Alton, VA – Kenzie Ruston qualified and finished eleventh in the Biscuitville 125 at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on Saturday afternoon. Ruston raced without having third gear for the majority of the event. With her finish, Ruston remained seventh in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings, 24 points out of fifth place with two races remaining.
An eleventh place finish was not what Ruston had envisioned earlier in the day; however, after battling a transmission issue and three hours in a hot racecar, she was relieved to see the checkered flag. “It’s extremely disappointing,” said Ruston. “We struggled through second practice, and the hit on something in the final session and the car was really good. I felt like if we stayed out of trouble all day, we had a car that would have contended for the top-5 by the end.”
Ruston struggled on late race restarts as the transmission continued to fail, at one point having to hold the shifter to keep the car in second gear. “They don’t get much tougher than Kenzie,” said Crew Chief Mike Fritts. “We only had a five minute break at the halfway point, so we knew there wasn’t time to change the transmission. Kenzie knew what she had and she didn’t complain, she finished the race for the team, and did a great job managing the transmission to avoid it completely failing. It takes a driver with a lot of heart to go back out and fight for a decent finish when the transmission is failing. She did a great job of getting a finish and making the car last the whole race.”
Team Principal Ben Kennedy said: “I’ve had mechanical issues before in a racecar and I can tell you, it isn’t fun. You try to maintain and get the best finish you can for your team, but it can be extremely frustrating. I’m glad I had Kenzie in my car for the race at VIR; there aren’t many drivers that would have been able to make that transmission last that long, not to mention, bring home an eleventh place finish. I know Kenzie will bounce back strong in a couple weeks at Greenville Pickens Speedway, that’s one of her best tracks, she’ll be one to watch.”
– Ben Kennedy Racing Team Release
Photo Credit: Speed51.com