Ruston Records 9th Top 10 of The Season During The Easy Racers 100 at Gresham Motorsports Park.


Ruston Races with Oklahoma in Mind
Kenzie Ruston Gains Valuable Experience on the High Banks of Winchester Speedway


Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
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Birthday: October 12th, 1991
Hometown: El Reno, OK
Resides: Mooresville, NC
Graduated From/Year: American Academy 2010Height/Weight: 5’5 / 120 pounds
Hair: BrownEyes: Green
Hobbies: Bowling, Volleyball, and the gym
Favorite Food: Mexican
Favorite Drink: Sweet Tea
Favorite Color: Red

Kenzie started racing in Bandolero cars at the age of 14. It only took a few races for her to capture her first win and after the first win she was even more determined. Kenzie raced the majority of her races the first year at Texas Motor Speedway finishing 2nd in points and voted the Best Looking Car by all the other drivers. When Kenzie turned 15 she continued in the bandolero series and finished 3rd at the Kentucky Bandolero Nationals. She finished 2nd in points in the TMS Summer Stampede, she was 2nd in over all points for the season at TMS and was Champion at TMS for the Spring Nationals in the Bandalero Young Guns. She finished 4th in INEX points in 2007.

After turning 16, Kenzie moved up to the competitive Legends car series, racing in the Semi Pro and Young Lions Divisions. She raced in the winter series at TMS in the Young Lions Division and placed 3rd in points. She raced in two summer series, the Summer Stampede at TMS finishing 2nd in points and the Summer Shootout at LMS in Charlotte, NC finishing in the top 10 in points.

In 2009 at TMS she won the Winter Series, Summer Stampede and Series Championship. She won 7 Championships in 2009 becoming the first female to win an asphalt National Championship in a Legend series. She was also voted Driver of the Year at TMS. Kenzie was ask by Lyn St. James to participate in the Women of the Winner Circle traveling display. The display will travel for approx. 5 years promoting women in racing.

In 2010 Kenzie moved up to drive in a competitive Super Late Model car. She competes in the Pro All Star Racing Series (PASS) South with a vision towards the higher ranks of stock car racing.


Ruston Races with Oklahoma in Mind
Native Oklahoman's family affected by recent tornadoes, but she remains resilient on track.

Kenzie Ruston’s career has flourished since she moved to North Carolina to pursue her racing dream three years ago, but her heart is still tethered to Oklahoma and her family that still lives in the Sooner State.

It was family that brought her back home May 20.

Ruston’s cousin was graduating from high school, and had begged the 21-year-old NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver to attend. Ruston did. Her airplane landed at 2:30 p.m. At 2:56 p.m., an EF5 tornado touched down in Moore, Okla., and would decimate the area over the next 39 minutes.

"When I strap in the car, I don’t want everybody to think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to race with this stupid girl.' "--Kenzie Ruston, K&N Pro Series East driver, named to NASCAR Next

Ruston and her sister were helpless in the car, which was pelted by sheets of rain and hail. Eventually, they picked up a weather station on the radio. The host reported that the tornado was barreling down Highway152.

“We were on 152,” Ruston recalled in her hauler last week at Iowa Speedway. “We were freaking out. We didn’t know (until later) that it was five miles south.”

A close call, for sure. But it wasn’t over. And the next incident would be far more personal.

Eleven days later, the widest tornado ever measured tore through El Reno, Okla. That’s Ruston’s home town. The twister was 2.6 miles wide and reached speeds of 295 mph.

“It was just devastating,” Ruston said. “It destroyed my aunt’s house. Destroyed it. I grew up playing with all my friends, hanging out at that house. My sister and my dad were at my mom’s house in the storm shelter when it happened. They didn’t have electricity, so I was on the phone with them trying to keep them updated.”

The images that came in were startling and heartbreaking. The second tornado cut a huge swath of destruction in El Reno, taking out whole neighborhoods and obliterating natural land. It was tough for Ruston to absorb.

She is a Midwest girl at heart, after all, one who grew up in open fields and plains, who cut wheat on a combine with her dad every summer under the hot Oklahoma sun. Often times she’d wind up back-roading, going way out in the country with her windows down, letting the kicked-up dirt roll in through her window as the radio blared some country song.

“I’m a country girl. What can I say,” Ruston said with a smile. "That’s who I am.

The driver had never experienced a tornado firsthand, although the house she grew up in certainly had a storm shelter -- which she, to this day, calls a ‘fraidy-hole. Her dad still owns a trucking company on Interstate 40 in El Reno. The land around it is in shambles. His buildings and stock suffered no damage.

“My family means everything to me,” Ruston said. “I have a lot of support from my family, and my close family friends.”

