Ross Kenseth

Ross Kenseth engaged to Amber Odom

3 Comments

There will soon be an addition to Matt Kenseth’s family. On Wednesday, Amber Odom took to Twitter to announce her engagement to Matt Kenseth‘s son Ross.

The announcement was short and sweet.

“We’re engaged,” Odom tweeted followed by emoticons for a wedding ring, a palm tree depicting the Bahamas location of the engagement, and a smiley face with heart shaped eyes.

Social media has completely redefined the way fans interact with their favorite drivers these days, so it comes as no surprise that this was the vehicle for their announcement.

Ross Kenseth was a little more effusive, tweeting, “Thanks for all the kind words, really excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend,” as well as individual notes to well-wishers.

Follow: @FantasyRace

Ross Kenseth making Truck debut at Martinsville

Leave a comment

Four months after making his national NASCAR touring series debut, Ross Kenseth will return, making his first start in the Camping World Truck Series.

The son of Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth will make his first Truck start at Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 200. It will be his first start the short track. Ross Kenseth will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Aisin-AW Toyota Tundra
for Hattori Racing Enterprises, which is owned by Shigeaki Hattori.

Ross Kenseth“It feels great to get an opportunity to make my first Truck Series start,” said Kenseth in a team release. “Shige and I have tried to put something together for a long time and finally all of the pieces fell into place. I’m thankful to him for this opportunity and am looking forward to working hard to make our debut a successful one in a couple of weeks.”

The 22-year-old driver made his first NASCAR start in the June Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Driving the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing, Ross Kenseth qualified second and finished in sixth.

Hattori has only fielded an entry in a Truck race once before, with Brett Moffitt at Michigan in 2013.

“Ross has shown great promise in his young career and it is good that we were able to put this opportunity together for him to race with us at Martinsville,” said Hattori in the release. “I want to thank all of our partners, and especially Aisin-AW, for making this possible. We are a young team and I know everyone involved will be motivated to do well.”

Truck series driver Cole Custer earns first career ARCA victory at Pocono

Leave a comment

He may have sat out the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race earlier in the day, but after watching Kyle Busch win that event, Truck series semi-regular Cole Custer went out and won the afternoon’s undercard ARCA race event, the ModSpace 125, at Pocono Raceway.

It was the third career ARCA start for Custer, surpassing his previous best finish of fifth earlier this season at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

The 17-year-old Custer, who has one win in five Truck starts this season, captured the 50-lap ARCA event by 4.991 seconds over Grant Enfinger.

“It was just a great race for us today,” Custer, son of Stewart-Haas Racing executive Joe Custer, told Fox Sports 2. “I was just able to bide my time and keep things clean.”

Enfinger finished second, followed by Matt Kurzejewski, Austin Theriault and Josh Williams.

In addition to his first ARCA win, Custer also has four career victories in the K&N Pro East and West Series and two in the Truck series.

He becomes the ninth first-time winner in the ARCA Series this season, joining Blake Jones (Talladea), 15-year-old Todd Gilliland (son of NASCAR driver David Gilliland, at Toledo), Kyle Weatherman (New Jersey), Trevor Bayne (Pocono in June), Ross Kenseth (Michigan), Ryan Reed (Chicagoland), Austin Wayne Self (Winchester) and Travis Braden (Indianapolis).

The race began in rather dubious fashion as, coming off the Tunnel Turn on Lap 1, Kyle Weatherman got loose, piled into the car of Frank Kimmel, and then a number of other cars were collected as a result.

The biggest victim of the incident was Tom Hessert, who suffered heavy damage to his car, ultimately finishing 25th in the 30-car field.

But Hessert suffered even greater damage in the ARCA point standings. He entered Saturday’s race 70 points behind series leader Enfinger.

Hessert leaves Pocono now tied for third place with Austin Wayne Self, both drivers 185 points behind Enfinger.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR explains why its miscommunication led to Xfinity drivers being penalized

9 Comments

It’s not what you hear, but what you see that matters when it comes to NASCAR’s rules.

That message was clear in Sunday’s Xfinity race at Chicagoland Speedway when 19 teams were penalized for pitting too soon although NASCAR’s tower stated on the radio – which teams monitor – that pit road was open.

The problem was that the official at the entrance at pit road had a red flag up and the red lights on, indicating pit road was closed. A green flag and green lights indicates pit road is open.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio what happened and why the drivers were penalized.

“The tower did come over the radio and say pit road was open, but if you go back to the driver’s meeting, what we say in every driver’s meeting is the light and the flag are what dictates whether it’s open or not,’’ he said.

“The (official) at the opening didn’t hear the radio communication so the red flag and light were still on and, in that case, if anyone comes down pit road and it’s technically closed via the light or the flag, they’ll receive a penalty for pitting too soon.’’

Eventual winner Erik Jones, who was leading at the time, was among those penalized for pitting too soon on Lap 151 of the 200-lap race.

“Our spotter said pit road was open,’’ he said. “I didn’t look at the light honestly. I don’t look at the light. I just came down pit road. Everybody followed behind us. (The spotter) keyed up on when we came back out and said pit road was closed when we came down but they said it was open. It was just kind of a mess. It was just an oddity, probably something you’ll never see again.’’

Others penalized included Austin Dillon, who finished third, Ross Kenseth, who placed sixth and Daniel Suarez, who finished seventh.

 

After shaky start to weekend, Ross Kenseth has strong showing in Xfinity Series debut

Leave a comment

Ross Kenseth’s first career Xfinity Series weekend began with an out-of-control spin and ended with a confident driver and strong sixth-place finish.

For Ross, son of NASCAR Sprint Cup veteran Matt Kenseth, Sunday’s Owens Corning AttiCat 300 was his first opportunity to race in the Xfinity Series. It will be his only start this season for now unless enough eyes were opened at Joe Gibbs Racing and sponsors to bring the younger Kenseth back for additional races.

It doesn’t hurt that he’s had two strong showings in a row when you include last week’s ARCA victory at Michigan International Speedway.

Kenseth had a rough go of it in Friday practice, spinning in a single-car incident. To his credit, he was able to keep the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota Camry off the wall and away from other cars, suffering just two flat tires as a result.

Saturday, Kenseth looked completely different. He likely would have earned the pole had it not been for a late burst by Austin Dillon who took it away from Kenseth by .012 of a second.

That built Kenseth’s confidence but he admits during the race, “I made a little too many mistakes . On a green flag stop, I lost a lot of time and a couple pit stops there I messed up getting into the box.”

But Kenseth kept digging and ultimately worked his way back up in the pack.

“Man, it’s frustrating sometimes,” Kenseth said. “I thought we had a real good car at the end. We needed a last caution to come out for us. (If that would have happened) I thought we could pick up some track position and get up to third or fourth.”

The weekend was a trial-and-error type of situation for Kenseth. If he made mistakes, he’d work at it until he corrected them.

It was the same in Sunday’s race, particularly on restarts. After some slow ones early on, he showed steady improvement as he went along.

“The first couple of restarts there, I just didn’t get it as good as I should have,” Kenseth said. “At the end there, I pretty much held it wide open for the first lap of a run there.

“Being a little bit more aggressive there at the end saved us a couple more spots. It took 100 hard laps after halfway to get the car dialed in and get me a lot more comfortable.”

There’s no guarantee Kenseth will get another Xfinity Series start in the remaining 19 races, but he’s hoping that may change for the better.

“For a one-off deal like this, I was happy,” Kenseth said. “Hopefully, we can do it again.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski