Every winter, sprint car racer Chad Kemenah diligently hunkers down in his shop, painstakingly preparing his No. 63 cars for the coming season. 2013 saw no let up on that winning process.
For 2013 CKR sports a new paint scheme on their car.
"It was really just the normal maintenance of the race cars and reorganizing for the next season," explains Kemenah. "At the end of the year we always strip our cars to the bare frame and start over rebuilding them. They take a lot of abuse during the season and it's good to go over things closely when you have the extra time. We also worked on our motor program a little more and we are hoping it helps this season. I think we've prepared the best we can for this season.
It's tough to run with these guys night in and night out, and we are a smaller budget team, so we rely on our work during the off season to help us in our preparations for the upcoming season."
K&N backed Chad Kemenah opened his World of Outlaws season with a solid second place.
The preparations paid off as Chad Kemenah Racing successfully opened their season with World of Outlaws action at Volusia Speedway Park in Volusia, Florida, where they nearly stole the show, much to the delight of the keyed up, ready for action fans. During the 30-lap feature Kemenah, Cody Darrah and Danny "The Dude" Lasoski, the winningest dude in Volusia Speedway Park history, were three wide exiting turn two on the opening lap. Lasoski secured the lead as the cars slid around turn four and he remained the leader for the first five laps before Kemenah drove under him entering turn one on lap six.
"One thing I really wanted to focus on during the winter was our engine program, and Bob Hampshire definitely stepped up to the plate as he always does for us," Kemenah said. Volusia Speedway has always been a power track and we found a little extra power this winter with our motors."
The trio continued to put on a show after the first restart of the race on lap 13, and then with only three laps to go, Kemenah had a sizeable lead before another caution halted racing once again. During the restart Kemenah inadvertently drove beneath the cone on the front stretch, bringing out yet another caution and penalizing him two positions. There was contact during this restart so the race went back to green with the drivers running in single file. Lasoski held to the bottom groove while Kemenah rode the cushion. The shorter distance around the inside allowed Lasoski to come up just in front of Kemenah and Lasoski edged Kemenah by a car length at the finish line.
"I thought I was out of tear-offs, but the tear-off ear was broke off and that's just like being out of tear-offs," Kemenah said. "I couldn't see. I'd come by there and I thought, 'Well, why didn't they put the cone out?' But they did and I was completely underneath of it. It was just a mistake on my behalf."
"Well, can't say as though I've ever had that happen the way it did, but I guess anything can happen in racing, it's just unfortunate for us because we lost the win over a 10-cent tear off. I did make things a little worse by trying to wipe my shield because all I did was smear the mud even worse, which made it even more difficult to see. We were still happy to finish second and not last, but I really feel like we had that win wrapped up."
"Overall I am happy with the way our Florida trip went, we learned a lot about our car, tires and overall program. I also have to thank Tony Depalma of Radio City Hospital, Bob Hampshire, Maxim Chassis, K&N Filters and Champion Racing Oil for helping us out this year and I can't forget about my new crew member, Brandon Ikenberry, he worked his tail off this week and I am looking forward to Las Vegas.
CKR heads to Las Vegas on March 6 and 7, then the team stays out west for about seven weeks before returning back east.
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