Team KBR's Kyle Keenan named RACER Magazine's Club Racer of the Year

TOPEKA, Kan. (March 4, 2015) – 2014 B-Spec National Champion and SCCA Club Racer Kyle Keenan was named Club Racer of the Year in RACER’s annual RACER of the Year fan vote. Keenan joins category winners Erica Enders-Stevens (RACER and Drag Racer of the Year), Lewis Hamilton (Road Racer of the Year) and Kevin Harvick (Oval Racer of the Year), among others, in the voting.
The 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca marked Kyle Keenan's first Runoffs attempt. Driving a Kia Rio 5 in B-Spec and racing all season on a tight budget, the 24-year-old Keenan was given a new set of tires by fellow B-Spec competitor and eight-time National Champion David Daughtery in time for the last qualifying session. Keenan used those tires to jump several positions on the grid to start in second place, now well ahead of Daughtery, and Keenan drove a smart and quick race to win by 3.57 seconds.

“The whole tale had showcased what amateur racing in SCCA is all about: sportsmanship, determination, and talent,” the story on said.

All of the information on RACER of the Year 20, along with more news on SCCA and SCCA Pro Racing activity, can be found on

Rookie Keenan Runs Away With B-Spec Win

In his first ever trip to the 2014 SCCA National Championship Runoffs® Kyle Keenan, of Vancouver, Wash., ran away from the B-Spec field. Travis Washay, of Milford, Conn., and David Daughtery, of Fortville, Indiana, tried their best to reel him in, but ended the 20-lap affair in second and third, respectively.

Starting second behind Tire Rack Pole winner John Heinricy, of Clarkston, Michigan, Keenan held his position through Turn 1 in the No. 44 Kia Motors of America Kia Rio, but with a hungry Washay in his mirrors.

 The B-Spec class was run in conjunction with the Touring 4 category and on lap three a full-course caution was issued for a T4 car off at Turn 10. As the B-- field came out of Turn 10 under yellow, race leader Heinricy pulled his No. 35 Matick Chevy/Hoosier/Hawk Chevrolet Sonic into pit lane, his car apparently stuck in limp mode.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Keenan said. “I didn’t know if I’d missed a full course black flag. I was scanning and then I looked in my mirrors and Travis was looking at me, so we just assumed we should keep going and my crew told me T4 was still out. I don’t know what happened to John. I was bummed. I thought I had something for him. It would have been fun to battle, but I’ll take it how I can get it.”

Keenan was the new leader, but on the lap-six restart, Washay caught him sleeping and briefly took over the lead.

“When we’re coming up on Turn Eight is the only place where our radios aren’t working,” recalled Keenan. “Of course, that’s right when the green flag is thrown. I was able to figure that out, because he (Washay) was already inside and passing me. He drove it in a little bit deep in 11, so I was able to draft back by him on the front straight. I’ll take full responsibility for that. I should have been on it. I certainly felt like I did much better job on the second restart.”

Keenan took control of the race from there, even through another full-course yellow and restart. Washay was threatening at times, but by the checkered flag, he had the B-Spec title in hand by 3.570 seconds.

“I have so much to be thankful for and so many people who have given me opportunities in life,” Keenan said. “It’s something very special when it dawns on you, with probably three laps to go, that you’re leading the Runoffs with a 10 or 12 car advantage and it’s honestly really humbling. Then you get in the typical driver mindset of hearing things go wrong, or smelling certain smells.

“Today would have been my aunt’s birthday and she lost a battle to cancer just under two years ago. When I found out that I was going to be racing for the National Championship on her birthday, it made me fight just a little bit more all year long. It means a lot to me, to be able to do this for her.”

Taking the green flag fifth on the grid, Washay had a tremendous start, moving up to third through Turn Two. The move earned him the Go Pro Hero Move of the Race Award. He immediately had to defend his position from Daughtery, but a full-course yellow put that battle on hold.

“I didn’t do so hot on the last day of qualifying because we went out just to scrub tires and I came in after two laps and all of sudden everyone was faster,” Washay said. “That was haunting me the last couple of days. Starts are sometimes my real strong point, so I was timing it just right and made it work. That was able to keep me with the lead pack for awhile.”

Washay made his best attempt for the lead on the first restart when he got around Keenan, but couldn’t win the drag race to Turn Two. From there, Washay was able to hang with Keenan for awhile, but eventually faded into the grasp of Daughtery.

“I tried to do what I could to conserve and then I decided to go as hard as I could to catch Keenan, which I did, but at that point I’d used up a lot of the car,” Washay said. “I thought I’d be right there. I didn’t make any moves, because I knew we had six or eight laps left, but then I saw David coming. I raced with David years ago and I knew he was going to be a late-race factor. I just had to go into conservation mode and make sure I wasn’t overdriving the car.”

