Ben Kennedy raced his way into the inaugural Chase in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Wednesday night after picking up his first victory in 63 career starts in the series.
"I can't put it into words," said Kennedy. "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."
Kennedy took the lead with 20 laps to go, passing rookie sensation William Byron, who won at Kansas Speedway in May, and held off Brett Moffitt over the final six laps to pick up the hard-earned victory.
“I was just thinking go as fast as possible on this last lap,” said Kennedy. “I knew Brett was putting pressure on me from behind. I appreciate him racing me clean. This is just so cool. These guys deserve it. They work so hard.”
Moffitt earned the best finish of his career in any of the three NASCAR national series, second.
“We had a good truck, a strong truck all day,” said Moffitt. “We ran top 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."
The victory for Kennedy was critical, as he moved to seventh in the point standings. Additionally, he’s just about locked into the Chase with three races remaining with this win under his belt.
The win also holds historical significance as Kennedy became the first France family member to win a NASCAR national series race. Kennedy is the great-grandson of NASCAR Founder Bill France Sr. and son of Lesa France Kennedy, CEO of International Speedway Corporation.
He received an outpouring of support from other NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers plus plenty of tweets from drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano.
Kennedy also received a congratulatory tweet from his mom, Lesa, too: “SO excited for Ben Kennedy! Wins Bristol and off to the Chase!”
While the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase is not making a stop at Kansas Speedway, tickets are on sale now for both the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Race weekend at Kansas Speedway is less than 60 days away and tickets can be purchased by calling 866.460.7223 or logging on to www.kansasspeedway.com for the Hollywood Casino 400, the fifth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Oct. 16, the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Oct. 15, and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season finale on Oct. 14.
General parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring in one 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages.
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