Kenzie Ruston has been one of the hottest drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East of late. After battling early race adversity at Five Flags Speedway, Ruston recorded her first top-5 of the season. Ruston then turned in a solid performance, a third place finish, at Langley Speedway two weeks ago to capture her second top-5 finish of the season.
With the third place finish at Langley Speedway, Ruston tied her NASCAR K&N Pro Series record for highest finishing female in a race. Ruston had previously set the mark at Greenville Pickens Speedway in March of 2013.
“We ran extremely well at Langley”, said Ruston. Our cars have had a lot of speed all season, and Langley was really the first race we didn’t have some sort of bad luck take us out of contention. I would have loved to come out of there with a win, but right now when you can run in the top-3 all night with the Turner Scott Motorsports cars, you know you’ve done something.”
Ruston is currently on a wave of three top-10’s and two top-5’s over the last three races. “Momentum is a big deal in racing,” said Crew Chief Mike Fritts. “As a team we have been good this year, just had some bad luck at times. I feel like that’s behind us now, and when this team at Ben Kennedy Racing gets on a roll, the sky is the limit. We feel like we have the momentum now, and Kenzie is as confident and as solid as we have seen her so far.”
When asked about racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Mike Fritts said: “We are excited about New Hampshire since it is one of Kenzie’s favorite tracks. The last two years we’ve had fast cars at New Hampshire with Ben, but he got caught in two big wrecks on the backstretch that weren’t his fault. You have a lot of straightaway speed and hard braking at this track, so rotating the long flat corners well and being able to get to the throttle quickly really helps get the speed you need down the straightaways to make a pass. NASCAR allows right side tires to be changed, at the halfway break, so tire wear is not really as big an issue as a lot of the other tracks. The tire change allows for some good hard racing for the entire event, so its always exciting for the fans.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series competes, Friday, July 11 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a track that feels right at home to Ruston. “New Hampshire Motor Speedway reminds me of my favorite track, Lucas Oil Raceway [formerly IRP] in Indianapolis”, said Ruston. “I won my first stock car race there in the CRA Super Series. Both tracks are flat tracks and I really enjoy that style of racing. When you put these cars on a flat track it really gives a lot of the race back to the driver. If a driver gives solid feedback during practice, generally a good crew chief can get the car dialed in for the race. In my opinion, flat tracks put on the best races for the fans, and I think the great crowds they draw at New Hampshire Motor Speedway are a great testament to that.”
Ruston enters the Granite State 100 ninth in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points, trailing fifth place by 14 points. “I feel like right now a top-5 point finish is where we have to set our sights,” said Ruston. “We had some misfortune in the early part of the season, and we have rallied back quickly from that. So if we just keep targeting top-5 runs, we should be a top-5 team at seasons end.”
– Ben Kennedy Racing Press Release