Ben Kennedy NCWTS Preview: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Home Game...The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is back in action this week with its second-consecutive Friday night race under the lights. This weekend's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) is a 'home game' for Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) and most of the NASCAR teams and crew members who call the Queen City home. The 1.5-mile quad-oval will be new turf for Kennedy, who has never made a start at CMS. However, he and the No. 31 team tested at the facility last month, laying down some of the fastest laps at the two-day test.
May is ALS Awareness Month...This weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kennedy's No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado will once again be carrying the colors of the ALS Association. This weekend, Kennedy will represent North Carolina's Jim "Catfish" Hunter Chapter of the ALS Association. The Jim "Catfish" Hunter Chapter focuses primarily on helping local patients and families live with ALS while the National Office focuses primarily on research and advocacy. ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects neurons (nerve cells) in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are approximately twice as likely to get ALS. There is no cure and no life-prolonging treatments for the disease.
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, the ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information, visit ALSA.org and CatfishChapter.org.
Previous Race Recap...Luck was not on Kennedy's side as the 22-year-old made his first-career start at Kansas Speedway. After impressively running fifth and second in the weekend's two practice sessions, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender felt poised to make a strong qualifying run for the SFP 250. Unfortunately making his warm-up lap in the first round of qualifying, Kennedy's ALS Association Chevrolet got loose and made contact with the wall, causing enough damage to require going to a backup truck. Still, Kennedy and the No. 31 team felt confident, utilizing a truck which had seen victory lane many times, including once at Kansas Speedway. Taking the green flag from the 30th position, Kennedy had worked his way to as high as eighth when a wreck broke out in front of the ALS Association Chevrolet on lap 57. Kennedy missed the initial incident, but when another competitor was knocked into him, the young driver suffered heavy nose damage and was forced into the garage for repairs. Ultimately, Kennedy was able to return to the track and finish the race, crossing the finish line in the 20th position.
This Week's Silverado...Kennedy and the No. 31 ALS Association Silverado crew will utilize chassis TSM-601 this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. TSM-601 was the truck tested at CMS last month. The truck also ran four times last season with James Buescher behind the wheel. The truck earned one win (Iowa Speedway II) and never finished outside the top 10.
Watch and Listen...The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 can be seen live on Friday, May 16 on FOX Sports 1. Race coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. EDT, and the event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90. Kennedy will also be carrying an on-board camera for the event, so tune in to catch all the action.
Ben Kennedy on Charlotte Motor Speedway
"I could not be more ready to get to Charlotte and get some redemption. Kansas was a tough race for us overall; we really couldn't have had more bad luck, so the best way to put it behind us is with a good run. We were so fast when we tested in Charlotte last month, so I think this could be a really great race for us. We've got a great truck, and it would be great to get a win in Charlotte at Turner Scott Motorsports' home base, in front of our whole team's friends and family."