Making his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night, Ben Kennedy looked to gain a solid finish and get familiar with the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval in the EnjoyIllinois.com 225. Kennedy and his No. 30 Turner Scott Motorsports team started the day by qualifying 12th at the Chicago suburb track. Kennedy was able to put down consistent laps during the entire race and bring home the Turner Scott Motorsports Silverado with a hard-fought 16th-place finish.
Shortly after the green flag dropped at Chicagoland, Kennedy and the rest of the field quickly settled into the 225-mile race. Battling a tight truck in the center of the corner, the 21-year-old was scored in the 16th position when the first caution of the day came out on lap 14 for a spin on the backstretch. Crew chief Chris Carrier decided to bring the No. 30 down pit road for fuel only during the caution. After making sure the Chevy Silverado was packed full of fuel, Kennedy gained two spots and restarted 14th. Shortly after the restart, the 36-truck field settled in for a long green-flag run. The Daytona Beach, Fla. native found himself in the 14th position when the second caution of the night came out on lap 48 for oil on the track. Carrier again called Kennedy down pit road to change four tires, add fuel and remove a spring rubber to help the No. 30 turn better in Turns 3 and 4. After a quick pit stop by the crew, Kennedy would restart the 225-mile race from in the 16th spot.
After the restart, Kennedy would maintain his position and continue to learn his way around 1.5-mile oval until the third caution of the night came out on lap 69 for oil on the track. During the caution, Carrier again called Kennedy down pit road, this time just to add Sunoco race fuel to the No. 30. After another good pit stop by his crew, Kennedy restarted in the 11th position. The 21-year-old rookie would continue to hold onto a top-20 position until the final caution of the night came out on lap 101 for an accident on the frontstretch. Carrier used this last caution to make one final adjustment to the No. 30 Silverado, bringing Kennedy down pit road to change 4 tires, add fuel and make a track-bar adjustment. After a final great pit stop by his Turner Scott Motorsports crew, Kennedy restarted in the 14th position. After the restart, Kennedy continued to battle for the remaining portion of the race, crossing the finish line in the 16th position.
"I would like to thank everyone at Turner Scott Motorsports for working so hard and giving me a great truck tonight," Kennedy said. "I had so much fun out there battling and learning my way around Chicagoland. We battled with a tight truckr in Turns 3 and 4, but my guys made great adjustments all night and I think it really helped us on the long run. I will go back and talk to my crew chief Chris Carrier and continue to learn. I am looking forward to making my next Truck Series start."