NASCAR Xfinity: Ben Kennedy pieces together nearly full-time gig
Ben Kennedy (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
Ben Kennedy will be behind the wheel of a NASCAR Xfinity Series ride most of the remainder of the 2017 season, beginning in May, combining gigs with Richard Childress Racing and GMS Racing.
“I am really excited to be competing with GMS Racing in the Xfinity Series, Kennedy said. “The conversation to get me in the second car has been on-going since the end of last season. Everyone that works at GMS is so dedicated to the team. There’s a sense of family at the shop and at the track, so I’m glad everything has finally lined up.”
Kennedy is slated to run 12 races with GMS Racing as a teammate to Spencer Gallagher, and another nine races with Richard Childress Racing. He’ll climb into an RCR ride first to run the May 6 race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. His driving gig with GMS, meanwhile, will kick-off with the May 27 race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. At Richard Childress Racing, Kennedy will share driving duties of the No. 2 with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars Austin Dillon and Paul Menard.
“I am looking forward to working with Rheem, Menards and the No. 2 Xfinity Series team,” Kennedy said. “I’m thrilled that well-respected brands like Rheem and Menards are willing to lend their support and provide the opportunity to prove what I can do. I may not have the experience that Cup Series drivers do, but I’m confident that I have what it takes to get to victory lane.”
Those races will be Kennedy’s first NASCAR national series races of the year. He last raced as a regular in a national series of NASCAR last year in the Camping World Truck Series. He has three full-time seasons of experience in that series, running full-time as recently as last season. In 73-career Truck Series starts, Kennedy posted one win in 2016 at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway in a truck fielded by GMS. He also has four-career top-fives and 10 top-10 Truck Series finishes.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Ben fill our second car,” GMS Racing Director of Competition Mike Beam said. “This is a huge step for our Xfinity Series program, and I look forward to watching Ben learn and grow as a driver through it.”
Kennedy has one-career Xfinity Series start to his credit, finishing 10th at Iowa Speedway in Newton for Richard Childress Racing.