Washay’s No. 30 Indian Summer Racing/Northern Cross Mini Cooper crossed the line in second, his first Runoffs podium.

“David’s car is a little lighter and more nimble so he could catch me in the tight turns and we’d pull him on the high speed stuff. In the Corkscrew, the Mini I think was phenomenal. The Mini works really well there. That’s the cool thing – you had to think about every corner and who could do what, where. That’s what this class should be about.”

Starting third, Daughtery admitted he could have had a better start, but made up for it by pressuring Washay to the very end. Any thoughts on making a dive-bomb move in the final turn were brief though.

“Maybe I could have caught him if we’d had one or two more laps, because I wasn’t falling off, but he was,” Daughtery recalled. “We came down the last turn bumper-to-bumper, but he’d led me 19.9 laps, so there was no reason to crash us both out on the last lap.”

Daughtery actually loaned Keenan the set of Hoosier tires that carried him to victory, but didn’t regret his generosity.

“He ran perfect,” Daughtery said of Keenan. “We’re both on the same Hoosier team. The goal was to get three Hoosier cars on the podium. One of them pulled off at the beginning, but the other two made the podium, so I’m happy about that.”

Michael Tsay, of Irvine, California, finished fourth. Brian Kelm, of Plymouth, Wisconsin, completed the top five.

Derrick Ambrose, of Vancouver, Wash., was awarded the Sunoco Hard Charger Award, for advancing his No. 71 CorkSport Mazda Performance/Monarch/BFG Mazda2 from 11th to seventh.

The 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs®, The Pinnacle of American Motorsports, will crown Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Champions at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Friday, October 10 through Sunday, October 12.

The live broadcast of all 27 National Championship races is available live at, along with live timing and notes. Each race will be on demand at a later date on

MONTEREY, Calif. -- Provisional results for Sunday’s B Spec National Championship at the 51st SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with finish position, starting position in parenthesis, driver, hometown, car and laps complete.

1, (2), Kyle Keenan, Vancouver, WA, Kia Rio, 20.
2, (5), Travis Washay, Milford, CT, Mini Cooper, 20.
3, (3), David Daughtery, Fortville, IN, Nissan Versa, 20.
4, (4), Michael Tsay, Irvine, CA, Honda Fit, 20.
5, (6), Brian Kelm, Plymouth, MI, Ford Fiesta, 20.
6, (8), James Wilson, Kyle, TX, Mazda Mazda2, 20.
7, (11), Derrick Ambrose, Vancouver, WA, Mazda Mazda2, 20.
8, (10), Scott Lovewell, Modesto, CA, Mini Cooper, 19.
9, (7), Thomas Grosart, Santa Clarita, CA, Honda Fit, 19.
10, (1), John Heinricy, Clarkston, MI, Chevrolet Sonic, 19.
11, (9), Bobby Beyer, Mission Viejo, CA, Toyota Yaris, 17.

Overall Time of Race: 40:01.580
Average Race Speed: 67.096 mph
Margin of Victory: 3.570 seconds
Fastest Race Lap: 1:50.171 (73.130 mph)
Sunoco Hard Charger: #71 Derrick Ambrose
Lap Leaders: #35 laps 1-3; #44 laps 4, 6-20; #30 lap 5


Team KBR and Kyle Keenan Collect Two Wins In Washington

VANCOUVER, WA - Team KBR picked up where they left off at their last US Majors Tour event, by winning both Rounds 9 and 10 at Pacific Raceways last weekend.

During Saturday's Practice and Qualifying sessions, Team KBR's Kyle Keenan looked right at home in the #44 Kia Rio, turning some of the fastest laps of the weekend. Kyle's best lap was a 1:44.03, fast enough for Pole Position in the B-Spec class.

Sunday's sprint race began with rain 30 minutes before the start of the race. Kyle called for Hoosier H20 Rain Tires, which proved to be the right decision. Kyle jumped into the lead early, opening a gap on the 2nd place car. Rain continued to fall for the entire duration of the race, and Kyle was able to hold on to win by 8 seconds.

"I get more and more impressed with this car each and every time I drive it. Until this weekend, I had no rain practice with the Kia, but it's handling in the rain was phenomenal. Kia Motors and Team KBR have built an absolutely fantastic car, it's a real joy driving it around the track." -Kyle Keenan

Monday's feature race saw an intense battle between Kyle and Derrick Ambrose, with the two battling for the lead. The draft down Pacific Raceway's .7 mile long front straight proved pivotal, allowing Kyle to draft past Ambrose towards Turn 2 on the last lap. Kyle held on, claiming his 3rd win of the year for Team KBR.

Car Chief Morgan Peetz, Driver Kyle Keenan, and Crew Chief Kevin Keenan

"Kyle and Derrick had one heck of a battle. You just never knew who would come around in the lead each lap. Both drivers raced very clean and have a great amount of respect for one another," said Team KBR Owner, Kevin Keenan, "..We're very impressed with the performance of our Kia Rio B-Spec car, as well as Kyle this weekend. Kyle's getting more and more comfortable with the Front Wheel Drive platform, and we've figured out what it takes to get the car to feel how Kyle wants it."

