Early Exit for Ben Kennedy and the Local Motors/SpongeBob SquarePants Team at Kansas Speedway

This weekend Ben Kennedy and the No. 11 team traded in their signature black and white paint scheme and rolled into Kansas Speedway with a special group on board - SpongeBob SquarePants and friends. The yellow and blue paint scheme and fire suit adorned with the popular Nickelodeon cartoon characters were a sentimental favorite of both adults and children. After a five-week hiatus in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition, Kennedy and the team were excited to return to racing and were confident that the No. 11 machine would run up front. Kennedy advanced to the final round of Friday's knockout qualifying session and earned the fifth starting position for that night's Toyota Tundra 250. When the green flag was displayed, Kennedy demonstrated that the Local Motors/SpongeBob SquarePants Toyota was right where it belonged and quickly overtook the fourth spot. When the yellow flag was displayed on lap 41, crew chief Scott Zipadelli called the young driver to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and a full tank of Sunoco fuel. He restarted in the fourth position on lap 47, but five laps later reported that the truck was pushing water. When he returned to pit road, the pit crew removed a windshield tear-off from the truck's grille and added water to the radiator before sending him back out on the track. The oil temperature continued to rise and Kennedy drove the No. 11 Toyota Tundra to the garage where the team further assessed the situation to find that the motor had expired. With 57 laps completed, he was relegated to a 26th-place finish.

 

Start - 5

Finish - 26

Driver Points Position - 12

Laps Led - 0

 

Ben Kennedy Quote:

"It's just a disappointing ending to what we thought was going to be a great night. The truck was really fast, and was driving great. We picked up a windshield tear-off on the grille after our first pit stop. The temperatures spiked immediately and we lost a lot of water. I drove to pit road and we hoped that with the debris off the grille and by adding some more water to the radiator we would be ok, but unfortunately it was already too late. We were really happy with this Toyota Tundra and will take it to Charlotte (Motor Speedway) next weekend. We had a lot of fun this weekend with SpongeBob SquarePants on the truck, and would like to thank Nickelodeon for that opportunity."

RHR PR

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Steven B. Wilson

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