Hello, Danica Patrick. There’s a new gal in town: a 22-year-old NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver named Kenzie Ruston.
Entering the homestretch of her second K&N Pro Series East season, Ruston posted a career-best finish of second place on Aug. 1, 2014, at Iowa Speedway. It was the best result by a female driver in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history.
Now, Ruston, who competes for the team owned by NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ben Kennedy, is focused on the next step in her progression: Becoming a regular in Victory Lane.
“Winning races is what it’s all about,” she said. “That’s why we get in the car every weekend. When you’re winning races, your name gets out there, and that’s what you’ve got to do.”
While Ruston has excelled in her relatively short time in the K&N series – she notched 12 top-10 finishes in her first career 26 starts – the native of El Reno, Okla., acknowledges that she still has room to grow and develop as a driver.
“I feel like my first year last year, my rookie year, I struggled at some of the bigger places, and I feel like this year I’ve kind of got my hand on a couple of the big tracks,” said Ruston, whose talents first became widely noticed in 2011 with a pair of top-10 finishes in four ARCA Racing Series outings.
Much like Danica Patrick, Ruston has grown accustomed to the extra attention -and scrutiny – that comes with being a female driver in NASCAR.
“Being a female definitely has its ups and downs, for sure,” she said. “When I was first starting out when I was 14 and I was racing other 12- to 14-year-old boys, I felt like it was a lot harder then.”
MADAME ALEXANDER DOLL COMPANY TO JOIN FORCES WITH NASCAR AND DANICA PATRICK F
In December 2014, Madame Alexander Doll Company announced a partnership with NASCAR Team Properties to design and develop new NASCAR play doll collections including dolls featuring superstar Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“Designing NASCAR-themed dolls for girls to play with is a fun and engaging way for young girls to become even more fascinated with a sport that empowers a new generation of women and that is one of the largest spectator sports in America,” said Gale Jarvis, President, Madame Alexander Doll Company. “Partnering with Danica Patrick is exciting for us. She is one of the most successful and well-known women in the history of racing and well-known female superstars today.”
The first in a series of new collections will be introduced for fall 2015. The product will be distributed through Madame Alexander’s extensive distribution channels across all retailer tiers and e-commerce merchants, including MadameAlexander.com.