Ben Kennedy didn’t let the lack of experience in a NASCAR XFINITY Series car slow him down as the Camping World Truck Series veteran put down the fastest lap in his first ever XFINITY Series practice.
Kennedy’s fast lap of 23.783 seconds came late in the session during a mock qualifying run. Kennedy made an additional 41 laps in the session. The race at Iowa Speedway will be Kennedy’s series debut this weekend driving for RCR Racing in the No. 2 Chevrolet usually run by Cup drivers Paul Menard and Austin Dillon.
Another driver who will run the No. 2 for RCR later this season was second in practice. Sam Hornish, Jr., who is a last minute sit-in for injured Matt Tifft this weekend in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, led for most of the session before Kennedy’s late fast lap. Hornish got the call to run the XFINITY race at Iowa on Monday, and for the Defiance, Ohio native, his first start of the season couldn’t come at a better track. Hornish won at Iowa for JGR in 2014 after leading 167 of 250 laps.
Hornish’s teammate Erik Jones was third in practice after running 23 laps. Jones has had success at Iowa in the past, scoring two of his seven Truck Series wins here. He looks to score his third win of the season this weekend.
The 2012 Iowa winner, Elliott Sadler was fourth in practice. Sadler won his last of four races with Richard Childress Racing at Iowa after leading 60 laps. Sadler hasn’t gone back to victory lane at 7/8 mile track since that win, but looks to do it again on Sunday.
Daniel Suarez was triumphant in Michigan over his teammate Kyle Busch, and wants to be triumphant again in Iowa, but he’ll have to find some more speed after being fifth in the first practice session. Suarez is running double duty this weekend between the Truck and XFINITY Series following his first win in NASCAR’s top-three series last weekend.
Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, Brandon Jones, Darrell Wallace, Jr. and Brennan Poole rounded out the top-10.
Among those outside the top-10 were Ty Dillon in 11th and Justin Allgaier in 14th. Dillon and Allgaier are third and sixth in the point standings respectively.