MOORESVILLE, N.C. – official team release — Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR photo —
Ross Kenseth will attempt to make his second NASCAR XFINITY Series start of the year this weekend at Phoenix Int’l Raceway, driving the No. 80 Toyota Genuine Parts/TACTI Toyota Camry for Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE).
Team owner Shigeaki Hattori and Kenseth first teamed up at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, in the Oct. 30 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, where the team finished 17th in their first race of 2015.
Kenseth, the son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth, has one other NASCAR XFINITY Series start in his career. It came in June at Chicagoland Speedway when Kenseth, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, qualified second and finished sixth in his NASCAR debut.
“It feels great to have another opportunity like this so late in the season,” said Kenseth. “I enjoyed working with Pat (Tryson), Bobby (Burell) and the guys at Martinsville. With a little better luck on the restarts at the end, we could’ve had a much better finish. We’re just a brand-new team. This will only be their second start of the year. But, we’ve got some good guys that know what they’re doing. I’m thankful to Shige for the opportunity and hopefully we can go have a solid day in the desert.”
Veteran crew chief Pat Tryson will lead the same team that fielded the No. 18 HRE truck for Kenseth last month at Martinsville. This will be Kenseth’s first start at Phoenix.
“We felt that Ross did a good job at Martinsville,” said Hattori. “He ran a smart, clean race, which is not easy to do for your first time at that track. This is a big weekend for us as we have a lot of our sponsor guests in town. Hopefully we can perform well for them on Saturday.”
CREDIT: Hattori Racing Enterprises