Ben Kennedy Named NCWTS Rookie of the Year at Homestead-Miami
In taking the checkered flag in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ben Kennedy captured the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year title, capping off his season with a top-20 finish. Despite handling struggles which resulted in a disappointing 17th-place finish, Kennedy made history as the first descendant of NASCAR's founding family to complete a season in one of the sport's top-three touring series.
After showing promising speeds in the weekend's two practice sessions, Kennedy advanced to the final round of knockout qualifying, earning an 11th-place starting spot for the Ford EcoBoost 200. With tight handling on the race's first long run, the 22-year-old was scored in the 12th position when the caution flag waved on lap 25. Crew chief Doug George called Kennedy into the pits for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment, and the Heater.com Chevrolet returned to the track in 11th. When the yellow flag was displayed once again on lap 71, Kennedy had dropped to the 18th spot, struggling with a truck that was tight in the center and exit. Once again, the Turner Scott Motorsports team provided Kennedy with a four-tire stop, earning him five positions on pit road before the field went green on lap 76. The team was able to make a final swing at adjustments under yellow on lap 100, but despite restarting in the 11th position, the Heater.com Chevrolet continued to be plagued by handling, with Kennedy ultimately crossing the finish line in the 17th position.
Ben Kennedy on Homestead-Miami Speedway:
Ben Kennedy on winning Sunoco Rookie of the Year: