communication with Ross, so it was real easy to put him in the car. We have no conflicts with what he has going on with ARCA and stuff. It seems like a great match. We hope to contend for a win at the Redbud and go from there.”
Carswell said the plan is to start with Kenseth at the Redbud 300, complete the Southern Super Series schedule and do the big races like the Winchester 400 and the Snowball Derby.
Kenseth said that he has no scheduling conflicts and that he’s excited that he was the driver picked to run this car.
“I think we have nine races on our schedule,” said Kenseth. “They had a plan going into the year, but from the Redbud on they had to find a different driver. I’m just happy it was me.”
Kenseth is a former winner of the Redbud as well as the Winchester 400, but he’s still seeking that Snowball Derby win.
“I hope they’re pretty good,” said Kenseth when asked on what he feels his odds of winning the Snowball Derby are now. “Hopefully we can go out there and have some of the success that Daniel had. I think every race he was in that he didn’t wreck, or have something break, he ran first or second. They’ve been on their game the last year and a half so hopefully we can keep it going.”
Hemric won nine races in the Carswell Motorsports number-98 in the past year-and-a-half, seven last year and two this season.
It all begins with the Redbud 300 on July 18th for Ross Kenseth and Carswell Motorsports. They’ve both won while apart, now this new combination will try to do it again, only this time, together.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com