To say the Dillon brothers, Austin and Ty, who just happen to be the grandsons of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, receive a lot of flak for their lineage is pretty much an understatement. I’m sure you’ve heard the criticism, or maybe even hurled said criticisms, yourself. You know what I’m talking about — those claims that they only got their rides or got to where they are because they’re spoiled rich kids and the grandsons of Richard Childress.
Okay, these guys may be the grandchildren of Richard Childress, for whom they also drive, but they’re producing results in those rides, both are race winners at the imediately preceeding series they raced in. And in Austin’s case, he has championships in both the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series to his credit. So saying they don’t deserve the rides Grandpa Richard, a.k.a. Pop Pop, gave them seems a little ludicrous to me, but that’s beside the point.
The subject of this post is Camping World Truck Series competitor Ben Kennedy — the Ben Kennedy who is the son of Lesa France Kennedy. And by France, I mean the France family that founded NASCAR and has been in charge of the sanctioning body throughout the entire 60+ years of its history.
Since the Dillon brothers catch flak because dear old Grandad owns their race team, what kind of criticsim does Kennedy have to look forward to? No, the young Kennedy isn’t racing for a family owned team; instead, he’s driving the No. 31 Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports that is just a couple of seasons removed from winning a series championship.
Isn’t the fact that a driver’s family runs the series a driver’s racing in bigger than a direct-line relative owning the race team for which said driver competes? Succeed or fail, I sure hope Kennedy has a thick skin when it comes to this whole racing thing. Fail and he proves the potential “he got his ride because his family runs the sport” critics right. Win races and possibly even championships and those critics will turn a blind eye to the success and criticize anyway. Just ask Austin and Ty Dillon.
By the way, Kennedy started on the pole for the season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway last weekend when qualifying was rained out and the field set by practice speeds. I’m sure some those conspiracy theorists can find one of their crazy conspiracy theories in there somewhere.
What do you think of Ben Kennedy — his geneology and potential for success or failure in NASCAR? Let us know on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or on our Facebook page (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook: NASCAR Examiner.
But before you do, check out this Ben Kennedy photo gallery (photos courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR):