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Father knows best? Kenseth to find out Saturday night

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Gazette staff
August 27, 2009

Cambridge’s Matt Kenseth has seen a lot of things and experienced almost everything you can imagine on the track during his illustrious auto racing career.


He’ll add another first Saturday night when the 2003 NASCAR Cup champion and 2009 Daytona 500 winner goes head-to-head on the track against his son, 16-year-old Ross, at Madison International Speedway.


“I’m looking forward to racing against Ross and racing in a limited late model at Madison,” said Kenseth. “I’ve never run that type of car out there.


“I have watched many limited late-model races since Ross has started, and they are very competitive. It’s a great series with a lot of great drivers, and I’m interested to race against them. I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun and a great learning experience.”


The MIS Late Model drivers will compete in a twin 50-lap feature event that will include the long-awaited father vs. son scrum.


The feature event will pay the winner $3,000, and each driver who starts both features will get at least $500.


Ross Kenseth scored a May victory at MIS in a 38-lap Big Eight Series feature race. He backed that victory up with another Big Eight win this month.


Meanwhile, with just two NASCAR races remaining in Atlanta and Richmond before the Chase cutoff, Matt Kenseth leads 13th-place Kyle Busch by only 34 points in the battle for the final playoff spot. The tight points tussle for the 12-driver Chase has seven drivers in positions 8-14 separated by just 80 points.


The MIS event takes the place of a scheduled race at the Milwaukee Mile. That track has fallen into a financial mess. Roy Kenseth, who was promoting the Milwaukee event, moved the race to MIS.


“As far as the (Milwaukee) Mile thing goes, I help Roy with that,” said MIS general manager Dave Grueneberg said. “When that fell through, I said, ‘Why not do it at Madison?’ Roy said, ‘Let me talk to Matt.’ Matt said, ‘Yeah, why not?’”


So, with a bye week in the Cup schedule, the father-son duel is set.


But Grueneberg said it would be wrong to write one of the Kenseth names on the winner’s check.


“We’re expecting 40 late-model drivers to enter,” Grueneberg said. “Jeremy Miller is leading the point standings.


“We’ll have Bobby Wilberg and Dave Feiler and the rest of our late model regulars. Those guys aren’t going to roll over. This is a big purse for them.”


Late Model payout will be based on a driver’s overall finish in the two features. First place in a feature would be worth one point, second place two points, etc. The lowest combined total from the two features will be the overall winner. Point ties will be broken based on qualifying.


Saturday night’s event will cap a big weekend at MIS. Champions will be crowned in the Hobby Stocks, Sportsman, Bandits and Legends divisions Friday night. The card also will include the International Four Cylinders division and the USST Super Trucks.


The point leaders are Jay Kalbus (Sportsman), Team Luck/Ambrose (Hobby Stocks), Chester Ace (Bandits) and Max McNamara (Legends).



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