Pit-Road Penalty Results in 19th-Place Finish for Kennedy in Michigan
Ben Kennedy had a strong top-10 run going in his Michigan International Speedway (MIS) debut, laying down fast lap times and appearing poised to pounce on the top five before being mired multiple laps down due to a late-race pit-road penalty. After running out of fuel just as he was coming in for his final pit stop of the day, Kennedy's Heater.com Chevrolet stalled shortly after exiting the No. 31 pit stall, and he was penalized for pitting outside his assigned box. As a result of the stall and a one-lap penalty, Kennedy ultimately was scored 19th in the Careers for Veterans 200.
After running eighth in both of the weekend's practice sessions, Kennedy took the green flag for his first-career race at MIS from the 16th position. Despite being loose all around in the opening laps, Kennedy had advanced up to the 13th position before the first and only caution flag of the day waved on lap nine. Coming to pit road for fuel and chassis adjustments, Kennedy returned to the track in the 12th spot. Thus began an 85-lap race to the checkers, as the event remained under green-flag conditions until its conclusion. Working his way up through the pack, Kennedy was in the eighth position when he came to pit road for his first green-flag stop of the event on lap 50. Michael Shelton and the Heater.com crew provided their driver with four tires and fuel before sending Kennedy back onto the track. By lap 77 of 100, Kennedy was once again scored in eighth and running laps three tenths of a second faster than the leaders. Just as Kennedy was on his way to pit road for a final splash of fuel to make it to the end of the race, he came on the radio to report that his Chevrolet Silverado was out of gas. Kennedy had no issue getting his truck to pit road quickly, and the Turner Scott Motorsports team gave him a speedy shot of Sunoco fuel. With his engine fired, Kennedy exited his pit box, but his truck stalled halfway down pit road as a result of his previously low fuel level. Requiring assistance to re-fire, Kennedy received a penalty for pitting outside of his assigned pit box. As a result of the time lost on pit road and a one-lap penalty enforced, Kennedy took the checkered flag in the 19th position.
Ben Kennedy on Michigan International Speedway:
"This was a tough day with us running out of fuel with only a few laps to go. My Heater.com Chevy was so fast all day long; I really think we would have had something for them in the end. My guys do such a great job, and we actually were more than a lap to the good on fuel; we just were so fast on that final run that we were burning through a lot more fuel than we had all weekend long, and in the end it cost us. The good news is that we're back on the track in four days, and Bristol is a race I've been looking forward to all year. I can't wait."
Kennedy is now eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Point Standings. The series next heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for mid-week racing under the lights. The UNOH 200 will air live on Wednesday, August 20 at 8:00 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1.
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