Terry Senneker has pulled into victory lane after the Kalamazoo Klash a total of four time just like Andy Bozzell, but no one has ever won the Klash five times. While it’s something Senneker hopes to add to his lengthy racing resume, he’s attempting to keep it all in perspective heading into Wednesday night’s 23rd annual Kalamazoo Klash.
“I try not to get my hopes up about it,” Senneker told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I feel like I want it to be an accomplishment, but at the same time I really feel accomplished. I always want to win a race and I guess there’s never a time where I want to necessarily win a race more than another one. I’m always taking it one race at a time. If for some reason we don’t win I’m going to feel happy we had such a run and hopefully it can be someone we are associated with that can win.”
Senneker’s four overall Klash titles including wins in the last three puts a little more pressure on his drive for five on Wednesday night live on 51 TV.
“Obviously anything less than a win is going to be a little disappointing,” said Senneker, “But I definitely feel accomplished and no matter what happens I feel like we have a good chance at it. We have a pretty good car and were gonna have to see how it plays out.”
As Senneker prepares for the 125-lap event, he has a tough time pinpointing exactly what it is about the 3/8-mile oval that has led to his success there over the years.
“I think it seems to be something with my driving style,” said Senneker, “I guess I can’t put a finger on it, but I seem to get around there really well. I do really like the track and we do practice quite a bit. We haven’t the last couple years, I haven’t raced there on a weekly basis, we’ve just raced there for the Klash, but something about it is conducive to my style. I like it because there are so many multiple grooves in the track and it’s got a lot of grip, so you definitely sit up on the wheel the whole race long and I feel like it lends to the drivers that can sit in the seat for a long time.”
Called by some one of the most circular tracks they’ve raced on, Kalamazoo Speedway is about car control and rolling through the corners, not so much sheer speed down straightaways. Getting around the track successfully is something that can be difficult to master in a short period of time, and it’s something that helps make the Klash such a special event.
“It’s had some large car counts and it’s a pretty tough track,” said Senneker. “Kalamazoo is one of the toughest tracks. Most people can’t just come and compete against the locals and win right off the bat, it takes a while for them to get up to speed and so it’s definitely tougher competition than most any other race. The track is such a nice facility, it’s conducive for side by side racing and a car can start back in the field and still have a shot at winning. It’s definitely not follow the leader, and so it makes for a really good race for the fans and I think that makes it really prestigious.”
Experience at Kalamazoo is something Senneker definitely has, and is no doubt a contributing factor to his success at the Klash. Despite winning just one or two races, Senneker brought home the Kalamazoo Speedway championship in 2006, his first time running there full time, and over the past nine years has learned the art of taming one of the trickiest tracks in the country.
“It wasn’t anything that we were the fastest car always there,” said Senneker, “But as we learned the track and the set-up we got better and better and I got better as a driver, and just that experience is what made me so good there.”
Fans can follow along with our Trackside Now coverage presented by JRI shocks of Kalamazoo Klash practice Tuesday on Speed51.com and on Wednesday the Klash will be shown live on 51TV. Fans can order the pay-per-view broadcast, which includes the ARCA/CRA Super Series race, here.
-By Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Editor – Twitter: @JWimm22
-Photo credit: Speed51.com