Ben Kennedy Battles Back After Late Race Pit Stop at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Ben Kennedy, driver of the No. 33 JACOB Companies Chevrolet, earned a 14th-place finish in the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Due to inclement weather, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) practice on Thursday afternoon was shortened to only one hour-long session. On Friday, qualifying was cancelled, causing the field to be set per the NCWTS rulebook. Kennedy started from the 3rd-position for the NC Education Lottery 200, which was rescheduled for Saturday, May 21.
In the early stages of the race, Kennedy reported to crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz that the No. 33 JACOB Companies Chevrolet was handling loose on entry and tight in the center and the middle of exit. Kennedy stayed within the top-10 until the first caution of the day occurred on lap 24. Stankiewicz called Kennedy to pit road for four tires, fuel, and air pressure and track bar adjustments to help tighten the free-handling chassis. Kennedy restarted with the field from the seventh position on lap 28. Kennedy reported that he was getting tighter and dropped back to the 12th position. Kennedy continued to battle for position within the top 10 until the caution clock expired on lap 68. Kennedy reported to Stankiewicz that he was continuing to get tighter on the longer runs. Stankiewicz called Kennedy to pit road for four tires, fuel, and air pressure and chassis adjustments, restarting the JACOB Companies Chevrolet in the seventh position on lap 71. Kennedy reached the third position on lap 83 but once again the No. 33 began to tighten up and he fell back to the 12th position on lap 116. Stankiewicz knew Kennedy was short on fuel and called Kennedy to pit road for two left side tires and fuel under green flag conditions, returning to the field on lap 122. In seven laps, Kennedy battled his way through the field and by lap 129 he settled in to the 14th position where he remained until the No. 33 JACOB Companies Chevrolet crossed the start-finish line on lap 134.
Kennedy is 13th in the driver championship point standings, seven points out of the 10th position
BEN KENNEDY QUOTE:
"The weather conditions this weekend were really tough on us. We only had one practice in our JACOB Companies Chevy and didn’t’ get a chance to qualify so our time on track was limited. It was great to start up front in the third position. I was really tight on the long runs and free on the short ones. We were great on restarts but the truck just kept getting tighter and tighter on me throughout those long runs. Jeff (Stankiewicz, crew chief) had a tough call there towards the end when it came down to whether we could make it on fuel or not, but we didn’t want to chance running out of fuel and came down to pit. We had a fast JACOB Companies Chevrolet and I am looking forward to Texas."finish is great. I'm really proud of the GMS Racing team and the effort they put in all weekend."
GMS Racing PR
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