Ken de la Bastide: Kenyon Midget Series developing open wheel talent

Oct. 31—It's always encouraging to watch drivers take that next step up in their racing career and elevate to the next level.

Years ago a driver or team competing with the former American Speed Association and ARCA who showed promise could find themselves with offers to race in NASCAR.

Not that long ago, the way to an IndyCar ride was through competing with USAC in the Sprint and Silver Crown divisions.

Unfortunately, those days are in the past.

Over the past two years, drivers who have displayed racing skills, patience and respect for their competitors with the Kenyon Midget Series are climbing the racing later.

This past year, Jackson Macenko — the runner-up in the 2022 Kenyon championship — competed on a full-time basis with the 500 Sprint Car Tour.

Macenko put together a strong season with Brad Hayes Racing enjoying rookie of the year honors and finishing in the top 10 in points.

Kyle Ford, this year's Kenyon Midget champion, tested last week in a Sprint Car at Anderson Speedway and is probably going to find an offer awaiting to compete with the 500 Sprint Car Tour.

Kenyon Midget graduate Trey Orborne has found victory lane several times this year in a dirt sprint car and was afforded the opportunity to compete in a Silver Crown car.

Former Kenyon Midget driver Ayrton Houk, the 2021 champion, recently competed in Europe and has been racing in Formula open-wheel cars with impressive showings.

Thomas Schrage, a two-time Kenyon Midget race winner, is also displaying a lot of talent in the next level of open-wheel racing.

Colin Grissom, a former Kenyon Midget champion, had been showing a lot of promise in a dirt sprint car until an injury this year put a hold on his racing activities.

The Kenyon Midget Series is proving to be a great training ground for future open-wheel racers at the national level.

With several opportunities to watch the series at Anderson Speedway, it's a good chance for fans to come and observe future open-wheel competitors during their developmental stages.


The four contenders for the NASCAR Chase title are set for the final race of the year at Phoenix Raceway.

Ryan Blaney recorded the victory last week at Martinsville Speedway to lock into the final championship round.

Blaney joins Kyle Larson, William Byron and Christopher Bell for the championship round.

Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. along with Tyler Reddick failed to advance to the championship race.

My guess is the title will come down to Larson and Byron with Blaney as the dark horse for the championship.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.