Ben Kennedy Makes NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Debut at Bristol
Ben Kennedy made his first start in one of NASCAR's top-three national series at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) on Wednesday night. The 21-year-old Daytona Beach, Fla. native spent Wednesday morning and afternoon practicing his No. 96 ModSpace Motorsports/Fresh from Florida Chevrolet Silverado. Kennedy worked with crew chief Chris Carrier to make changes to the truck during the two practice sessions at BMS. Kennedy was able to keep his truck clean throughout both session and qualified his No. 96 ModSpace Motorsports/Fresh from Florida Chevy 19th for the UNOH 200. The looming rain shower held off and Kennedy was able to gain experience in the Truck Series, bringing his No. 96 ModSpace Motorsports/Fresh from Florida Chevrolet Silverado home in the 20th position for Ben Kennedy Racing.
Kennedy took the green flag on Wednesday night under the lights at the 0.533-mile concrete oval. Shortly after the green flag waved the caution came out for a spin in Turn 4. It was too early in the 200-lap race for Kennedy to come down pit road. He stayed out on the track and restarted in the 22nd position. Following the restart, a long green flag run ensued for the 36-truck field. Kennedy was able to keep his No. 96 ModSpace Motorsports/Fresh from Florida Chevy in positions 24th thru 26th until the second caution came out at lap 71. Kennedy reported his Chevy Silverado was loose on entry and he needed a little more stability when turning in. After Kennedy went down one lap during the long green flag run, Carrier made the call for Kennedy to stay out on the track and take the wave around to put him back on the lead lap.
Kennedy restarted in the 25th position on lap 78 and quickly worked his way up to the 23rd position when the third caution of the race came out. The caution fell into the No. 96 team's pit strategy and Kennedy radioed in to Carrier that his Chevy Silverado was loose on entry. Carrier brought Kennedy down pit road for Sunoco fuel, four Goodyear tires and adjustments. Kennedy restarted in the 24th position on lap 90. After the adjustments and another long green flag run, Kennedy worked his up to the 18th position when the fourth caution came out. Kennedy radioed to Carrier that his truck was still a little free on entry, and Carrier made the call for Kennedy to come down pit road for fresh tires and adjustments. After the pit stop, Kennedy restarted 19th on lap 189, and when the caution came out on the next lap. On the final restart, Kennedy started in the 18th spot and maintained a top-20 position during the closing laps until the checkered flag flew. Kennedy brought his No. 96 ModSpace Motorsports/Fresh from Florida Chevrolet Silverado home in 20th-place. Kennedy's next NCWTS race attempt will be at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, September 8 with race coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1.
"I can't thank my team enough and everyone at Turner Scott Motorsports who supported us," said Kennedy. "I also have to thank my sponsors, ModSpace and Fresh from Florida for being on the truck and coming to the race to support me. It meant so much to me to have them at my first truck race. I learned a lot tonight at Bristol [Motor Speedway], which was my main goal. I was able to run consistent lap times and avoided all of the spins on the track, so overall I would consider it a successful race. I can't wait to get back in the truck in a few weeks at Iowa [Speedway]. I've run there a few times in the K&N Pro Series East, so I'm excited to get back there and get more seat time in the truck."
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