Keen Shows Speed Early at Williams Grove, Comes Up Short Late
Mechanicsburg, PA – July 17, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Jeremy Zarfos Photography
Kyle Keen returned to Williams Grove Speedway Friday night July 15th in the Fine Line Auto Body / Keen Parts / Doubling Gap Ranch / Shetron Auction & Equipment, LLC. / Wicked Dog Grille / Heishman Racing Fuels / Wicked Cushion / DL Lehman Construction, LLC. / GearHead Coffee / Jeremy Zarfos Photography / Coyle’s Lawn Maintenance / One Nine Design, Kyle Keen Motorsports No.17k.
He and his team were looking to put a full night together and finally earn a finish at ‘The Grove’ that reflected how good they have been there this year. Their previous races at the legendary Mechanicsburg (PA) half-mile had started very strong but ended with Keen pit-side before the checkered flag fell.
July 9: Selinsgrove Speedway / Selinsgrove, PA
[18 cars, Heat 8th (3), A-main 16th (15)]
Keen and his team were also ready to put last weekend’s frustrating night at Selinsgrove Speedway behind them. Their night with the URC for the 360 National Open started with hot lap times near the top of the charts and a second row starting spot for their heat race. Unfortunately a minor issue caused the motor to stumble on the start of the heat race and the night went downhill from there, ending with a 16th place finish.
July 16: Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA
[27 cars, Heat 2nd (2), A-main 15th (5)]
The line-up of the heat event will be determined by drivers season average money (lowest to Highest). A driver who misses a race at Williams Grove and competes in another 410/360/358 sprint car race, upon his/her return will be lined up at the rear of the heat race for 1 week. The feature will be lined up straight up from heat race finishes.
Three heat races were on the card for the 27 teams signed in. Per Williams Grove rules, the heat lineups were set by the drivers’ season average money (lowest to highest). The top six finishers from each would transfer directly to the feature event, and the lineup for the 20-lap finale would be straight up from the heat race finishes.
Kyle Keen started outside the front row for heat number two. The 8-lap qualifier provided an intense battle between Keen and the No.66 of veteran Doug Hammaker. Keen fought off the challenge and got a well-earned runner-up finish in the heat, not only putting himself in the 5th starting spot for the A-main, but gaining some valuable seat time and confidence in the process.
From his starting spot inside the third row in the feature, he was unable to capitalize on the opportunity near the front of the pack. Keen’s car just wasn’t in the ‘mood’ he needed it to be and he began to slide backwards through the running order soon after the green flag waived on the event. He fought the good fight but only came away with a 15th place finish to show for it.
“We just weren’t any good at the end of the night when we needed to be.“, a somewhat frustrated Keen said.
“We were decent in the heat race but I missed the setup big time in the feature. It wasn’t the finish we wanted of course, but we raced all 20 laps and put it in the trailer in one piece, so I guess it’s one step closer to the kind of night we know we’re capable of. Next time hopefully we can put the last piece of the puzzle in place.“
It is Keen’s first year in a 358 sprint car and it was only his fourth trip to Williams Grove, so there is still plenty of notes to be made and experience to be gained.
“This is a very humbling sport, but I think for being our first year in a 358 we are ahead of the curve. We’re having a lot of fun too. I just have to keep improving as a driver every week and understanding track states and conditions.“, Keen commented.
“Williams Grove has done an incredible job with the 358’s this year and the numbers show. I hope we can get some more races there next year, because it’s a badass racetrack!“
Kyle Keen Motorsports will take next weekend off, then return to Williams Grove Speedway on Friday, July 29th.
12 races, 0 wins, 0 top 5’s, 2 top 10’s, 3 top 15’s
KYLE KEEN MOTORSPORTS
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