By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
The Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway marks the ninth race of the 2017 season for the NASCAR Xfinity Series season. For Ben Kennedy, however, this marks his first race of the 2017 season.
Kennedy will be behind the wheel of the No. 2 Rheem Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing with Justin Alexander serving as his crew chief at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Kennedy will be able to work with teammates Ty Dillon, Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, and Brendan Gaughan in the draft all weekend long.
Talladega will be his first of eight scheduled races in the No. 2 Camaro, with his next scheduled race with Childress set for the American Ethanol E15 200 at Iowa Speedway June 24. Kennedy will also compete in 12 Xfinity Series races for GMS Racing in the No. 96 Chevrolet Camaro.
Kennedy has three previous starts at Talladega in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a best finish of fifth last fall. Kennedy also has three starts at Daytona International Speedway, the only other track on the Truck Series schedule that uses restrictor plates. At Daytona, he scored his first career Truck Series pole position.
Kennedy was excited to finally have his extended offseason to come to an end, saying: “I’m looking forward to getting back to the track and in the car in Talladega. It’s been a long offseason for me, and there’s a lot of anticipation going into the weekend. I think we’ll have a good shot with the No. 2 Rheem team and Justin Alexander calling the shots atop the pit box. Hopefully, we’ll get up to speed quick and be in contention to win, but my goal is to learn a lot this year behind the wheel.”
Kennedy, Alexander, and the No. 2 Rheem team will now look to pull off the upset at the unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway.