Pressure Did Not Detour Kennedy
Going into Bristol Motor Speedway, Ben Kennedy knew that time was running out.
|In the photo above, Ben Kennedy, driver of the #33 Jacob Chevrolet, does
burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200
“We’re at a crucial point in the season. It’s crazy to think that time is running out when there are still 11 races left on the season, the young driver analyzed. There’s a sense of urgency to get a win and lock ourselves into the Chase field, but I also don’t want to make things worse by destroying a truck because we were being overly aggressive. This team can get it done, I know we can, but we have to perform.”
On his sixty-third series start, Kennedy, the great-grandson of NASCAR Founder Bill France Sr. and son of Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corporation and Vice Chairperson of NASCAR, became the first France family member to win a NASCAR national series race.
Holding off a hard charging Brett Moffitt, Ben managed to maintain his focus even as Moffitt tapped Kennedy’s bumper on the white flag lap.
"I was just thinking, 'Go as fast as possible on this last lap,' " Kennedy said. "I knew Brett was putting pressure on me from behind. I appreciate him racing me clean. This is just so cool."
With this victory, Benjamin Kennedy will also become the first France Family member locked into a NASCAR Chase. The fact that 2016 season represents the inaugural Truck Series chase format makes it even more distinctive.
"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 at GMS Racing, Jacob Companies, the fans in the stands, everybody watching on TV, gosh this is just the coolest day of my life."
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race - UNOH 200
Bristol Motor Speedway
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
- (13) Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 200.
- (8) Brett Moffitt, Toyota, 200.
- (12) Daniel Hemric, Ford, 200.
- (6) William Byron #, Toyota, 200.
- (7) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 200.
- (9) Cole Custer #, Chevrolet, 200.
- (5) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 200.
- (16) John H Nemechek, Chevrolet, 200.
- (15) Brandon Jones(i), Chevrolet, 200.
- (19) John Wes Townley, Chevrolet, 200.
- (10) Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, 200.
- (14) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 200.
- (25) Timothy Peters, Toyota, 200.
- (1) Tyler Reddick, Ford, 200.
- (21) Caleb Holman, Toyota, 200.
- (22) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 200.
- (11) Jesse Little, Toyota, 200.
- (27) Austin Cindric, Ford, 199.
- (18) Austin Hill, Ford, 199.
- (24) Parker Kligerman, Ford, 199.
- (26) Austin Wayne Self #, Toyota, 198.
- (23) Stewart Friesen, Chevrolet, 198.
- (28) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 197.
- (3) Cameron Hayley, Toyota, 197.
- (30) Travis Kvapil, Chevrolet, 197.
- (20) Rico Abreu #, Toyota, 194.
- (31) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 191.
- (32) Bryce Napier, Chevrolet, 191.
- (2) Daniel Suarez(i), Toyota, Accident, 186.
- (4) Ben Rhodes #, Toyota, Engine, 128.
- (29) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, Power Steering, 71.
- (17) Matt Crafton, Toyota, Engine, 70.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 74.387 mph.
Time of Race: 01 Hrs, 25 Mins, 59 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.274 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 9 for 55 laps.
Lead Changes: 7 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Reddick 1; D. Suarez(i) 2-39; C. Bell # 40-135; D. Suarez(i) 136; C. Bell # 137-141; D. Suarez(i) 142-179; W. Byron # 180; B. Kennedy 181-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): C. Bell # 2 times for 101 laps; D. Suarez(i) 3 times for 77 laps; B. Kennedy 1 time for 20 laps; T. Reddick 1 time for 1 lap; W. Byron # 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 10 in Points: W. Byron # - 349; D. Hemric - 312; J. Sauter - 306; T. Peters - 302; C. Bell # - 296; M. Crafton - 295; B. Kennedy - 287; J. Nemechek - 281; C. Custer # - 273; T. Reddick - 270.
|Tyler Reddick, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, poses with 21|
Means 21 pole award after qualifying in Bristol, Tennessee.
|Tyler Reddick, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, leads the field|
at the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200
|Daniel Suarez, driver of the #51 ARRIS Toyota, leads the field during a restart.|
|Austin Hill, driver of the #02 Ford, leads a group of cars during the race.|
|William Byron, driver of the #9 Liberty University Toyota, leads|
Brandon Jones, driver of the #171 M&D Building Supply/Menards Chevrolet.
|Tommy Joe Martins, driver of the #44 Cross Concrete Construction Chevrolet,|
leads Daniel Hemric, driver of the #19 Blue Gate Bank Ford, in Bristol, Tennessee.
|Winner, Ben Kennedy, driver of the #33 Jacob Chevrolet, celebrates at Bristol|
|Ben Kennedy poses with his coveted winner’s sticker.|
|A happy Ben Kennedy, the first France family member |
to win a NASCAR national series race.
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Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images