It’s because of her family that Ruston is even racing. As a young girl, she tagged along with her dad when he raced his dirt bike. By age 8, she was begging for a ride. He constantly told her no.

“I will never let you wake up in the morning and feel like I do,” said her father Darren Ruston, who ravaged his knees on the two-wheelers.

Instead it was cars that hooked Kenzie. At a NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway at age 12, there was a promotion to ride on the smaller circuit at the facility. Her family plunked down $50 for 15 laps.

“That’s what started it,” Ruston said. “It was kind of a fun family deal so we could get together on the weekends. It turned very serious after that.”

Still, Ruston started her career at age 12 -- which is something of a geriatric in the racing world. She’s also a female.

That combination produced some frustrating results growing up. Ruston constantly found herself wrecked by males who had up to eight years more experience than her, but weren’t all that better.

“When I was younger, I was racing little boys and they were getting beat by a little girl, I’d get wrecked all the time,” Ruston said. “Now that I’ve moved up from late models, they’re like, ‘Man, she’s actually pretty decent. I’m going to race her like I would everyone else.’ That’s what I’ve gotten this year.

“When I strap in the car, I don’t want everybody to think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to race with this stupid girl.’ I want them to think I’m one of the guys out there.”

When Ruston says “this year”, she means in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. She’s driving in that circuit for the first time, with backing from Turner Scott Motorsports.

It’s validation for her decision to stick it out when she was getting spun out, when she was driving home at 2 a.m., when she was searching for sponsorship.

Ruston, who was also named to the 2013 NASCAR Next class, has three top-fives in six races this year.

Her best finish is a third-place effort at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in the second race on the K&N Series schedule. Her best showing, though, was at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., on June 1. In Ruston’s first visit to the quarter-mile track dubbed the Madhouse, she was twice sent spinning into the infield grass. Twice, she somehow made the save in a pair of moments captured on camera and posted to YouTube.

“That was definitely exciting. A lot of people dread racing there, but I actually thought it was fun,” Ruston said. “I know it was beating and banging, but I come from Legend cars and that’s what we do. I kind of felt right at home, beating and banging and saving it like that.”

Right at home. Whether she’s in El Reno or Mooresville, N.C., or racing at Iowa or Virginia or South Carolina, Ruston is at home -- and at peace -- on a race track. Any race track.

That’s where you’ll often find her.

“I got a little bit of a late start, and I didn’t want to rush my career,” Ruston said. “I’ve tried to prove myself in every division before I moved up. We’re kind of taking our sweet time so people don’t say, ‘They moved her up too fast, and that’s what killed her career.’

“Hopefully, we’re at the Cup level someday. I know I have Mr. Turner and Mr. Scott behind me. For next year, hopefully we’ll be in a truck or Nationwide Series car. But that’s not definite. Maybe we’ll even be running for a K&N championship. I’m not really in a rush to move up too fast.”

Kenzie Ruston Gains Valuable Experience on the High Banks of Winchester Speedway
September 5th, 2011 It didn't take long for 19 year old Kenzie Ruston to get a grip on the fastest half mile in the world as she would qualify in the 5th position for the CRA 100 at Winchester Speedway. Once the green flag dropped Kenzie would battle to keep her #39 machine inside the top ten before being involved in an accident midway through the race, but the MelMark Pipe & Supply team would rebound to a 8th place finish! more to come

Gulf Coast Series Provides Great Experience for Ruston and team.
On Friday, August 12th Kenzie Ruston and her Super Late Model team traveled to the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama to compete in the Blizzard Series. Friday night Kenzie raced Five Flags Speedway in Florida where she finished 12th. On Saturday night Kenzie returned to Mobile Speedway in Alabama and qualified 14th and drove her way to a 6th place finish.

Kenzie Ruston & No.55 Venturini Motorsports Team Never Give Up at Lucas Oil Raceway.
(CONCORD, N.C. - July 29th, 2011) - After qualifying in the 23rd position, Ruston looked to be making her way towards the top 15 before getting involved in an accident that was out of her control. The 19-year old El Reno, Oklahoma native, Ruston and her entire Venturini Motorsports team never gave up and repaired her damaged No.55 so she could continue to log laps and bring home a 26th place finish.

