Coming off of a fourth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway a few weeks ago, Ben Kennedy made his final start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS). After one practice session at the 1.5-mile track, Kennedy qualified 17th for the Ford EcoBoost 200. While the laps continued to wind down on Friday evening, Kennedy maintained a top-25 position until a mechanical failure sent him to the garage early and relegated him to a 30th-place finish for Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM).
After starting Friday night’s race in the 17th position, Kennedy was in the 19th position when the first caution of the race came out. Kennedy radioed in that his truck’s balance was pretty good and he could get back to the throttle well. After the restart on lap nine, Kennedy worked his way up to the 17th position when the second caution came out at lap 42. Kennedy relayed to crew chief Chris Carrier that he was a little bit loose all the way around. Carrier called the No. 30 Florida Lottery Silverado down pit road for four Goodyear tires, Sunoco fuel and adjustments.
After restarting 21st on lap 46, Kennedy maneuvered his way up way up to the 19th position when the third caution was displayed at lap 65. Kennedy communicated to Carrier that he was free on entry and exit, and a little tight in the center. Carrier called Kennedy down pit road to change four tires, add fuel and make adjustments. After restarting 17th on lap 70, Kennedy was in the 21st position on lap 80 when he radioed in that his oil temperature was really high. Upon inspection of the No. 30 Silverado’s grille, spotter Jimmy Kitchens reported debris blocking the grille opening. Kennedy worked to get behind another competitor to maneuver his truck back and forth in hopes of removing the piece of trash. Fortunately, the oil temperature dropped back to a comfortable level and Kennedy was in the 21st position when the fourth caution came out at lap 95. After coming down pit road for service, Kennedy was lining up on the track when he radioed in that his motor was sounding flat. After agreeing with Kennedy, Carrier told him to drop to the rear to prevent from stacking up the field. After restarting on lap 100, Kennedy maintained the 25th position until the fifth caution came out at lap 103. Carrier called the No. 30 truck down pit road and raised the hood to investigate the problem. After further evaluation under the hood, the team determined the No. 30 Florida Lottery Silverado had dropped a cylinder and would have to go to the garage, ultimately ending Kennedy’s night early. The No. 30 Florida Lottery Chevrolet Silverado finished the season finale at HMS in the 30th position for TSM.
“Great job today guys and thanks for all of your help this year,” commented Kennedy after the race. “I owe a lot to Steve Turner and Harry Scott Jr. and everyone at TSM. They really helped me get comfortable in these trucks and have been patient with me each weekend. I also can’t thank Florida Lottery enough for coming on board. I just wish we could’ve had a better finish for everyone tonight, but it’s certainly not from a lack of effort. This has been a special year in my career to make my first truck start and I’m thankful for all of those who have supported me.”
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