NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Competing from the Carolinas to Maine and against the East Coast’s best asphalt modified stars, Jon McKennedy drove to a personal best 11 victories this year.
Driving his family’s No. 29 modified, McKennedy grabbed nine of those victories in Valenti Modified Race Series, allowing him to cruise to his fourth series championship in eight years.
McKennedy also won two races with the Southern Modified Racing Series, picking up victories at North Carolina’s Ace Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway.
Though the season was great for the McKennedy, he’s come close to equaling its success before. In 2009 he put together a season that should have captured plenty of attention. Entering his first touring series season in a modified, McKennedy combined race wins with top-10 finishes to capture, at the time, the True Value Modified Series Championship. In 2010, showing 2009 was no fluke, he grabbed the title again.
In 2012, McKennedy jumped behind the wheel of NASCAR Hall of Fame car owner Art Barry’s modified. Now called Valenti Modified Race Series, the name change made no difference as the duo handily won the championship.
Mckennedy has now won four Valenti Modified championships and, at present, he sits second on the all-time win list with 24 victories. McKennedy also won the 2014 Tr-Track Modified Series title where drivers from NASCAR, VMRS and the Race of Champions regularly compete.
“We began talking about options in early January,” said McKennedy. “I wanted, and still would like to drive for a NASCAR Tour team or a program down South. We had earlier sent out letters, my resume and stats to teams and owners. Some responded with phone calls, and I made some calls on my own. But nothing came together.
“To be honest, it all began to mess with my head and heart. So early January I talked with everyone and we made our choices; to race where we could, the money shows first, and then see what happens.”
McKennedy’s team raced in 25 events at 16 tracks. At season’s end, they had captured 11 wins and twenty-two top 4 finishes. McKennedy said he is satisfied.
“We ran the same RaceWorks Chassis in every event,” said Mckennedy. “Eddie Flemke worked with me and provided great support – perfect feedback to each issue or idea.
“Obviously it went well and we realize 11 wins is a nice accomplishment.”
The season also showed McKennedy can still wheel supermodified when he jumped in Jim Bodnor’s No 96 for Star Speedway’s Classic. McKennedy roared to the pole and looked to be a contender for the win until an engine failure stopped him.
For next year McKennedy has begun what so many others have also started, looking for added sponsors and partners to join his team.
“I’m looking to advance my career as a driver in NASCAR or any other Series. We have good supporters of our current program, and could certainly bring them along to another operation,” said McKennedy.