A Conversation with Ken MacKenzie: A New Challenge!

Posted on June 13th, 2012

Ken MacKenzie has won the Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman division championship for the last two years. He took us all by surprise winning the title in 2010, but no-one was shocked when he repeated the feat in 2011. But MacKenzie won’t win it again this season! Wade Wilson, Speedway 660’s announcer, talked with Kenny about his 2012 season.

Ken MacKenzie has become a real fan fave at Speedway 660. The 2010 and 2011 Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman champ has jumped into an A.L. Gullison Disaster Kleenup Pro Stock in 2012 and is having the time of his life!

Wade: Speedway 660 is where the BIG BOYS PLAY and you have stepped into their playpen! How is it going so far and what do you think of the A.L. Gullison Disaster Kleenup Pro Stocks?

Ken: Hey, What’s up? So far so good, no trouble, lots of fun, just trying to gain respect from the other pro stock drivers, get some seat time and figure out how to go a little bit faster! Man things sure happen in a hurry when you are behind the wheel of a pro stock!

Wade: What do think the biggest difference is between your championship winning Sportsman ride and your new pro stock car?

Ken: Well, for one thing it has lots of speed, it’s a Chev instead of my usual Ford LOL, it has power brakes & suspension and did I mention it goes fast?

Wade: Yeah, I hear you. It must be a big adjustment, so how long do you think it will take to run with the top dogs?

Ken: There are awesome drivers at 660 and that’s why we run here! As far as how long it will take to run with the top dogs, I’m not really in a rush, I am just having lots of fun! That’s been my philosophy for the 25 years I have been racing and it’s kind of funny that after all of that time, I am still a rookie!

Wade: You raced for years down Moncton way, but were relatively unknown in the Geary Woods when you arrived here to race full time three years ago. How did you feel when the fans took to you right away and made you feel comfortable in your new racing home?

Ken: Wade, I really can’t explain it…the Speedway 660 fans, race teams, sponsors and staff are awesome and they made the MacKenzie clan feel right at home when we decided to run for Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman points three years ago. The fans make noise whether they love you or hate you. They show up every week and cheer for their favorite drivers. We also enjoy hanging around over with the campers!

Wade: Winning two Martin’s Home Heating Sportsman titles in a row was a pretty big accomplishment. How were you able to do that and do you really realize what a big deal that was?

Ken: No I don’t, it still hasn’t really sunk in! How was I able to win back to back Sportsman championships…..well it took a lot of hard work by my crew and myself, we always ran as hard as we could and tried real hard to keep our noses clean. By the way Richard and Anne Martin are two of nicest people I have met in racing and Speedway 660 is sure fortunate to have them as corporate sponsors of the Sportsman Division.

Wade: Family is a big part of this sport. I know your family has really supported your racing efforts and I know they are proud of what you have done here at Speedway 660.

Ken: Wade to be truthful it’s all I know & all I want to do. I am really lucky that my wife Sherry & son Kenny are into it big-time too. My son loves to race his Bando car and I think my wife is more nervous about him racing than she is about me in that big, powerful pro stock. And what can I say about my dad? He has been a guy who has helped his son live the dream!

Wade: What are your goals for 2012 and beyond?

Ken: Well…I’d like to lose some weight haha! As far as racing goes, I don’t really know, I’m just going to just take it one week at a time, run as hard as I can, try to stay out of trouble and hopefully earn the respect of the fans and my fellow A.L. Gullison Disaster Kleenup Pro Stock drivers.

Wade: Who were some of the people you looked up to when you started racing and who are some of the guys you really respect in this sport today?

Ken: Well looking way back I would have to say Paul Lewis was a favourite driver of mine when Riverglade Speedway was in its hey-day. Dave Mollins and Ronnie O’Blenis were good wheel-men too. And the Charters boys, Bob and Terry always made things real interesting with their aggressive driving style. These days I really respect every driver who decides to go racing because I know how much work goes into it and how dedicated you have to be to be successful.

Wade:
Who do you like in NASCAR?

Ken: 88 JR

Wade: Thanks for doing this Kenny and best of luck in the A.L. Gullison Pro Stock Division at Speedway 660 this year.

Ken: Thanks Wade! Remember if the fans are smiling we’re doing a good job!