California native, Kenna Mitchell began driving because of her father whom she now gets to share the track with. From Mini Cups and Bandos to Junior Late Models and Legends Cars, Mitchell has her experience across the board in racing. Racing all around the U.S., road-course lover and newly crowned Silver State Road Course Series Semi-Pro Division Champion, Kenna Mitchell is looking to keep improving and advancing up in the world of motorsports.


Hometown: Loomis, California

Age: 17

Division: Semi-Pro 

Car Number: 7

Favorite Vacation Spot: Hawaii

Favorite Driver: Lia Block

Favorite Movie: The Art of Racing in the Rain

1. What got you started in racing?

When I was younger, my dad raced in modifieds and I really wanted to race too. So, when I turned 11 we got a Mini Cup and I started racing in that. In California we have a track in Roseville called the All American Speedway, which is where my dad mostly raced and where I started. 

2. What does it mean to have a dad who understands your sport and can be a part of it with you?

It definitely helped me get started in racing and continuing with racing because his dad also did a little bit of racing, he mostly worked on cars but with me coming from people who know racing, it really helps me out a lot with the different series.

3. What has your racing journey been like through your various cars?

We started in Mini Cups when I was 11 and then the next year after that we moved up to Bandos, which is actually where I won my first championship. That was a really fun year. When I was 14, I moved up to Junior Late Models and spent a little bit of time in those getting used to the bigger cars and after that, I moved up to Pro Late Models and that’s what mostly what I’ve been racing this year. We started in the Super Late Models and we plan to keep racing those this year in more pro races but definitely mixing in some super races. When I was 15, we started doing the Winter Series in the Legend. One year we did a few extra circle track races but it just wasn’t for me, I prefer the road course because of its openness. 

4. How has it been developing through all these different cars and skill levels?

Every time we’ve moved up has been the time when we felt that it was time to move to a new series. When I started Legends I was in Young Lions and it took me longer to move up to Semi-Pros than from the Bandoleros to Junior Late Models to Pro Late Models. For me, the circle track was too hard to get but the road courses are a whole different thing

5. Out of all the cars you’ve driven, what’s been the most exciting for you to race?

I really like the power that’s behind the Super Late Models but being in a Pro Late Model at Irwindale for the first time was crazy because you’re just going so fast through the corners. You don’t think you’re gonna make it until you do. 

6. With all your experience, what has been your favorite memory?

The first crossover I ever got was in Bandoleros when I got bumped to the outside and I was like, “Man I don’t think I’m gonna be able to win this race,” and then right out of the next corner I crossed the other kid and I was like, "That felt so cool to do."

7. What has been your favorite win?

My favorite one was my first win this year at Madera, the Pumpkin Cup because we’d been doing really well all year but then we had the brakes go out one time, overheated one time, and got wrecked on Friday so then finally winning there felt so good because we’d been trying for years to get that one. 

8. What is your favorite track to race on?

My favorite track for the Pro Late Models is Irwindale and for the Super Late Models would be Shasta. I picked two different tracks because they’re just fun tracks and you just forget how fast you’re going. 

9. What is the reasoning behind No. 7 on all your cars?

It’s actually kind of a funny story because my original number was the same as my dad's, 77, but when we got the Bandolero it had a seven on it and it just kind of stuck, so I’ve just never changed it since then.

10. What is it like being a female in such a male-dominated sport?

For me personally, once I get on the track it doesn’t really make a huge difference but outside the track, it’s really cool seeing other younger girls being interested in racing and seeing other women do well on it. 

11. What would you say to those young girls who are looking to get started in racing?

I would say it’s gonna take a while and just go at your own pace. You don’t need to always be the best at whatever track you’re at but just do the best you can and you will get there. 

12. Who do you look up to within the racing world?

I would say probably my dad. He was the person that made me want to race and just seeing him out there, even on bad weekends, seeing him doing the best he could. It’s always been so much fun racing against him, those were probably some of my favorite races out there with my dad. 

13. Do you have a pre-race routine?

I wouldn’t say I do but I definitely have to be like, “Alright, don’t lose track. I know what I’m doing. I can go out there and I can do well.”