By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
After signing with Richard Childress Racing for nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races, Ben Kennedy continues to add to his 2017 schedule. Kennedy’s former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, GMS Racing, has signed the 25-year-old driver to a 12-race schedule, bringing Kennedy’s schedule up to 21 races.
Kennedy will be behind the wheel of the No. 96 Chevrolet Camaro, joining teammate Spencer Gallagher. On top of the pit box for Kennedy will be Jeff Stankiewicz, who served as crew chief for his first start with GMS Racing in 2016 at Kansas Speedway. His first race in 2017 with GMS Racing is scheduled for the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27.
Last season, Kennedy drove 20 of the 23 Truck Series races with GMS Racing, where he earned one victory, four top fives, and 10 Top 10 finishes. Kennedy’s victory also sent him into the first-ever playoffs for the Truck Series Championship and he finished the season a career-best seventh in points.
Kennedy also made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut last year with Richard Childress Racing. He started sixth and finished 10th at Iowa Speedway.
In total, Kennedy has 10 top fives and 26 Top 10s in 73 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.
“I am really excited to be competing with GMS Racing in the XFINITY Series,” said Kennedy. “The conversation to get me in the second car has been on-going since the end of last season. Everyone that works at GMS is so dedicated to the team. There’s a sense of family at the shop and at the track so I’m glad everything has finally lined up. GMS has shown speed this year in both series and I know that they will give me the necessary tools to run up front.”
GMS Racing Director of Competition, Mike Beam also expressed excitement as their team continues to grow.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Ben fill our second car. This is a huge step for our [NASCAR] XFINITY Series program and I look forward to watching Ben learn and grow as a driver through it.”
Kennedy, Stankiewicz, and the No. 96 GMS Racing team will now look ahead to Charlotte, where they hope to carry the same speed their teammates have had so far this year.