For Lewiston’s Kameron McKeehan, the next two weeks of racing at Stateline Speedway will bring the potential to win the Inland Northwest Super Stock Association championship and notch another victory on the Northwest Pro-4 Alliance Series.
McKeehan has had success in both circuits. He trails David Garber by 40 points heading into INSSA’s finale on Sept. 11 and is a two-time Pro-4 champion. Picking which series to focus on for the next seven days is not that difficult for him.
“We are running for points in both series, but we’ve had some engine problems (in the Pro-4 car) and a couple of DNFs so far,” he said. “A realistic goal for the next two weeks at this point will be to get in the top five in points (on the Pro-4 series) in their last two races. I have gotten a pair of top-three (INSSA) finishes this year and we’re not out of that one yet, either, so hopefully, we can finish and be up front in both shows these next two weeks.”
Suffering through early-season woes in the Pro-4 car has set back the multitime champion. Some of the issues the Bob Jackson’s Body Repair Racing Team has faced are self-inflicted, McKeehan said.
“In trying to squeeze more power out of the motor this winter, we put a better head on the engine,” he said. “So far, that has backfired on us and we’ve had the two DNFs because of it. Last time out in the Pro-4 car we changed some things and finally got to finish a race. We know we can only improve on what we have heading into Saturday’s race.”
McKeehan has been a force on the Northwest Pro-4 Alliance Series since he debuted in 2001. The series travels across the Western United States with drivers coming from as far as California, Utah and Canada. This year two Washington state drivers, Steve and Rick Thompson, have been running at or near the front while current points leader Kurt Madsen is the man to beat this weekend, according to Gem State native.
With many memories in the four-cylinder race cars, McKeehan is quick to point out one that he carries each time he takes a green flag.
“One of the best memories I have in racing came on this series back in 2001,” he said. “We were running the 4-Cylinder Shootout at Tri-Cities Raceway and weren’t able to make it to the track on Saturday in time to practice and qualify. That put us at the back of the B-Main, which we won, transferred us into the A-Main, where I had to start in the back, and found myself leading with 10 laps to go then pulled out a victory. I was only a 16-year-old driver that didn’t have a lot of experience so it was pretty cool.
Now with two race cars to run on any given weekend, switching between a four-cylinder race car and the 2,900-pound late model is not as big a challenge as someone thinks, McKeehan said.
“It’s not too hard to transition between the two cars,” he said. “They both drive so differently, but the key to being successful in either one still comes down to being smooth in your racing line.”
Northwest Pro-4 Alliance racing makes its Inland Empire stop at Stateline Saturday night. There should be a field of more than 30 cars set to battle McKeehan for top honors. Some of the largest car counts of 2010 in Northwest traveling series action have come from the Northwest Pro-4 Alliance, with their shows generally coming down to the final few laps. Several first-time winners, including Bud Rumsey, who won in Twin Falls two weeks ago, are expected to compete.