Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The New Generation at MacDonald Motorsports

NASCAR’s MacDonald Motorsports will debut their new NASCAR K&N East Series program March 17th at Bristol Motor Speedway, with two young guns in control. 

Jenifer MacDonald
18-year old University of North Carolina student and second-generation NASCAR car owner Jenifer MacDonald will be following in her father’s footsteps, becoming a first-time K&N Pro Series car owner for the #49 MacDonald Motorsports/ INOX Dodge, driven by Australian karting champion Scott Saunders. Jenifer is actively involved in the day-to-day activities of the K&N series program and looking forward to her first year in the series. “I am really excited about our program this year,” said MacDonald. “It should be a great year with the group of guys we have on our team.” 

Jenifer’s father is former Sprint Cup Series driver and long time NASCAR Nationwide team owner Randy MacDonald. MacDonald Motorsports is also fielding the No. 81 Nationwide Series Toyota Camry for 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Jason Bowles this season. 

Rookie Scott Saunders, 23, will pilot the K&N Pro Series No. 49, as he furthers his racing career from world karting champion to learning the ropes in NASCAR. Saunders grew up racing go-karts throughout his native Australia, and quickly became one of the hottest young racers around, traveling the world winning major karting events. Saunders won the Thailand 24 Hour Endurance Championship at age 16 and the Snap-On Stars of Karting race in New Castle, Indiana in 2008. 

This past season, Saunders ran only a handful of Super Late Model races. He hopes to use the limited experience he gained in Late Models last season to ease the learning curve with the heavier, full-bodied stock cars of the K&N Pro Series East. Teammate Jason Bowles will also assist Saunders with his transition to stock cars. 

“I am looking forward to this upcoming season in the K&N Series and driving for MacDonald Motorsports,” said Saunders. “I am looking forward to learning these cars. The K&N Series has some really tough competition, so I am looking forward to learning from some of the best short-track racers in the country.” 

Mark Durgin will serve as t crew chief for Saunders for the 2012 K&N East season. Durgin is a long time NASCAR veteran and has plenty of experience under his belt, having worked in the Nationwide Series for Turner Motorsports and Kevin Harvick, Inc. Durgin was a driver himself for many years, racing in the K&N East Series and ACT Late Model Tour throughout 2003 to 2005. 

“I’m really looking forward to this season working with Scott,” saidd Durgin. “It has been fun getting to know him over the past few weeks and I can’t wait to get to the first race in Bristol.” 

Team owner Randy MacDonald is excited to work with Saunders and help him advance his career into the top-tiers of NASCAR. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series has proven to be an excellent stepping-stone into the NASCAR Nationwide or Truck Series in recent years. 

“Scott is a great young kid with a lot of potential, and we look forward to working with him,” said MacDonald. “It will be great to start out with Scott in the K&N Pro Series and develop him for the NASCAR Nationwide Series down the road with us. MacDonald Motorsports is looking forward to being involved in the K&N Pro Series and helping develop drivers in their NASCAR careers.”