Ben Kennedy Charges to 12th-Place Finish at Eldora Speedway
Ben Kennedy and the No. 11 Local Motors team overcame numerous setbacks to finish 12th as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returned to dirt racing at Eldora Speedway. After hard contact with the outside retaining wall during the first practice session at the famed Rossburg, Ohio short track, the No. 11 team worked relentlessly to put the Local Motors Toyota Tundra back together in time to dial it in during final practice. Kennedy turned the 22nd-fastest lap during time trials and earned the fifth starting position in the second of five qualifying races. Narrowly missing the transfer spot, Kennedy started and finished second in the Last Chance Qualifying race to secure the 27th starting position for the third annual Mud Summer Classic. A mechanical issue on the final lap required the No. 11 team to make unapproved adjustments prior to the race and forced them to start from the rear of the 32-truck field. Kennedy calmly picked off positions, one by one, climbing to 18th by the first of the two competition cautions on lap 60. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli called for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment in an effort to free up the black and white Tundra's handling. Kennedy advanced 22 positions in 90 laps as he took over the 10th spot, and then claimed eighth by lap 100. The team elected to remain on the track during the lap-110 competition caution and restarted in eighth. In the closing laps of the event, the Daytona Beach, Florida native fought hard to maintain his top-10 position as the racing heated up around the half-mile facility, but slipped backwards to finish 12th.
Start - 27
Finish - 12
Driver Points Position - 10
Laps Led - 0
Ben Kennedy Quote:"It was kind of a long day for us [at Eldora Speedway]. We struggled a bit during practice and got into the outside wall. Our heat race was pretty packed and I knew we had a lot of speed, but we missed the transfer spot by one position and had to run the last chance race. We started further back in the field than we would have liked for our Local Motors Toyota Tundra, but we drove our way up to as far as eighth at one point, which was really a big win for us after such a long day. I'm really proud of the guys. They worked their tails off today to get the truck back in shape. We had a lot of damage, a lot of bent parts and pieces after we hit the wall, and the guys stayed strong and worked really hard to put it back together. To leave here 12th after our day, and against guys that have a lot of dirt [racing] experience whereas I have basically none, is like a win. It was fun, but I'm ready to get back to asphalt racing and ready to go on to the Tricky Triangle (Pocono Raceway)."
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