TALLADEGA, Al.— In only his second career NASCAR Xfinity Series start, Ben Kennedy was able to snag a fourth place finish in Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 from Talladega Superspeedway.
Kennedy will race nine times with Richard Childress Racing, while racing for GMS Racing for 12 races
The long off season for Kennedy was full of preparation, including competing in “America Ninja Warrior”. Kennedy spent time at track learning how Austin Dillon interacted with crew chief, Justin Alexander. Kennedy has also watched extensive amounts of film in preparation for running in the Xfiniy Series.
At Talladega, that hard work paid off.
Kennedy started the weekend strong in the only two practice sessions where he was third and fourth. Kennedy also had a strong showing in qualifying on Saturday morning Kennedy was able to make it to the second round and ended up qualifying fourth.
When the green flag fell, Kennedy quickly worked his way to the lead. Kennedy led for five laps throughout the event. Although it was a fourth place finish, Kennedy avoided numerous wrecks in his quest for a top-five finish.
"I learned a lot out there today in the Rheem Chevrolet,” said Kennedy. “I knocked the rust off of it the first couple of laps and then started to get after it. On the last lap, Joey Logano and I had a run, but we just kind of lost our momentum on the high side. It's amazing how these cars run and the lines they run. I got a lot out of today and I'm really happy with the finish. It was a lot of fun.”
Kennedy’s next NASCAR Xfinity Series race will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Hisense 4K TV 300.
MARTINSVILLE, Va -- In typical Martinsville fashion, there was a post-race altercation between two drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series following the running of the Texas Roadhouse 200.
Ben Kennedy and Ben Rhodes confronted each other in the garage area after lap 177. Kennedy spun in turn two after a bump from Rhodes.
Kennedy is currently vying for a championship with GMS Racing. The wreck leaves Kennedy 10 points away from the cutoff line currently held by William Byron.
The caution, however, was a lucky break for Matt Crafton. On an earlier caution, Crafton went a lap down after fixing issues with the left-rear
Kennedy initiated the confrontation. “Come up to me and talk. Don’t stand over here. You gave me a headache all day and then you wreck us over in Turn 2. You wrecked us! That was the second time today! If you were sorry you would’ve walked over and talked to me instead of standing over here by your race truck.”
Rhodes quickly responded, “I was just trying to move you out of the way clean. I don’t want to start problems. That was never my intention.”
Despite the accident, Kennedy rebounded to an 18th place finish and did not fall a lap down. Rhodes finished in the 19th position behind Kennedy.