Ben Kennedy Earns First Career Truck Win at Bristolby Kyle Pokrefky August 18, 2016
Ben Kennedy sealed the deal at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, coming home with his first-ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in the UNOH 200.
The 24-year-old great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. outlasted Brett Moffitt in a thrilling duel to the finish of the 200-lap race to not only earn his maiden victory, but to punch his ticket into the series’s Chase as well.
Kennedy led the final 20 laps of the race en route to the checkered flag – the second of the season for his team, GMS Racing.
“We had an awesome Jacob Companies Silverado,” Kennedy said. “Hats off to everybody at GMS and the entire team, Chevrolet and ECR Motors, it’s unbelievable. Everybody that’s believed in me to get me here – this is a really special moment.
“You always think about your first win in the trucks and plan it out, but I never would have imagined it being Bristol and I never would have told you going into today’s race that it would have been today.”
Moffitt, driver of the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota, scored a career-best finish in the Truck Series with his runner-up result.
In his post-race press conference, Moffitt said that if an opportunity was present to move a driver out of the way on the half-mile short track, he was open to making the most of it.
“I’m going to race people the way I want to be raced,” Moffitt stated. “It is Bristol, if you need to move someone, you got to move them. I just wasn’t quite good enough through the center to get to him. He slipped up a few times and I was able to get to his bumper once and didn’t get to him hard enough.
“I was really waiting for him to make a mistake so I could shove my nose in there, but he executed when he needed to and hit his marks. I wasn’t able to get to him there.”
Rounding out the top-10 of the finishing order were Daniel Hemric, William Byron, Johnny Sauter, Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, John Hunter Nemechek, Brandon Jones and John Wes Townley.
Other notable finishers throughout the field were pole-sitter Tyler Reddick in 14th, Jordan Anderson in 16th, Parker Kligerman in 20th, Rico Abreu in 26th and Daniel Suarez in 29th.
Caution periods slowed the action at Bristol on nine separate occasions on Wednesday night.
Fluid on the track brought out the first caution of the night on Lap 29 while a competition caution was the culprit for the yellow on Lap 42. A two-truck accident involving Kennedy and Cole Custer occurred on Lap 54 as a solo spin by Tommy Joe Martins brought out the yellow on Lap 64.
Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates Bell and Suarez were involved in the fifth caution of the night on Lap 144 as a three-truck incident between Bell, Kaz Grala and Bryce Napier occurred on Lap 164.
Solo incidents by Anderson and Suarez were the cause for the last two respective cautions of the night on Laps 173 and 188.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will next be in action next Saturday, August 27th, at Michigan International Speedway for the Careers for Veterans 200.
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images