Fremont, Ohio, native Ali Kern is preparing to make her biggest step in her young motorsports career in 2011. Kern announced today her plans to compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the Whelen All-American Series in an asphalt late model. She also plans to race in the Late Model Bounty Series throughout Ohio. The young female driver, already known for being the youngest female to compete in a K&N Pro East Series event, will be driving for her family-owned and operated Ali Kern Motorsports team. Heading into the season, Kern is the only female driver committed to racing in the Pro Series East this year and hopes to continue the trend of successful female racers.
"We are going to concentrate on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the Whelen All-American Series moving forward," said Kern. "I feel that this is the next, and best, step in my career. We've purchased an additional car for the East Series races and also purchased an asphalt late model to race in the All-American Series.
"Both of these series has proved to be a great training ground for young drivers moving up the ranks of NASCAR," continued Kern. "The more experience I can get with the cars, tracks and competition, the better I'll be prepared for achieving my goals. I think we've seen a lot of progression with female drivers over the past several seasons and I just want to continue that momentum and keep moving forward."
Kern, 17, is not old enough to compete in a NASCAR national touring series, but NASCAR's regional series has been a successful training ground for Nationwide and Sprint Cup drivers such as Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Truex, Joey Logano and more before their 18th birthdays. Teams such as Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Red Bull Racing and others have used the series to progress young drivers. Kern, who made one start in the series last season, is hoping that success this season will attract attention.
"It seems that if you can run well in this series that people start noticing you a little bit more," said Kern. "That is something I'd love to have happen, but I'm just focused on getting more seat time in the cars and proving myself throughout the season."
Kern will be making the move to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East after spending her entire youth piloting a race machine. Starting in quad motocross, Kern moved to karting and later the USA Modified Series racing throughout Ohio, Indiana and Michigan where she won Rookie-of-The-Year honors. She has numerous wins and championships in all divisions she has participated. Kern has also twice been invited to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine.
The team is currently in discussions with several sponsors to determine the amount of events she will enter, but has committed to race in select events including the event in Columbus, Ohio.
Ali Kern PR