Ali Kern is coming south. The 17-year-old racer from Fremont, Ohio has entered the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at the Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway on Saturday, March 26. The event will be the season opener for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Kern will be looking to make her second start in the series as she hopes to run the series in 2011. This will be her first start in NASCAR below the Mason-Dixon Line.
"This will be my fist time coming down south to race in NASCAR, and I'm excited to do that. Really, for where I'm at right now in my career, the best competition is down south and in the K&N Pro Series East division. There are so many great teams and drivers, a lot of Cup teams in this series with their development drivers that make it tough. Ali Kern Motorsports isn't affiliated with a Cup team, but I know our Crown Battery car is just as competitive as anyone. That gives me a lot of confidence that we're going to hang with a lot of the teams based in the Carolinas. Hopefully we can open some eyes doing that.
Kern is known throughout Ohio as one of the youngest female drivers to enter the national stage and the ranks of NASCAR. She has multiple championships in the ranks of quad motocross and karting, as well as wins in asphalt modifieds. Kern is the youngest female racer to start in the K&N Pro Series East when she raced at Lee USA Speedway in 2010. She has support from Ohio-based Crown Battery, but continues to look for sponsorship to help her compete full-time in the east series this season.
"This will be a new track to me, and sure it's hard to go to a new place, but Greenville Pickens is similar to Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway one of my home tracks. I've won races there and have a ton of laps there. My crew chief also has experience at Greenville Pickens too, so I'm not going in completely blind. I'm used to the flat, paperclip-type ovals and hopefully we can turn some heads.
"I just want to get back into the K&N East car. Racing the modifieds around Ohio is great, but they are more of an ill-handling car. They are light, the tires are thin and it can be handful. My east car is like driving a Cadillac, and I just have a lot of confidence in the bigger, faster cars. I'm not intimated at all, and just happy to be racing against the best. Teams like Joe Gibbs, Red Bull Racing and others compete in this series. If you race well, that means you've accomplished a lot.
"Looking at the race weekend, I think a good day would be to first make the race solidly during qualifying. There are going to be a lot of good cars, a lot of good drivers, but I've got a positive attitude about qualifying. We then want to complete all the laps and be there for a top-10 finish in the end. I think that will give us a lot of momentum moving forward. Our schedule is really going to depend on sponsorship moving forward. A good race will help us find some more money."
Ali Kerns PR