Published 12:08 am Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ross Kenseth checks out his car. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Ross Kenseth checks out his car. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Son of famed race car driver to compete in annual Rattler 250

KINSTON — The high-pitched squeal of the thunder gun could be heard loud and clear in Ross Kenseth’s pit area Thursday afternoon at the South Alabama Speedway.

Kenseth, along with many other drivers, was practicing for tomorrow’s 39th annual Rattler 250. The Rattler is the finale of three races that highlight the first weekend of racing for the track that’s located just outside of Opp near Kinston.

The son of famous NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth, Ross will be driving the No. 25 Bondy’s Enterprise Toyota Sion in Sunday’s Super Late Model race.

For the past four to five years, Kenseth said he’s enjoyed coming to SAS to race.

“Hopefully, we can get some practice in and keep working on it,” he said Thursday about his car. “It’s always a cool event. It’s always a real competitive event.”

During practice, Kenseth was trying out new tires all cars have started using during races. Todd Millard, one of Kenseth’s crew members, said the cars are using the F-45 Hoosier tire, which is 10 inches wide in tread and has a 23-inch diameter.

Friday’s races included the Super Stock, Roadrunner, Coyote, Cup Lite and Mini Sportsman; and tonight’s race is the Pro Late Model Rattler 125.

Two good things about the Rattler 250, Kenseth said, are the lap count and the other drivers competing in the race.

“It’s 250 laps,” the Mooresville, N.C. resident said. “In this area, you don’t get that very often. There are some pretty good names and a lot of good cars. It’s a good way to start up the series.”

The other racers in the Rattler 250 include: Anderson Bowen, Casey Smith, William Byron, Bret Holmes, Johnny Brazier, Casey Roderick, Garrett Jones, Allen Karnes, Kyle Plott, Stephen Nasse, John Hunter Nemechek, Dominique Van Wieringen, Chad Finely, Harrison Burton, Donnie Wilson, Kyle Bryant, Dave Mader III, Cody Coughlin, Kyle Grissom, Denver Foran, Cole Rouse, Chase Elliott, Jeremy Pate, Hunter Baize, Daniel Keene Jr., Logan Boyett, Dalton Sargent, Will Gallaher, Bubba Pollard, Christopher Bell, Bobby Knox Jr., Justin South, Derek Kraus, Ty Majeski and Steven Davis.

Kenseth said being the son of a famous driver is pretty cool.

“We’re both interested in the same stuff,” he said. “We both love racing. We both have been doing this for a long time. It’s a lot of fun.”

Kenseth said he’s been racing since he was 5 years old and it’s about all he knows.

When asked what the keys for him are this weekend, Kenseth said the car needs to be in good balance and hopefully the car will be in good shape late in the race.

The green flag will drop on the Rattler 250 at 2 tomorrow afternoon. Gates open at 10 a.m., the same time a church service will be held. The autograph session is at 1 p.m.

Today’s Pro Late Model race starts at 6 p.m.

Admission today is $15 for adults, and $10 for children ages 6-12.

For the Rattler 250, admission is set at $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12.