Kennedy returns to track after getting UF diploma

Sure, the trucks have been silent for much of the past month — save for a test session or two — but that doesn’t mean its drivers have used the opportunity to take an extended vacation.

Quite the opposite. And few have been busier than Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Ben Kennedy.

Kennedy, who scored his career-best finish (third) during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ last race at Martinsville Speedway, earned his college degree last Saturday.

The newly minted University of Florida graduate — who took a selfie while walking across the graduation stage, and posted it on Twitter — will commemorate the achievement by wearing a special Class of 2014 Gators helmet during Friday night’s SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).

Kennedy also will run a special paint scheme honoring ALS Awareness Month, and have a special guest with him throughout the weekend — Don Post, the 2013 Betty Jane France Humanitarian of the Year winner. Post, whose name will be above the right-side door of Kennedy’s truck, has defied the odds in terms of his life expectancy, and has since dedicated his life to helping others.

Friday will be Kennedy’s first start at Kansas, though he does have two prior starts at 1.5-mile venues. Last season, he raced to a 16th-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway (which is often likened to Kansas), and a 30th-place run at Homestead-Miami Speedway