One of the most familiar faces around the short-track racing world is now at the top of it.
Veteran NASCAR official Kenny Hunley was named recently as NASCAR’s new Director of Weekly Racing.
A native of Kingsport, Tennessee – just a quick burnout from Bristol Motor Speedway – Hunley has been part of NASCAR and the racing community for more than 40 years.
“I literally grew up in the grandstands,” Hunley said in a NASCAR media release. “My father, Ken “Bear” Hunley, raced on the beach in 1958, and was a Sportsman National Champion crew chief. I worked for him when he ran Kingsport Speedway – every job at the track except flagman.”
Hunley has worked for a number of teams over the years, as well, including those of NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnet and Harry Gant, among others.
The primary part of Hunley’s new role will be to oversee NASCAR’s large grassroots racing initiative, the Whelen All-American Series, which includes nearly 60 tracks in the U.S. and Canada, with over 10,000 NASCAR-licensed drivers and even more as crewmen, team owners, track officials and more.
Hunley’s teams have captured championships at iconic NASCAR Home Tracks including Lonesome Pine Speedway, and he has worked with a number of racing legends along the way – NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnet, and Harry Gant to name a few.
“Kenny’s knowledge, experience, and unmatched passion for weekly racing made him an obvious choice to lead our weekly racing program,” said Brad Moran, NASCAR’s Managing Director of Touring Series. “He brings a unique perspective – as someone involved in operating a track, as a mechanic, a crew chief – that makes him a great asset for our team as well as our partners.”
Added Hunley, “I bring the competitor’s perspective to this position, and I really want to work toward improving communications between our racing teams and tracks and NASCAR.”
Since it began in 1982, the Whelen All-American Series has been the launching pad for a number of today’s top Sprint Cup stars including Greg Biffle, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick – all who qualified for this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“The Whelen All-American Series is an integral part of the fabric of NASCAR, and getting Kenny Hunley is a win for everyone,” Moran said.
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