22 Sep 2017 Late Model Rookie Season in Review
2017 Year in Review
April 2017 – Two weeks before the start of the race season, we made the decision to race the Late Model instead of the Super Stock and make a run at the Late Model Rookie of the year. With 3 other registered rookies, we felt we could contend. We made the announcement and sold the Super Stock. It was a big leap for me. I raced 3 years in the Mini Stock Division, so this taught me how to race, but with a front wheel drive car, it didn’t teach me about rear wheel drive racing and car control for these cars. With only one year the in the super stock and making the move to the top division, I was well aware of the huge learning curve ahead of me.
May 2017 – Our goals going into the season were to get some seat time, learn from some of the best in the Province, some of the best Nationally actually, win Rookie of the Year and to finish in the top ten before the end of the season.
That top ten finish would come sooner than expected as I had a good outing on the first night, finishing 15th in my first feature and bringing home my first top ten on opening night with a 10th place finish in the second feature. So to cross that goal off the list so quickly was a confidence boost for sure.
We would continue with the learning curve, getting more seat time through May (Which we only had one race night) and I would once again pick up another 10th place finish.
June 2017 – We started out June with decent results, almost into the top ten the first week with an 11th place finish.
On June 8th I had the privilege of working with Make a Wish Canada for their Rope for Hope Campaign. I rappelled down the side of Toronto City Hall and raised over $1800 for Make a Wish. This was an incredible experience, I highly recommend it to everyone, and I can’t wait to participate in this again next year.
June continued with some decent finishes just outside of the top ten, but I did manage to get my highest finishing spot, to date, on June 17th as I finished the feature in 8th.
July 2017 – July was an up and down month for me. I added 3 more top tens to my season, but toward the end of July we had a few struggles with the set up on the car. This continued on until August. Overall though, July was my best month, where I put up the most top ten finishes.
July 8th – I would have a great qualifying run and start 8th in the feature, ended up finishing the first feature in 10th. In the second feature, I started 9th and avoided a huge wreck right in front of me coming to the green flag with the 48 and 48Z, so we escaped a big one there. This would be my best race of the season as I raced my way up to 5th and was hoping for my first top 5 finish. However it was not meant to be as the 10 and I were racing side by side and we made contact which caused me to spin to the infield and therefore I would have to restart at the back of the pack. Disappointing when I was having such a good run, but we were able to salvage a good finish as I was able to race back up to a 9th place finish. Posting my first night of tens in both features.
Also in July, I was fortunate to be able to attend the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix at CTMP and present the trophies for the Proto Type Division. It was an extremely cool experience.
August 2017 – We only raced twice in August, but on the final race night of the month, I put up my best finish of the year, finishing the first feature in 6th position. As a team, we were quite happy that we had worked out some issues with the car and were able to put up a good finish. For the second feature we started in 4th and I fell back to 5th and was trying to make the pass, respectfully on the 11 and it was an error on my part. I ended up letting someone get underneath me and then got trained. So instead of having a great finish, likely a top 5, I ended up finishing 11th.
In August we hosted our 2nd annual charity BBQ with SE Telecom and Avaya Inc for the Kids Help Phone. It was a great event, we had a lot of fun and we raised over $2,000 for Kids Help Phone. We have plans to do this event again in 2018.
September 2017 – This was not a great month for us. There was something wrong with the car, the handling was off, and no matter what we tried, we just couldn’t figure out what the issue was. Dad hasn’t raced Late Models since 2004, so a lot has changed since that time. We are learning these cars together as we go. Finally, we found that the car was scraping off the track and causing it to upset the car. We had felt a loss of power out of the corners, but put this down to the handling of the car and the inability to get back on the gas on corner exit. We got the set up fixed on the car and on the final night of racing, in practice, the car felt awesome once again, I was able to turn it through the corners and it was fast out of the corner……the problem was, about 8 laps into practice, as I went to get back on the gas, something happened with the motor, there was no power and I shut the car down and took it back to the pits.
We would not get to race the #2 car in the final night due to motor issues, but as a blessing, we didn’t blow the motor up and it needs to be rebuilt over the off season anyways. The good news is that we at least figured out the handling issue, better late than never, before the car is parked for the winter. Something to work from for next season. It was frustrating to end the season on a bad note, basically for the last month, especially starting off as well as we did.
