K&N Pro Series East Eager to Join History at Bowman Gray
Ben Kennedy and Robert Johnson Ready to Race at the Madhouse
Even decades ago, the Stadium was known for an aggressive style of racing. Bowman Gray Racing archives
(Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC) With the K&N Pro Series East coming to Bowman Gray Stadium on June 3 and 4, the competitors are looking forward to the ARMY STRONG 150, their first race in front of the thousands and thousands of cheering Madhouse fans.
The drivers are excited about navigating the tight and aggressive quarter-mile track. But most of all, they’re excited about becoming a part of the 63-year history of Bowman Gray Stadium.
“There’s a ton of history behind Bowman Gray,” said Ben Kennedy, rookie driver of the number 96. And he should know – Kennedy’s the great-grandson of Bill France Sr. and the grandson of Bill France Jr., two legends instrumental in both the founding of NASCAR and of Bowman Gray Stadium Racing.
“The Stadium is where my grandfather and grandmother met back when she was Ms. Bowman Gray,” said Kennedy. “There are all these amazing stories that have happened there.”
Robert Johnson, rookie driver of the number 11 and son of racing legend Junior Johnson, is also excited about competing at the Stadium. “I really like the history - there’s over 60 years of racing at that track,” said Robert Johnson. And, of course, one of the strongest competitors in history to race around Bowman Gray Stadium was Junior Johnson. “My dad said he won five out of six races at Bowman Gray, so that’s kind of a high bar,” said Robert.
Both drivers were present for the testing session earlier in the season, and they both can’t wait to get behind the wheel for the ARMY STRONG 150 at Bowman Gray Stadium. “It’s a lot of fun,” said Johnson. “You’re on the gas for one or two seconds and then you’re back in the corner. It’s a fun place to drive, and it’s really exciting.”
“It’s a quick little bull ring. I think it will be an awesome race,” said Kennedy, who adds that the tight quarter-mile will require an aggressive driving style. “I’ve heard people talk about the three-bump rule,” said Kennedy. “The first bump: let them know you’re there. The second one: ‘Get out of the way.’ The third one: ‘You’re going into the wall.’”
“The track being as small as it is - you’ve got all those cars on it and they’re all fighting for position – it’s going to be a wild race,” said Johnson. “You definitely use a lot of brakes and you’ve got to really be up on the wheel. Everything is happening so fast there that you have to really be paying attention.”
“There will definitely be good competition and a lot of bumping and banging,” said Kennedy.
The ARMY STRONG 150 is set for the weekend of June 3 and 4 at Bowman Gray Stadium. There will be a qualifying session for the K&N Pro Series East on Friday with racing for the Sportsman, Street Stock, and Stadium Stock Divisions. And regular adult admission is just five dollars.
Then on Saturday, June 4, it’s Two Dollar Ladies’ Night. The K&N Pro Series East will race in the ARMY STRONG 150, the Modifieds have a 100-lapper, and the night will end with a chain race. Ladies are admitted for two dollars, men for twelve dollars, children six through eleven for two dollars, and children five and under for free. For details, visit www.bowmangrayracing.com.