Kenzie Ruston Looking To Shine As She Returns To Familiar Territory.
(CONCORD, N.C. - July 25, 2011) - For the first time in 19-year-old Kenzie Ruston's ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards career, she will be returning to a race track that she has set eyes on in previous competition. click here for full press release

Kenzie Ruston Fights Brake Issues to Bring Home a 12th Place Finish at Iowa!
Newton, IA (7/17/11) - Fresh off her 2nd career start in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards, Kenzie Ruston took her talents to the ultra fast 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Kenzie started in the 17th position and quickly moved her way to the top 15 and would bring home a solid 12th place finish in the 200 lap race. Team PR

Kenzie Ruston Starts and Finishes 10th in 2nd Career ARCA Racing Series Start.
Marne, MI (7/10/11) - Kenzie Ruston returned to the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards with hopes of bringing home another solid finish in what would be her 2nd career start and that she did. After qualifying 10th for the 200 lap event, Ruston would battle to as high as 7th and as low as 12th in her ARCA return. Ruston would go on to finish 10th and continue her top ten runs in the ARCA Racing Series. Click Here For More!

Kenzie Ruston Ready For ARCA Racing Series Return
Concord, NC (7/6/11) – Kenzie Ruston is not your typical 19-year-old girl. While most teenagers spend their summer days soaking up the sun and enjoying carefree days with friends, Kenzie Ruston fills her days traveling race to race, determined and focused on achieving her dreams of racing at the highest levels in motorsports. click here for more

Kenzie Ruston Finds Comfort During Lucas Oil Raceway Test
Indianapolis, IN (6-28-2017) - 19 year old Kenzie Ruston returned behind the wheel of an ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards car for the first time since her stellar debut at Toledo Speedway on May 15th, and it didn’t take long for her to pick up exactly where she left off. click here for more

Kenzie Ruston Mounts Two Top 15 Finishes In Gulf Coast Super Debut.
Mooresville, NC (June 26th, 2011) – Kenzie Ruston returned to the Gulf Coast with one thing in mind, to run solid and gain experience. On Friday night she competed in her very first Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in which she qualified 15th and finished 14th in a very competitive race. On Saturday Kenzie made her debut at Mobile International Speedway in which she qualified 19th and finished 9th in the caution free race. More to come.

Kenzie Ruston Continues to Impress at Lucas Oil Raceway!
Indianapolis, IN (June 12th, 2011) – Kenzie Ruston made her 2011 CRA debut at Lucas Oil Raceway and continued to impress the fans and competors with her efforts. Kenzie would top the speed charts in both practice sessions and would qualify her #39 MelMark Pipe & Supply machine in the 2nd positon. Kenzie would remain inside the top 5 for a majority of the race before pitting for fuel and ending the day with a solid 6th place finish


Ruston Records 9th Top 10 of The Season During The Easy Racers 100 at Gresham Motorsports Park.


Finished 13th in Points in Her Rookie Season of Super Late Models

National Points Champion – Legends Semi Pro
First Female to Win a National Legends Championship
National Touring Points Champion – Legends Semi Pro
Texas Motor Speedway Summer Stampede Champion – Legends Semi Pro
Monroe Speedway Battle on the Bayou – Legends Semi Pro Champion
Legends Semi-Pro Winter Series Champion at Texas Motor Speedway

2nd in Season Points at Texas Motor Speedway – Legends Semi Pro
7th at Legends Young Lion Nationals
Top 10 in Points at Lowes Motor Speedway Summer Shootout – Legends Young Lions
2nd Texas Motor Speedway Summer Stampede – Legends Semi Pro

Oklahoma National Points Champion – Bandolero Young Guns
4th in National Points – Bandolero Young Guns
3rd at Bandolero Nationals at Kentucky Speedway – Bandolero Young Guns
2nd in Season Points at Texas Motor Speedway – Bandolero Young Guns
2nd in Summer Shootout Points at Texas Motor Speedway – Bandolero Young Guns
Texas Motor Speedway Nationals Champion – Bandolero Young Guns

2nd in Season Points as Texas Motor Speedway – Bandolero Young Guns
2nd in Summer Stampede at Texas Motor Speedway – Bandolero Young Guns

Schedule - 2011

March 12 Anderson Motor Speedway - Anderson, SC
March 26 Dillon Motor Speedway - Dillon, SC "THE SOUTH CAROLINA CLASH"
April 7–9 North Wilkesboro Speedway - N. Wilkesboro, NC
April 23 Hickory Motor Speedway - Hickory, NC "THE EASTER BUNNY"
May 7 South Boston Speedway - South Boston, VA
May 28 Motor Mile Speedway - Radford, VA
June 4 Orange County Speedway - Rougemont, NC
June 18 Newport Speedway Newport, TN
July 16 Gresham Motorsports Park - Jefferson, GA
August 20 South Boston Speedway - South Boston, VA
September 3 North Wilkesboro Speedway - N.Wilkesboro, NC
September 24 Hickory Motor Speedway - Hickory, NC
November 25-26 Orange County Speedway - Rougemont, NC "THE THANKSGIVING CLASSIC"

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