Saturday will be a big day for the Kenseth family.
When Matt climbs out of the car after final practice for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, he’ll turn his attention to the Kroger 200, where his son Ross will make his debut in the Camping World Truck Series.
“I’m happy any time someone gives Ross an opportunity to race in NASCAR,” Matt said. “They’re not easy to come by and I know this one came about pretty quickly. He’s been working hard to try to get some more opportunities.
“I think he’s performed well in the chances that he’s had, both with JGR in the No. 20 Dollar General car for his first XFINITY start this season, and in the No. 52 ARCA car with (Ken) Schrader."
Ross is looking forward to the opportunity, especially because it’s at Martinsville.
“It’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to race at,” Ross said. “I’ve seen a lot of exciting races here and it seems to be a track where a lot of young kids get their start.”
Naturally, Ross has turned to his father for some advice on how to get around the half-mile track.
“We talked about it,” he said. “You know it’s a pretty technical place and a lot of the guys who run smooth here end up doing pretty well.”
While his father is a Sprint Cup Series champion, he doesn’t know if he’s the best person for Ross to lean on. In 31 career Martinsville starts, Matt remains winless.
“I’m not sure that I’m the guy he wants to get advice from at Martinsville,” Matt said. “We’ve talked about it, but the most important thing for him to do, and I think he knows this, is to run a clean, smart race and try to complete every lap, which isn’t always easy to do there. It’s his first time in a truck and his first time at Martinsville, with a brand new team, so if they had a clean day and got every lap, I think that would be a good debut."
Ross was quick to answer if he would rub it in, should he take home the iconic grandfather clock trophy before his father.
“Oh, of course,” he said. “It would be pretty cool.”
The Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 race weekend starts on Friday with Virginia Lottery Pole Day. The Camping World Truck Series returns for the Kroger 200 on Saturday, with the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 on Sunday.