The Final Rounds of the US Majors Tour brings teams to Portland International Raceway, Team KBR's home track, July 4th through 6th.

Team KBR would like to thank all of our marketing partners: Kia Motors of America, Kia Racing, Dick Hannah Dealerships, Kinetic Motorsports, SBOX Engineering, Hawk Performance, Mothers Polish, Sikk Shades, Bell Helmets, and Blairco Heating.

Team KBR victorious at Thunderhill's SCCA BFG Super Tour Majors Race

VANCOUVER, WA - Team KBR started their 2014 US Majors Tour effort strong at Thunderhill Raceway, with a race win, a track record, and 4 podiums.

Team KBR's Kyle Keenan re-set the B-Spec Qualifying Track Record in the early laps of qualifying, followed by Derrick Ambrose, and Teammate Heinz Hammes.

Making his SCCA Majors debut was Heinz Hammes of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Driving the #85 SBOX Engineering/Team KBR Mazda 2, Heinz adapted to the car quickly, looking very comfortable on Thunderhill's 2.86 mile long road course. After qualifying 3rd, Heinz and Derrick passed Kyle into Turn 1 on the race. Kyle would rebound to take the lead on Lap 2 as traffic slowed Derrick.

Using traffic from the mixed run group, Kyle built a gap on Ambrose, but towards the two would battle door to door the last two laps. In Turn 9 on the last lap, Derrick attempted a late brake on the inside, and Kyle returned the favor on corner exit with a textbook over-under pass. Derrick was able to get a run coming to start finish, however it was not enough, as Kyle finished ahead by a bumper. Not too far behind, Heinz held on for a 3rd place finish, his first podium finish!

"I could tell Derrick was pushing hard, and I was doing everything I could to keep our Kia Motors of America/Dick Hannah Dealerships/Team KBR Kia Rio out front. Derrick made a move into Turn 9 and I got on the brakes early, anticipating he'd run a bit wide, which he did. Surprisingly, he saved it and we were door to door drag racing into Turn 10. By Turn 15, Derrick and I were side to side, with both of us leaning forward in our car as we raced to the checker." an emotional Kyle Keenan stated, "To be the first driver in history to win a US Majors event in a Kia is incredible. Our team has worked so hard this off-season and it really shows with the car's performance on track."

A very windy Race Two would see Kyle jump out front early, before a bobble would allow Derrick to pass for the lead. Kyle and Heinz drove smooth the rest of the race, recording 2 more podium finishes for the team.

"We're very satisfied with the performance of Team KBR this weekend." Team KBR's Kevin Keenan stated, "To get the first US Majors win for Kia Motors is fantastic, and we're very happy with how Kyle and Heinz are adapting to the B-Spec race cars. "

The next US Majors Tour event takes Team KBR to Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington. Both Kyle and Heinz will be competing in B-Spec.

Team KBR would like to thank all of our marketing partners: Kia Motors of America, Kia Racing, Dick Hannah Dealerships, Kinetic Motorsports, SBOX Engineering, Hawk Performance, Mothers Polish, Sikk Shades, Bell Helmets, and Blairco Heating.

Peetz Finds Victory Lane At SCCA Season Opener

Photo Credit: Andy Hsiao - Running Rich Photography

Vancouver, WA - Morgan Peetz drove the Kia Motors of America/Dick Hannah Dealerships Kia Rio B-Spec car to two class wins this weekend at Oregon Region SCCA's March Season Opener event.

Typically the Car Chief of our #17 B-Spec, Morgan enjoyed the opportunity to get behind the wheel. After receiving his SCCA racing license on Friday, he took to the track Saturday for Qualifying.

Photo Credit: Andy Hsiao - Running Rich Photography

After qualifying in 2nd, just 1-tenth behind a Mini Cooper. Morgan took the lead on lap 3 with a move exiting PIR's infamous "Festival Curves," before opening up a gap on the Mini. Morgan held on to win the B-Spec class, his first win behind the wheel of the Team KBR B-Spec.

Race 2 saw Morgan drive a clean, conservative race, en route to his 2nd win of the season. Having enjoyed a successful racing career in the early 90's, Morgan praised the Kia's great handling and easy to drive platform.

For our next B-Spec event, we head south to Thunderhill Raceway Park, for Round 3 of the US Majors Tour. Kyle Keenan will return to the seat, attempting to collect his first US Majors Tour win.

A huge thanks to our 2014 Marketing Partners: Kia Motors, Kinetic Motorsports, Dick Hannah Dealerships, Hawk Performance, and Sikk Shades by Eddie Bauer, JR.