Camping World Truck rookie hoping for a top five
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) makes a triumphant return to Gateway Motorsports Park, located just outside of St. Louis, Mo., for the first time since 2010. Although he has never made a start at the 1.25-mile track, Ben Kennedy will face a relatively even playing field, as only nine drivers in Saturday's race have previous starts at the track.
Kennedy, great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France, ran the NASCAR K&N series last year, and graduated to the Camping World truck series this season.
Kennedy and the No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) crew will utilize chassis TSM-228 this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park. TSM-228 was most recently run by Kennedy at Martinsville Speedway, where he earned an impressive third-place finish.
Making his debut in the Lone Star State, Kennedy and his TSM team worked hard on the handling of the No. 31 Chevy Silverado in the early portion of the race, advancing from the 18th spot into the top 10 at Texas Motor Speedway.. However, a long green-flag run in the second half of the event changed the game for the NCWTS field, ultimately resulting in a fuel-mileage race to the finish. Forced to make a green-flag pit stop for fuel in the closing laps with several of the leaders, Kennedy was forced to settle for a 14th-place finish in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400.
"This is an exciting one to be a part of," Kennedy said. " I know when Gateway was taken off the schedule a few years ago, it disappointed a lot of drivers and teams who really loved competing at the track. You never like to lose a good venue in this sport, and I think it's great that the Truck Series branches out to some of the places that Cup and Nationwide don't go, so it's awesome that we got Gateway back. We're bringing our truck from Martinsville, which was a really strong truck and very good at the end of the race, so hopefully we can get another top five with it."