By Tony Veneziano, WoO Sprint Series PR Director: (Attica, OH) Chad Kemenah cut his teeth racing on the tracks in his native state of Ohio. For the driver that calls Findlay, Ohio home, one track that he has always enjoyed racing at is Attica Raceway Park, which is just a scant hour drive from his house. He will get the chance to compete at the recently revamped 1/3-mile facility on Friday, April 20, as the World of Outlaws return to the track for the first time since 2005. Last season rain interrupted a schedule appearance at the high-banked track.
“We’re very excited to head to Attica,” said Kemenah. “We don’t get to go back there very often anymore. It’s good to get back home and see the people that we don’t get to see very much. Hopefully Mother Nature will hold out and we can go there and put on a good race for the fans.”
Kemenah, the reigning World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year has won five times at Attica with the All Star Circuit of Champions. In 2005, the last time the World of Outlaws competed at the track, he set fast time with a very stout field of 48 cars in attendance.
“Having a lot of laps at Attica definitely has helped in our success over there,” explained the driver who has two career World of Outlaws A-Feature wins. “They have changed the track the last couple of years and we haven’t raced there very much. Hopefully we can get the track figured out pretty quick and get to the front.”
With a number of his fellow competitors staying in the Buckeye State this week, after an event at Eldora Speedway last weekend, Kemenah has been a pretty popular guy. While he has had some of his fellow competitors visit his shop, he also has had many people from his home town looking to catch up on old times.
“We’ve had a number of people stopping by this week,” he admitted. “Jason Martin is staying at the house. We’ve had a lot of people from Findlay come by, and we’ve talked to a lot of them.”
After putting his own team together in a matter of days, a little over a month ago, Kemenah has been working closely with his father-in-law (renowned engine builder, Bob Hampshire) as well his nephew (AJ). While the trio has put countless hours in at the shop, Kemenah is also quick to point out just how important the support of his wife (Tracy) was during a very trying early portion of the season.
“It does make it a little easier having family members helping out,” said Kemenah. “I’ll have my father-in-law with us for a few more weeks, and then it will probably just be AJ and I for a while. We’ll manage and get through it as best as we can.”
Beginning at Attica this week, Kemenah will have Arizonatools.com, based in Flagstaff, Arizona, onboard, in their first foray into sprint car racing. Arizona Tools is a leading wholesaler of construction and automotive tools and is the internet division of Craig’s Tools and Supplies Inc., which has been supplying homeowners, contractors, municipalities, schools and industry since 1982 in California and in Arizona since 1992. Fan can save $25 on tool purchases of $100 or more by entering the coupon code, “Chad” on the order forms online.
“We’re excited to have Arizonatools.com on board for seven races starting at Attica,” Kemenah stated. “We’re working very hard to make this into some huge. We want to show them that the sprint car fans will support their products and purchase tools online, and turn this into a great relationship.”
In just his fifth race in his own car, Kemenah earned a season-best finish of third at Paducah International Raceway on April 6. He began that night by turning the sixth-fastest lap in time trials. He earned a spot in the A-Feature through his heat race, and quickly worked his way into the Top-10 and then the Top-Five after starting 11th.
“The results at Paducah really made us feel good,” said the four-time All Star Circuit of Champions title winner. “We ran third and we didn’t start on the pole and run third. We started 11th and made it all the way up to third. We were certainly going in the right direction in that event. Last weekend at Eldora we were pretty good. We’re making the shows and we’re qualifying better. I think we have things turning in the right direction. We’ll just keep working hard.”
With the World of Outlaws schedule picking up in the next couple weeks as the weather warms up, Kemenah looks to get into a rhythm as he returns to many tracks that he visited for the first and second times last season.
“Everyone is looking forward to racing more,” he commented. “Getting in a groove definitely helps. It can be tough when you are sitting around all week.”
With the demands of running his own team, Kemenah has made sure to make the most of what little free time he has, including spending some time on the links, enjoying a round of golf. He also has made sure to spend plenty of time with his family, as time will be scarce when he hits the road in the next few weeks.
“We had some time this week, and Jason Martin and I went out on the golf course and knocked the ball around,” said the always determined driver. “I’ve been spending a lot of time with my wife and kids, because we will be running the whole race team ourselves here very soon, and that extra free time will fade away.”
After enduring some bad luck to begin the season, Kemenah feels like things are moving in the right direction. With tracks on the schedule in the next few weeks that he is very familiar with, he looks to continue to build momentum heading into the bulk of the season. With the demands of the World of Outlaws schedule, he knows that hard work and perseverance are keys in being successful during the course of the nine-plus month campaign.
“We’ll just keep plugging away and rolling on, and hopefully at the end of the year, we’ll have a smile on our face,” he said.
On Friday April 20 at Attica Raceway Park, adult general admission tickets will be $28, with reserved tickets $30. General admission tickets for those ages 8-15 will be just $15, while children 7-under will be admitted free of charge.