Ross Kenseth, son of NASCAR champ, ready for ARCA debut

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In another sign that the next generation of stock car racers is emerging, 20-year-old Ross Kenseth – the son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth – is preparing to make his first start in the ARCA series.

On Sun., Aug. 25, Ross will drive for short-track legend and Sprint Cup part-timer Ken Schrader at Madison (Wis.) International Speedway. That race, the Herr’s Live Life with Flavor 200, will be aired the following Thursday, Aug. 29, at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

The Madison track is a special place for the Kenseth family; Matt was the 1994 track champion and Ross’ grandfather, Roy, has worked as a race promoter there as well. In addition, Ross has won some races at Madison in various series while working his way up the ranks.

This will be Ross’ first start in a heavier version of a stock car, but he’s naturally excited about the opportunity.

“Making my first ARCA start at Madison means a lot to me,” he said in a statement. “It’s a great opportunity to get in a Ken Schrader Racing car. They always have good stuff, especially at short tracks.”

As for Ross’ father, he believes that “there isn’t a greater place” for the young man to make his ARCA debut.

“That track has meant a lot to us through the years,” said Matt in the same statement. “We both have enjoyed some great times and have won some big races there.

“I really appreciate one of my racing heroes, Ken Schrader, giving Ross a chance and his first start in the ARCA Series. Through the years, I have enjoyed watching a lot of young up-and-coming drivers get their start in ARCA, learn, mature, and eventually climb the ladder to NASCAR’s upper ranks.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).