But as a positive, I was able to drive Nick Goetz’ back up car for the final night of racing. To be able to race in some of the best equipment out there, to be given the opportunity and for someone to have the faith in me to let me use their car, was incredible. I can’t thank Nick enough for allowing me this opportunity.
September has been a great month for me with many unique and rewarding experiences. I was able to work with some Nascar Truck drivers and be a part of the Ariel Atom test day at CTMP. Incredible experiences where I learned so much.
One of the other highlights of September was to have my friend, Kyle Rickey, and his friends at MRN radio come to Sunset to watch the racing. It’s always great to see Kyle, unfortunately my car was garbage after I was spun out and I didn’t put in a very good performance that night.
All in all, the season was incredible. We struggled sometimes through the season with the car, sometimes with the driver, but we are incredibly happy with the results.
We finished the year, with not only the Sunset Late Model Rookie of the Year honours, but I am also the NASCAR Provincial Division 1 Rookie of the Year. I am beyond excited about this. It was our goal for the year, we were able to achieve this, and we can’t wait for the next season. I just became the youngest ever Provincial NASCAR Division 1 Rookie of the Year for Ontario, and the first female to win the award in Ontario, with hopefully more to follow from the other talented female drivers in Ontario.
Off Season – I have some big plans for the off season. Currently attending Fanshawe College for marketing, but electing to do all my courses online so I can travel during the off season, I will be heading off to North Carolina October 14th. I plan to spend the winter travelling to different race tracks, different types of racing, to learn all I can about racing in the USA. I cannot wait to start this adventure.
I will be returning to Ontario for the Sunset Speedway banquet in November and I am very fortunate to be able to attend the NASCAR Home Tracks Banquet in North Carolina in December as the Division 1 Rookie of the Year. This is one event that I am looking forward to more than anything. It will be an amazing experience and I am happy to be able to share it with Gord Shepherd, Nick Geotz and Rick Spencer-Walt as they attend for being in the top ten in points nationally. Congratulations to those three teams on their outstanding season.
Kendra Adams; Life in the Fast Lane – this was an incredible experience for me and my team. To be able to highlight our rookie season in the Late Model with Rogers TV was unique and a lot of fun each week. Many thanks to my producer and camera man, Ron Clarke. Ron has been amazing to work with, makes each week a lot of fun and draws a little bit more out of me, and my personality, every week. It has truly been my pleasure to be able to do this. Thank you Ron for believing in my idea for this television show, and for making it a reality. Thank you to Madison FitzPatrick, my other camera lady, who is outstanding and who I consider a lifelong friend. Best times are had when Madison is there.
The show runs weekly now on the Rogers TV Fall schedule, but if you miss an episode, you can catch up on my youtube channel where the episodes are posted. https://www.youtube.com/user/Kendrabeth99
Special thanks to all my sponsors, who I wouldn’t be able to do this without.
Mobil 1 – David Swain (and his wife Margaret) are more than just my Primary sponsor. They truly are like grandparents to me and the relationship that we have built is incredible. Thank you David, and Mobil 1, for believing in me and being there with me along this journey.
SE Telecom & Avaya Inc – James Stortz and Grant Stortz from SE Telecom have been with me since day 1 and their support has been outstanding. Incredible people that are always willing to go out of their way to help me with my goals. Special thanks to James for connecting me with Avaya Inc and Corey Mindel. It was great to bring on another Global Marketing Partner. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in the future.
Epic Racewear – Well, we can all thank Epic for making me look good! Their suits and apparel are simply the best. They have never disappointed me with any apparel they have provided. But above that, they are simply amazing people who have also become some of my favourite friends.
To all my associate sponsors, thank you for always supporting me, for being with me year and year and being a huge part of why I am able to continue doing what I do each year.
~Radical Rods, Rides and Restoration – Keeping my car looking fresh all the time!
~Paul Quail Transport
~The Mortgage Station
~Speedy Auto Machine
~Global Simcoe Paving
~My Mink Lashes
~JT & Company
~Colin’s Small Engine Repair
I truly am blessed to have each and every sponsor that I have and I cannot thank you all enough for your support.
I look forward to seeing where we can all go from here and the exciting things we can plan for the 2018 Season.
Thanks as always to my parents, my crew, friends, family and fans that have supported me week in and week out. Huge shout out to Jerry Abramowicz and Eric Uprichard for helping me out when I need pictures at the track or a photo shoot. You are simply the best!!