NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver and NASCAR Next member Kenzie Ruston finished second in the last series race at Iowa Speedway, the highest finish for a woman in the history of the series. On Friday, she’ll drive the No. 96 Bully Hill Vineyards Chevrolet for Ben Kennedy Racing in the Bully Hill Vineyards 125 at Watkins Glen International, located approximately three hours from the Buffalo area. It’s Ruston’s first trip to The Glen.
“I always loved the road course races last year, and it's really cool that we get to go to one of the road courses that the Cup guys run on every year,” said Ruston in a recent NASCAR teleconference. “Last year we didn't really go to road courses that the Cup guys raced on, so it didn't really, I guess, transfer all the information, so it's really cool that we get to go and experience some of that stuff that the Cup guys do, and I'm really excited to have Bully Hill Vineyards on the car this weekend. Just a really cool opportunity. I know they've been involved in racing for a long time, it's just really cool for them to be back involved in the sport, and should be a really good weekend.”
Bully Hill Vineyards, located in Hammondsport, New York, will also be sponsoring Cole Whitt in the Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at The Glen on Sunday. According to Ruston, Bully Hill owner Lillian Taylor is a fan of the sport.
“Ms. Lillian Taylor is just so into racing and so into her sports, it's really cool to see other women so passionate about racing and sports, and I think it's just really cool that she came on board,” said Ruston. “She's always sponsored men, and I think it's really cool that she kind of came on board with me and Ben Kennedy this weekend.”
This weekend’s event at Watkins Glen is just the type of challenge Ruston is up to after her historic finish at Iowa.
“I just hope we can kind of go out there - I talked to the guys this morning, and they were in the shop until 5:00 this morning getting the car ready,” said Ruston. “We're definitely prepared and hopefully can go out there and run for a top 5 and maybe get that victory at the end of the week.”
While this will mark the first time Ruston has raced at WGI, she visited the area earlier this year.
“We came up in July and announced the race and announced our sponsorship with Bully Hill, and we came up and stayed in Watkins Glen and we visited Bully Hill Vineyards and all the Finger Lakes,” said Ruston. “It is probably the most beautiful place I've been in the United States thus far. It's gorgeous and all the hills and the Finger Lakes being in these huge valleys. It's definitely a beautiful area.”
Qualifying for the K&N Pro Series East Bully Hill Vineyards 125 takes place Friday at 3:40 p.m., followed by the green flag at 6:15 p.m. Find out more about this weekend’s racing action at www.theglen.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.
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