NASCAR Truck: Ben Kennedy gets first-career win at Bristol
Ben Kennedy takes a selfie in victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway after winning the UNOH 200 on Aug. 17, 2016 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).
By AMANDA VINCENT
Ben Kennedy claimed his first-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win Wednesday night in the UNOH 200 at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway. With that win came a berth in the Truck Series’ first chase championship postseason.
“I can’t put it into words,” Kennedy said. “Someone asked me earlier today what it’s like going to Bristol for your first time, and to win here is just so cool. I’m speechless. The guys gave me an awesome truck. Everyone else at GMS Racing, Jacob Companies, the fans in the stands, everybody watching on TV. Gosh, this is just the coolest day of my life.”
Brett Moffitt finished second, his career-best finish in the series. Daniel Hemric, William Byron and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-five in the race that started nearly an hour late because of rain.
“We had a good truck, a strong truck all day,” Moffitt said. “We ran topo-five, top-10 most of it. He had just enough to get away from us on that last restart. After that, we got to him once, but couldn’t get around.”
Kennedy took the lead from Daniel Suarez with 20 laps to go and ran up front the rest of the way. Suarez, meanwhile, began to struggle and fell to the back of the field. He wound up hitting the wall with 13 laps remaining and was credited with a 29th-place finish.
Suarez led 77 laps of the 200-lap race, but that wasn’t enough to take most-laps-led honors. Instead, that distinction went to his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Christopher Bell, who led 101 laps led. Aside from Bell and Suarez, Kennedy was the only driver to lead multiple laps.
Tyler Reddick started on the pole and led the first lap, but was overtaken by Suarez on lap two. Sauter was the only other driver to lead a lap.
Cole Custer finished sixth, Bell wound up seventh after leading just over half the race, John H. Nemechek was eighth, Brandon Jones ninth, and John Wes Townley finished 10th.
The yellow flag waved nine times for a total of 55 laps, including a competition caution just past lap 40.