Kenseth in the zone at CBP, heading to Dover
It had been a while since I had been to a Phillies’ game. Recently I headed down to Citizens Bank Park. It is always a challenge to head down that way with I-95 in a constant state of construction/repair. And of course there is always the traffic – horrendous traffic.
However Gary Camp, the talented PR person at Dover International Speedway, invited me. Matt Kenseth was there to talk about the coming NASCAR Sprint Cup race set for Dover Sunday. The race is part of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup title.
Before Kenseth headed to the suite where the media was enjoying the pre-game activities, he had to throw out the first pitch. He admitted that he had not thrown a baseball in quite a while. He did get the benefit of tossing the pitches, a couple practice throws, from in front of the pitcher’s mound. He tossed that first pitch to Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph who was acting as catcher.
Kenseth did admit to being a little nervous because people kept telling him not to bounce it. Often times that does happen when celebrities are invited to toss a first pitch.
Actually Matt tossed a pretty good pitch. Not a strike, but close.
Once done with his pitching duties, his next stop was suite high above the field.
Kenseth claimed, “Dover has always been his favorite track. There’s nothing else like it on the circuit.”
He won the last Cup race at Dover back on May 15.
“The May race had a little bit of everything,” said the talented veteran.
When asked about retirement Kenseth (44) said he was in good physical shape and planned to stick around for a while. He has no plans to retire.
My question about his thoughts on the Chase led me to believe he is not a supporter but it is part of the business and he lives with it.
He gets blame for the Chase being created as he ran away with the Cup title in 2003 and the next year the Chase was unveiled. He has been in it all but one year. He laughed when I asked him about being the one to blame for the Chase. As most readers know I am not a fan of the Chase.
Kenseth will be one of the favorites when he takes part in the “Citizen Soldier 400” Cup race on Sunday. Also included in the weekend is the “Drive Sober 200” Xfinity race on October 1 and the September 30th NAS- CAR K&N Pro Series East race. Good tickets are available.
*** The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series returns to the Keystone State September 29 through October 1 for the historic Champion Racing Oil National Open. With 54 years of history, this three-day showdown brings some of the biggest names in motorsports to the half-mile legendary Williams Grove Speedway to settle a timeless rivalry between the Outlaws and the Pennsylvania Posse.
The three-day program ends Saturday night with the big 40lap feature paying $50K-to-win. Thursday and Friday feature a pair of 25-lap, $10,000-to-win mains. But more money is on the line for some special competitors.
*** Dodge has signed an agreement to become the title rights sponsor of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Maple Grove Raceway.
The 32nd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals will be held this Thursday through Sunday and is the third race in the sixrace NHRA Countdown to the Championship. The track is traditionally one of the quickest on the NHRA circuit and has been the site of several national records through the years.
“The Dodge NHRA Nationals in the Keystone state is an integral part of the championship hunt,” said Brad Gerber, NHRA vice president and chief development officer. “We are pleased to have Dodge involved with the event and will build upon their relationships in the sport of NHRA Drag Racing.”
Fans of the Dodge NHRA Nationals will be sure to take part in the inaugural Mopar Mega Block Party free fan-admission event, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday. The stadium’s baseball diamond will be transformed into the Mopar brand’s home field for one night to kickoff an action packed race weekend.
The Dodge NHRA Nationals will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet.
*** The final Saturday night racing action at Grandview Speedway this season is set for Saturday, October 15. This three division Triple Thunder Thriller program presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings will include the 358 Modifieds and Big Block Modifieds in a 40 lap trick or treat event paying $5,000 to win, $1,000 for tenth and $500 to take the green for all pre-entered drivers. Also on the racing program will be the Sportsman and TSRS Sprints with all three divisions taking part in a series of qualifying events leading up to the 40 lap Modified feature, 25 lap Sportsman feature and a 25 lap TSRS Sprint feature. Also on the program will be the Blast from the Past Vintage Cars.
Pit gates will open at 2 p.m. and the grandstand will open at 4 p.m. The first green flag will fall at 6 p.m. to start the heat race qualifying. Adult admission is $25, children 6 to 11 $10 and children under the age of 5 will be admitted for free. The pit fee is $35 and a license is not required.
As tradition with the annual Halloween Party events, there will be a Halloween Parade for the children with prizes and even adults who dress for the occasion will be up for prizes. As usual, the Inside/Out activity and pre-race pit tours will take place free of charge.
Then on Sunday, Oct. 16th, the Outlaw Enduro and Blast from the Past Vintage racers perform at Grandview in their final event of the season starting at noon. Adult tickets just $10.
Ernie Saxton can be reached at Esaxton144@aol.com.