By BILL UTTER
The news many did not want to hear became official this past week when Kenny Tremont announced he will call it a career at the end of the season.
Tremont has been a top runner for a long-time but he feels his body is telling him that he has had enough. He discussed retiring at the end of last season with major backer George Rifenberg and they decided to give it one more year.
“It’s absolutely a hard decision. I have done this my whole life so it’s not easy. It’s a big commitment and it’s taken everything I’ve got. I’ve had a few concussions and I’m not getting any younger,” Tremont shared.
“I have not been running as well as I would like to and the results aren’t there. Working on the cars consumes so much time that there is no time for anything else. You can do 50 or 60 hours a week in maintenance and there is more you wish you could do.
“Take for example the sheet metal. You have to take it off to wash the car and straighten it out and put it back on and that’s very time consuming. I’ve been somewhat quiet about the decision not wishing to make a big deal of it,” explained the popular driver.
The success he has enjoyed has been remarkable. He started warming up a car in 1977 at the age of 11 and started racing regularly in 1979. He was a teammate of Chuck Ely who quit in 1981. He got his first modified win in 1982.
The driver who will be 62 years old this fall has won 392 features. He’s the all-time winningest driver at Lebanon Valley with 143 victories and 14 modified championships. At Albany Saratoga he has won 81 times and has 13 championships.
At Devils Bowl he has won 90 features and has 10 championships. He won the 200 in Syracuse in 1999 which he describes as the biggest win of his career, won the Lebanon 200 twice. One championship he wished he could’ve won was the overall Dirt.car series modified championship which he finished in second a couple of times. He ran the series from 1985 to 2004. He was often racing five nights a week.
One year he ran 105 races.
Kenny has had a 20 year relationship with George Rifenberg who owns some of the equipment. He doesn’t have any plans to sell anything off at this time.
His father Ken Sr. has been involved in racing for so long it will be hard for him to quit. His son Montgomery is racing a Small Block at Lebanon Valley and still wants to continue that. It is likely Kenny will be at the track supporting him but he has no plans to drive again after this season.
It’s been quite a ride for Tremont, the personable driver who is well liked both on and off the track. He will be missed. Kenny will be finishing up the season at LV and A/S but that will be it.