FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Rocky Road Racing Claims the Championship
Hinsdale, NH - This weekend at the annual NER awards banquet Rocky Road Racing's Matt Kennedy accepted the award for winning the Production 4WD Championship in the inaugural NER/SCCA RallyCross Series. Despite competing mostly against drivers in newer or more powerful cars, Matt finished the year with five class wins and an overall event win, driving four different vehicles along the way.
The season didn't start very promisingly though as a transmission problem, later diagnosed as a bent shift fork, wouldn't always allow Matt to shift into 2nd, resulting in a disappointing 5th in class on the snow and ice of the Team O'Neil rally cross in January. A return to the Team O'Neil facilities in May saw a much better result however, as Matt piloted his brother Keith's 1988 Subaru RX to a 2nd in class.
Driving event organizer Scott Beliveau's Toyota Tacoma pick up, Matt secured his first class win at the Gunstock Mountain RallyCross in June, besting his closest competitor by a mere 0.08 second. Two weeks later Matt followed this up with another class win at the 3rd Team O'Neil RallyCross, this time driving his father's 1991 Subaru Legacy.
Transmission issues now resolved, Matt was once again behind the wheel of his daily driver Legacy for the Maine Forest RallyCross. At the end of the day he was surprised to find himself not only 1st in class, but 1st overall by almost nine seconds. The next event, the BurlingtonCars.com RallyX sponsored by Vermont Sports Car, presented the drivers with a mile long course that threw almost ever kind of terrain at the competitors. In the end Matt finished the day atop the class, and 3rd overall.
The Covered Bridge RallyCross saw an early return to snow when two days before the event a quick storm left a layer of the white stuff covering the Killington resort's parking lot. However, the heat of the rising sun and a field of more than 50 competitors had combined to melt the snow in the corners by the afternoon. "It was great! I could come screaming into a corner totally sideways, then as soon as the tires hit the bare gavel, bang, the car would snap around." After a close battle all day long Matt ended up 1st in class and 2nd overall.
Finishing the season at the Maine Forest Winter RallyCross, Matt made a mistake that would cost him a 6th consecutive win. Thinking that his chances were done because of a half spin and not focusing on his driving, Matt clipped a cone, incurring a 2-second penalty. At the end of the day he found himself 3rd, 0.3 seconds behind 2nd, and only 1.8 seconds out of 1st!
Although he finished the season atop a class of 65 competitors, Matt knows he had some luck along the way. "There are a lot of good drivers in quick cars out there, and they certainly didn't make it easy for me. I especially have to thank everyone for letting me borrow their cars!"
For more information about the 2002 NER/SCCA RallyCross Championship visit http://www.ner.org/rally/index.htm. Also be sure to stop by www.RockyRoadRacing.com for photos, results, and information about Rocky Road Racing, as well as rallying in general.
Rocky Road Racing