Rocky Road Racing

Team History and Biographies

Team History

1992 Sand Hills Sandblast
L-R: Matt Kennedy, Mark Childs, Rick Wilkenson, Don Kennedy, Dean Fry
photo: Greg Healey

Throughout the 1980's SUBARU enthusiast Dean Fry had navigated and serviced for a number of friends competing in rallies, and near the end of the decade he decided to build his own car to drive at events. Dean starting out with a two-door, carberuated, 1980 SUBARU Hatchback, and for each of the first few events he used different navigator. Then he asked Don Kennedy, a long-time rally organizer and worker, to navigate; and for the next 10 years Dean and Don were a mainstay at rallies in the Northeast. Dean and Don quickly became known as FUBAR Racing (because that's what Dean wanted their team name to be). 1980 Subaru Hatchback
1990 Duryea HillClimb - photo: Matt Kennedy

1988 Subaru RX
1992 STPR - photo: Matt Kennedy
Anyway, after several successful years of campaigning the hatchback with zero DNF's, in 1992 the team moved up to a turbo-charged 1988 SUBARU RX (the two-door hatchback variety). Using this car the team continued their perfect finishing record, and along the way two of Don's sons, Matt and Keith, became more and more involved with working on the car at home and at the events. After about three years of playing with turbo's, the team decided to go back to normal aspiration and built a 2.2L 1991 SUBARU Legacy.

Unfortunately, their new car also brought them some new luck = bad luck, as they DNF with cooling problems on the car's debut event. But hey, what else could you expect from a car with 156,000 original miles! Although the car started out stock, over the years some engine and exhaust work was done to give the car more power and to make it sound more like a race car, though it was mostly done for power. In 1996 Dean and Don won, respectively, the SCCA NorthEast Division's (NEDiv) Open 4WD Class driver's and co-driver's championships. 1990 Subaru Legacy
1995 STPR - photo: Matt Kennedy

1996 Subaru Impreza
2000 STPR: Don & Keith Kennedy - photo: Matt Kennedy
At the end of the 1999 season Don finally decided to try his hand behind the wheel full time. So in early 2000 Rocky Road Racing was started (though that hasn't always been the team's name, but that's a whole other long story), and the team prepared a 2.2L 1996 Subaru Impreza to Production GT class specifications. Keith and Matt took turns navigating; and while one was busy reading the directions from the right seat, the other was in charge of the service crew.

Since then the team has competed all over the Eastern United States and Canada; and if they ask really nice, dad even lets the kids play with the car. Keith and Matt have also kept busy by entering a variety of other Subarus in HillClimbs, AutoCrosses, and RallyCrosses. Along the way they've claimed a number of top finishes, and in particular, in 2002 Matt won the inagural New England Region (NER) RallyCross Championship in his stock, daily-driver, 1991 2.2L Legacy. 2002 Maine Winter RallyCross
2002 Maine Winter RallyCross - photo: Rob Plafta

1996 Subaru Impreza with 2002 Subru WRX engine and drivetrain
2003 Maine Forest Rally - photo: Matt Kennedy
In the summer of 2003 Don decided that he was getting too old to still be going that slow (it's not that he was too slow, it was the car that was too slow), so the engine and drive-train from a wrecked 2002 SUBARU Impreza WRX was shoe-horned into the 1996 chassis. The WRX components remained pretty well stock until the fall of 2004, when the car was sent out to be tuned for the 34mm (inlet) restictor that became mandatory in 2005.

Don Kennedy

Don Kennedy

Although 2000 marked Don's first year as a ProRally driver, he was no stranger to the sport, or racing in general.  He began hill-climbing a Triumph TR3 in the early 1970's.  Don could even be seen towing his Triumph with a red 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28.  In the mid 70's Don took a break from competing and got involved on the worker side of things, helping to help organize the Duryea Hillclimb.

In the 1980's he answered the call that many rallyists in the northeast get, STPR.  Don was a stage captain for nearly 10 years, in charge of setting up and organizing workers for several of the rally's stages.  Through these efforts he got to know many of the roads better than some of the competitors.  At the same time Don began to introduce two of his sons, Matt and Keith, to racing through PRO and TSD rallies, hillclimbs, and annual trips to Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, etc.

In the early 1990's Don began navigating for Dean Fry, competing throughout the northeast in a variety of specially prepared Subarus.  This partnership resulted in many successful finishes, including the 1996 NEDIV Drivers' and Navigators' Championship for Dean and Don respectively.  In early 2000 Don prepared his own car to drive, a 1996 Subaru Impreza that he uses when he regularly competes in the Rally America, NASA RallySport, and Candain Association of Rallysport (CARS) series.

Matt Kennedy

Matt Kennedy

In the mid 1980's, around the age of 10, Matt began competing by navigating for his father in several TSD rallies around eastern Pennsylvania.  Around the age of 15 he began working at Pro Rallies and Hillclimbs, while continuing to compete as both a navigator and a driver in many Brisk TSD and Trap Rallies.

In the early 1990's Matt began working as a service crew member for neumerous SCCA Blue Mountain Region (BMR) rally teams, eventually becoming crew chief for the FUBAR Racing Team, for which his father Don was the navigator.  In the past 15 years Matt has attended many of the rallies in the north-east, either as a worker, a crew member/crew chief, or a competitor, and has taken a large number of photographs in the process.

Since the late 1990's Matt has continually competed for class honors at HillClimbs and RallyCrosses throughout the Northeast, and in 2002 he won the the inagural New England Region (NER) RallyCross Championship in his stock, daily-driver, 1991 2.2L Legacy.  In the past few years Matt has also begun to try his hand behind the wheel of the Don's Impreza at various Perfomance Rallies.

Keith Kennedy

Keith Kennedy

Keith first began working Hillclimbs and Pro Rallies, as well as navigating in TSD rallies during the early 1990's.  As is the case for most rallyist in the north-east, Keith's first Pro Rally experience was STPR, and he was hooked from the start.  After working a few more Pro Rallies in the northeast Keith began service crewing for the FUBAR Racing Team, for which his father Don was the navigator.

In the late 1990's Keith began competing in TSD rallies, autocrosses and rallycrosses, taking many podium finishes over the years.  Keith also began to compete as a driver at some of the hillclimbs he previously worked, taking 2nd in the Rally Class at the Pagoda Hillclimb in Reading Pennsylvania.  In 2004 Keith took 1st in the Rally Class at the Duryea Hillclimb, the shortened course of which serves as the basis for the Pagoda event.  In 2000 Keith also began navigating in Pro Rallies, taking up the right seat next to his father Don in the team's new Subaru Impreza rally car.

Family Photo

Family (of Subarus) Photo
Our family of Subarus!
(circa 2000 - we haven't been able to get ALL of them together since...)

Top of the PagePrevious PageRocky Road Home Page