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7.26.18

Daniel’s Strong Rookie Season At South Boston Speedway A Special Tribute To His Daughter

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (July 26, 2018) – It’s hard to miss Kenny Daniel’s race car … it’s the one with two strips of grass about four inches wide running the length of his roof.

It doesn’t make him faster; it’s just great advertising for his family’s sod farm. But the blue angel wings on the hood of his car may just make him faster.

The angel wings are a tribute to his 10-year-old daughter Kendal, who was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome when she was two. Angelman syndrome is a rare neuro-genetic disorder with symptoms that include developmental delay, lack of speech, seizures and walking and balance disorders. Children with Angelman syndrome typically have a happy, excitable demeanor with frequent smiling, laughter and hand-flapping movements.

Kendal is her father’s biggest fan, attending races at South Boston with mom Heather and brother Trace, often holding up a sign that says “We love No. 2,” which is Daniel’s car number.

The 36-year-old rookie in the Budweiser Hornets Division at South Boston Speedway has finished in the top five in every race this year with a third, a fourth and three fifths.

“We’ve been very pleased with the season,” said Daniel, who lives in Sutherlin. “We think it’s going to get better. We replaced the struts after the last race. They were bad. That should help.”

Daniel is a rookie in the truest sense of the word. He had a smattering of go kart experience as a kid, but that was it until he rolled onto South Boston Speedway’s fast surface to test the first time early last spring.

“I’ve been around racing my whole life … my dad raced micro midgets on dirt, but I had never raced a car,” said Daniel. “My first test was my first time on asphalt, first time on the track at South Boston and the first time in a car like this.

“We went over and rented the track and did some testing quite a few times and worked on setting it up. These are front-wheel drive cars. The set up in these is nothing like it is in any other division.”

Daniel said his lack of experience hasn’t been a big problem for him during his rookie campaign.

“There’s not been a lot of adjustment for me. I grew up on a farm driving everything. I know what to do when I get loose,” said Daniel. “A few people have bumped me, but

I’ve driven right through it.”

The Hornets Division has long been touted as a perfect entry-level division and Danial and his Kia Spectrum are proof of that.

The car he has driven so successfully this season sat abandoned in a field for two years before he turned it into his race car.

“It’s my mom’s car. She hit a deer and totaled it, but we fixed it and kept driving it,” Daniel explained. “But when the tags ran out we couldn’t get new ones because it had been totaled. It set in a field for a couple of years until I decided to go racing. That’s what I used.”

Daniel came to South Boston Speedway last year with his son as a fan. That’s when the decision was made to make the move to the other side of the fence.

“My son and I went and watched a few races last year and he put the idea in my head to go racing,” said Daniel. “He’s only seven but he helped me get things ready. He helped me a lot on the interior of the car.”

The 200-acre sod farm he and his father own and operate, Daniel’s Sod Farm, is his primary sponsor, hence the grass on the roof of the car. And for full disclosure, it’s not real grass; that would blow off during a race.

“It’s like astro turf but it’s not like indoor-outdoor carpet. It looks like real grass,” said Daniel, who also has sponsorship help from Southern Restorations and 3C Custom Cuts. “It was my idea to put it on there. Folks have said I would save a 10th (of a second) or so if I took it off. But it’s an eye-catcher and the fans like it.”

Media Contacts:
Mike Smith
Relevant Public Relations
423.914.3009
msmith@southbostonspeedway
msmith@prrelevant.com

 

 


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