“It’s so cool to come here to Pensacola and win. This is a track with so much prestige.”—Ben Kennedy Ben Kennedy captured his first career win in dominant fashion — leading the NAPA Auto Parts 150 wire-to-wire as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East made its inaugural visit to Five Flags Speedway on Saturday. ___________________________________________________________________________________________Comments are currently unavailable. We’re working on the development of a NASCAR fan forum – please stay tuned. Kennedy grabs first career K&N Pro Series East win in home state of Florida Earlier in the day, Kennedy established himself as the one to beat at the half-mile track in his home state — topping the speed chart in practice and winning the Coors Light Pole Award in qualifying.The 21-year-old from Daytona Beach held off multiple challenges throughout the 150-lap event and maintained command even after his sizeable lead was erased by a late-race caution.”It’s so cool to come here to Pensacola and win,” said Kennedy. “This is a track with so much prestige, and this is phenomenal.”Fifteen-year-old series rookie Gray Gaulding had to settle for second, with John Van Doorn third. Brett Moffitt came home fourth, followed by Kenzie Ruston. Bryon Ortiz, Dylan Kwasniewski, Sergio Pena, Ryan Gifford and Brandon Gdovic completed the top 10.Kennedy, the great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., got his first NASCAR win last year in the Euro-Racecar Series in Tours, France. This was his first win in the U.S. and came in his 30th NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start. His previous best finish was third (twice).Kennedy was one of five drivers in the field with previous experience at the Pensacola track. He has twice competed in Super Late Models at Five Flags.The NAPA Auto Parts 150 will be televised on SPEED on May 2 at 3 p.m. ET.The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule is the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 25.For more results, audio, photos and information, go to hometracks.nascar.com.
Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearHaving been crowned an eight-time women’s champion just last month — that’s halfway to her Hall of Fame father Ric Flair’s 16 championships — Charlotte is eyeing WrestleMania as an opportunity to put her greatness out of reach. Of course, Rousey, who has more than successfully crossed over from the UFC to WWE, and Lynch, who has more heat to her name than any other WWE Superstar, should have something to say about that.Here, Charlotte Flair spoke with Sporting News about her reaction to getting the main event news and how the women holding down WrestleMania’s prime spot came organically. She also discloses her dad’s heartfelt reaction to the news and her thoughts on Asuka not being included in the main event. In addition, she (somewhat begrudgingly) admits how Rousey has pushed her performance to another gear and further explains her pursuit of excellence.WRESTLEMANIA 35Match card | Schedule | Buy PPV & ticketsSporting News: Can you walk us through how you got the official word that you were going to main event WrestleMania 35 along with Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch?Charlotte Flair: It’s one of those things that I had been saying during a couple of interviews that I’m going to main event WrestleMania — whether it’s in five years, this year, next year — so, when I found out, it was just a rush of emotions. You’re saying something and you’ve proven it to the universe and it finally happened. All I wanted to do is text everyone who had been a part of my journey and who helped me get to where I am. I was emotional and I wanted to text [trainers from the WWE Performance Center] Sara del Rey, Fit Finlay and Norman Smiley and the production crew. This has been a collective effort from all the women from the past and the present and we’re hopefully paving the way for the future of the rising stars of NXT. This means absolutely the world to me and I feel like it truly is my destiny.SN: Away from wrestling, we’re in a time of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and just an overall movement of strong women. Yet, this main event wasn’t forced. It came organically. Does that make it all the more special for you?CF: It really does. Yes, there’s been a women’s movement around the world, with the women’s soccer team, with women like Serena Williams and you’re right … this wasn’t something forced. It was something very organic. In 2015, when the #GiveDivasAChance hashtag trended for three days, WWE listened to the audience and gave us opportunities, but had we not delivered time and time again and proving that the audience was connecting with the female stars on an individual level, I do not think we’d be here today.MORE: 10 great moments that define WrestleMania like no otherSN: What was your dad’s reaction to finding out that the women were going to be the main event at WrestleMania for the first time in history?CF: My dad is my biggest fan, my biggest supporter, my best friend. He truly understands what it has been like in the journey, with the ups and downs and helping me every day in how to get better, what I need to do to get better, what I did to get here. He’s been so connected with what it has taken me to get here that … he just said, ‘You deserve it and you did it all on your own.’ He emphasizes that every single day that ‘You did this all on your own. This has nothing to do with me.’ And just, ‘I’m proud of you.’SN: If there’s one gripe that fans have with this main event, it’s that Asuka isn’t a part of it. Just last week, you wrote in an Instagram post that Asuka is “the most talented woman I’ve ever shared the ring with.” (Which was also a way of snubbing Becky Lynch at the same damn time). So, as good as this main event is, do you feel the same way that fans do about Asuka not being included? View this post on Instagram This one means a lot. #8. Thank you @wwe_asuka; The most talented woman I’ve ever shared the ring with. 🤡👸🏼A post shared by Charlotte Flair (@charlottewwe) on Mar 26, 2019 at 6:56pm PDTCF: Here’s the thing — last year, when I wrestled Asuka to break her streak at WrestleMania 34, all I could think about is making her proud. I mean, she’s wrestled all over the world. She had this incredible streak that no one had seen in the history of the business. So, for me, wrestling her … everyone had so much hype for this match, so it was really living up to the expectations and cementing my legacy. And then, obviously, having the title match out of nowhere with her [on SmackDown last month], in my opinion, will only open up more doors for people to see the magic that Asuka and I could make and that’s the bigger picture.People will regard [Asuka’s omission from the main event] as a negative, but no. This is a story. People want better. This just has the opportunity just to get better for people to see just how much further Asuka and I could take each other in the ring and entertainment-wise. There’s no other woman that I’d rather do that with than Asuka because people have already seen us have two — well, three now — matches and I know what we could do.MORE: How WaleMania became WrestleMania weekend’s most anticipated eventSN: What has Ronda Rousey’s presence meant for WWE and also for your career, going up against her?CF: Being in a heated storyline [laughing], I guess I’ll tell you from the perspective of taking you out of the storyline. When Ronda Rousey was signed, I knew it was a big deal. For someone like her, who is a household name, to want to be a part of our division and someone who could have credibility with some who aren’t familiar with the WWE women’s division, that’s what I knew she was bringing to the table. But just because she was an Olympic athlete, didn’t mean she was going to catch on … and she has. That’s not something everyone could do and that’s a testament to how talented she is. And then when I wrestled her at Survivor Series, obviously, it was out of nowhere again.I said, ‘You know what? When I leave that arena, I need to know that people would pay to see this again and that our story would continue.’ And I truly believe that she made me hit another gear change and I had to prove that there’s only one queen. CF: It’s just how competitive I am. I want to be the best, whether it’s in media, in a match or whether I have one minute or 30 minutes … utilize every second you have on TV. I just know that I have more to give, I have more to learn and if I could just continue to not be scared to try new things and know I have the capability — kind of like, ‘Hey, I’m going to main event WrestleMania’ — people might say ‘Sure, you really think a lot of yourself,’ but I don’t think a lot of myself. I just know that I’ve got what it takes whether it takes a year, two years, 10 years, when I step out into a pay-per-view, it’s like that trick up my shoulder where people are like, ‘That’s because you’re Flair’s daughter’ or that I don’t work hard, and all I have to say is that people don’t see what I put in. This is everything to me and I think I’ve proved that whether people want to hear it or not.SN: How important is it to you to be regarded as not only the greatest women’s wrestler of all time, but one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, period?CF: I think it was my first year, Forbes did an article about me and it was about how I wasn’t known for my looks and that … a female was being acknowledged just for her talent, her athleticism and for her career and that meant everything. I don’t want people to think ‘Oh, she’s just a good female wrestler.’ I want people to say, ‘That’s a star.’ I’m so honored to be part of the main event at WrestleMania. Ronda: Wrestling isn’t re… Me:A post shared by Charlotte Flair (@charlottewwe) on Apr 2, 2019 at 8:24am PDTSN: It feels like from big event to big event, you really try to one-up yourself. How much of that is embedded into your conscience heading into a huge event like WrestleMania? View this post on Instagram With each WWE pay-per-view event that comes and goes, it seems like Charlotte Flair does her best to one-up herself and turn in a performance more indelible than her last.So, just imagine what the SmackDown women’s champion has in store for WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday night, when she’ll face Raw women’s champ Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat, Winner Takes All match that will serve as the first time in history that women are headlining WrestleMania in its main event.