This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (March 2014)
|Born||October 17, 1966|
Santa Monica, California
|Awards||2015 inductee in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America|
|NASCAR Cup Series career|
|14 races run over 10 years|
|Best finish||47th (1990)|
|First race||1987 Winston Western 500 (Riverside)|
|Last race||1998 The Bud At The Glen (Watkins Glen)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|1 race run over 1 year|
|Best finish||85th (1990|
|First race||1990 NE Chevy 250 (Loudon|
|24 Hours of Le Mans career|
|Teams||Konrad Motorsport, SRT Motorsports|
Tommy Kendall (born October 17, 1966) is an American race car driver and television broadcaster. He is best known for his IMSA GT Championship and SCCA Trans-Am Series career.
Son of race driver Charles Kendall, Kendall began his racing career competing at the IMSA GT Championship. He drove a Mazda RX-7 in the GTU category while studying and by the time he completed his studies, he took the 1986 and 1987 championships. Later he won three other titles in the same car, which he still owns.
He later dominated the SCCA Trans-Am Series in the 1990s, scoring four series championships. His greatest year came in 1997, when he won 11 races in a row out of the 13 on the schecule—almost a perfect season. During this time, Kendall was also honored by representing the series for six IROC seasons.
He ran in fourteen NASCAR Cup Series races between 1987 and 1998. He raced primarily only on road courses as a road course ringer, and scored one Top-10 finish. He nearly won the 1991 Banquet Frozen Foods 300K at Sears Point Raceway, in which he led 12 laps before cutting a tire with two laps to go following a late-race collision with Mark Martin. The two drivers, who were briefly Roush-Fenway Racing teammates in Trans-Am, would not speak about the incident for years until they rehashed their late-race collision on Martin's podcast, twenty years later.
While competing in Winston Cup as a ringer, Kendall had a single start in the NASCAR Busch Series. Kendall also had one start with Dick Johnson Racing at the 1996 AMP Bathurst 1000 in Australia co-driving with Steven Johnson, the son of team boss Dick Johnson. Johnson and Kendall finished 8th in their Ford EF Falcon. Of the American drivers who have competed in the Bathurst 1000 since the race moved to Bathurst in 1963 including three time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford, Janet Guthrie (the first woman to ever qualify for the Indy 500 in 1977), Dick Barbour, Sam Posey, Bob Tullius, John Andretti and Scott Pruett, Kendall holds the distinction of being the first one to have ever finished the race (Pruett in his only start would finish 11th the next year at Bathurst).
On June 30, 1991, Kendall suffered serious leg injuries at Watkins Glen when a mechanical failure caused his Intrepid RM-1 IMSA GTP car to leave the track and crash head-on into a tire wall. This occurred along the same area of track where J. D. McDuffie of NASCAR Winston Cup fame was killed only a month later, and both crashes led to the addition of a bus stop chicane on the backstretch. Kendall spoke of this incident during Episode 4, Season 2 of the Speed Channel series, Setup as a "crossroads in his racing career." He returned to racing close to a year later in June 1992. He also discussed his accident on Athlete 360, a sports medicine television show hosted by Mark Adickes.
In the 2000s Kendall became a television analyst for the Champ Car series. He is also the host of the Speed Test Drive promotional television series where he and another professional race car driver drive a new vehicle on a race course while being able to remotely talk to each other and offer their positive thoughts on the car.
In 2007 and 2008, Kendall was one of the hosts of the show Setup on SpeedTV.
On July 15, 2012, Kendall revealed on SpeedTV's WindTunnel program that he would be returning to the cockpit as one of four full-time drivers in a factory-backed Dodge Viper effort competing in the American Le Mans Series.
On September 22, 2013, Kendall's new show, Driven - A Race Without Boundaries, premiered on Fox Sports 1. It also stars Rhys Millen and is hosted by Tiff Needell.
Kendall was raised in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, California and is a 1984 graduate of La Cañada High School.
Kendall earned a degree in economics from UCLA and to this day maintains an avid interest in business.
Hall of Fame
In 2015, he was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
Winston Cup Series
|NASCAR Busch Series results|
24 Hours of Le Mans results
|2000||Konrad Motorsport|| Charles Slater
Jürgen von Gartzen
|Porsche 911 GT2||GTS||317||14th||7th|
|2013||SRT Motorsports|| Jonathan Bomarito
|SRT Viper GTS-R||GTE
Bathurst 1000 result
|1996||Shell FAI Racing||Steven Johnson||Ford EF Falcon||158||8th||8th|
- ^ a b Tommy Kendall at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America
- ^ "The Mark Martin Podcast - Episode 9 Tommy Kendall". Stitcher Radio. July 19, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
- ^ NATSOFT Race Result Archived 2007-12-28 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ 1997 Primus 1000 Classic result[permanent dead link]
- Tommy Kendall driver statistics at Racing-Reference
- Tommy Kendall at Driver Database
- Tommy Kendall at IMDb
- Living people
- 1966 births
- Sportspeople from Santa Monica, California
- Racing drivers from California
- 24 Hours of Le Mans drivers
- American Le Mans Series drivers
- Trans-Am Series drivers
- NASCAR drivers
- International Race of Champions drivers
- University of California, Los Angeles alumni
- FIA World Endurance Championship drivers
- Dick Johnson Racing drivers
- Hendrick Motorsports drivers
- RFK Racing drivers