JOLIET, Ill. – A hard crash by Ben Kennedy marred the late stages of Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, necessitating a red flag with 38 laps to go for wall repair.
Racing for the lead with Daniel Suarez just after a restart on lap 110 of the American Ethanol E15 225, Kennedy was working the middle groove and had just lost the top spot to Kyle Busch – who used the apron to pass both Suarez and Kennedy – when he got tagged by his teammate Johnny Sauter in the middle of turns one and two.
The contact sent Kennedy around, where he was side-swiped by Ben Rhodes as Rhodes attempted to avoid being collected in the accident by moving to the apron. That tipped Kennedy back up the track and hard into the outside wall at the exit of turn two, where the exposed front suspension of his No. 33 Chevrolet speared the wall just above the base, where the asphalt meets the barrier.
With the gouge in the wall forcing repairs to be made for safety’s sake, a 14-minute red flag regrouped the field as they were stopped on the backstretch.
All told, Kennedy, Rhodes and Matt Crafton were directly involved in the incident, while top-five runner Tyler Reddick narrowly escaped major damage to his Brad Keselowski Racing Ford F-150 – only having to come to pit road for work on his right rear quarter panel.
Kennedy was evaluated and subsequently released from the infield care center.
Kyle Busch was the story of the restart just before the incident, charging from ninth to the lead in just under two laps before the caution and subsequent red flag.
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
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