Kennedy Scores Top-10 Finish in Return to Chicagoland

Ben Kennedy overcame a 17th-place starting position to earn a top-10 finish in his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at Chicagoland Speedway. Despite starting the event with tight handling and experiencing a slight vibration, Kennedy was able to navigate his Heater.com Chevrolet to the front of the field, ultimately crossing the finish line in the seventh position and gaining two spots in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings.

 

After running 11th and 17th in the weekend's two practice sessions, Kennedy received a 17th-place starting position when rain washed out qualifying, requiring that the field be set per the NASCAR rule book. After the wave of the green flag, Kennedy was able to work his way up to the 13th position before a competition caution on lap 32. Reporting to crew chief Doug George that his truck was aero tight in traffic, Kennedy brought his Heater.com Silverado to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Emerging in the 12th position for the lap 36 restart, Kennedy would have another chance to adjust the handling of his tight truck when the yellow flag was displayed on lap 63. George made the call for right-side tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment, which put the Heater.com machine in the fourth position when green-flag racing resumed. On lap 91, Kennedy keyed the radio to report that he suddenly had a wheel vibration, but the 22-year-old was able to ride it out until his next visit to pit road. A long run would force Kennedy's next pit stop to be made under green-flag conditions on lap 109. Kennedy entered the pits in the eighth position before receiving four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. The caution waved shortly after the No. 31 team's stop, closing up the field for the lap 119 restart with the Heater.com Chevy scored in 13th. In the final 31 laps, Kennedy's Silverado was the best it had been all night, laying down fast laps and advancing up to the seventh position before the wave of the checkered flag.

 

Ben Kennedy on Chicagoland Speedway:

"This was a really great run for our Heater.com team; I'll take a top 10 for sure. I really would have liked another caution at the end to get one more chance to run up to the front, but this finish is exactly what this team needed. Our truck was really fast, especially there at the end. I'm really pumped about the potential we have in these final seven races. I really have to thank my team owner Harry Scott for his dedication to this team's success and everything he's done for our organization."

 

Kennedy moves up to seventh in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings. Next week, the series makes a return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first time since 2011. The UNOH 175 will air live on Saturday, September 20 at 12:30 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1.

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Steven B. Wilson

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