Heading into Martinville Speedway this weekend, Ben Kennedy is looking for solid finish to keep his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on a solid note after a solid 15th place finish at Daytona.
Moving forward to this weekend, Kennedy is focused on having success this weekend at Martinsville. So far, the rookie is off to a good start as he posted the fifth quickest time in practice.
While racing for the win, Kennedy will have a special cause on the side of his truck as the ALS Association will adorn the quarter panels of his No. 31 Turner-Scott Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado.
“We’re excited to have the ALS on-board this weekend,” Kennedy commented. “I’m sure some of you guys know Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a neurodegenerative that affects your nerve system, your brain, spinal cord and everything. A dear friend of ours, Annette Farmer, name is above the door on the right side so she’s going to be riding along with us so it will be pretty cool. The ALS Association – they do have a drug out there that you can take to reside the symptoms, but there’s no actual cure for it.”
Kennedy is hoping to spread awareness while running inside the top five, which could easily be accomplished as the 22-year-old posted a fourth place finish last year in the fall at Martinsville. A lot of people were surprised by the finish and wondered if it came based on previous experience last year. Kennedy noted today that there’s no place that compares to Martinsville – but you learn things that you can use to your advantage via running other short tracks.
“That was a great learning experience for me,” Kennedy commented with regards to last year’s run. “I think we came here and tested last year and any time you can test the place that you’re going to race is super beneficial. I think we’re pretty good. I think we have some stuff to work on, but we’re making strides in the right direction I feel like.”
One of the things that may play a factor into how Kennedy runs is the weather as there’s a 90% chance of rain for Saturday. Kennedy says it’s already affected their weekend so far with their decision at the end of the first practice.
“I think we were 11th on the board and sort of dropping so might as well throw a mock run up there in case this weather does roll in,” Kennedy commented as NASCAR will use the first practice speeds if qualifying is rained out. “We’re keeping it in the back of our heads and we’re trying to figure out if it does get rained out when they plan on running it and how much rubber will be on the race track. We’re keeping that in the back of our heads in trying to adjust the truck and everything. We’re not trying to get too aggressive on our adjustments as we don’t know what it will be like after the green flag is dropped. We’re just being conservative and playing it smart right now.”
Beyond Martinsville, Kennedy says that he’s excited about the rest of the season, especially getting to the mile and a halves for the first time this year.
“I don’t have a lot of experience there,” Kennedy commented. “Especially with these trucks as they’re so aero-sensitive, aero-tight and aero-loose. Being able to pick up on that I think will help me a lot. I’m really excited for Kansas and Charlotte and everything.”
Kennedy added that he’s also excited for the dirt race despite not having any dirt experience to date, as well as heading to Canada at the end of August.
“Really, I’m just excited for the whole season and really starting to get things rolling once the summer comes,” he continued.