NCWTS: Kennedy looks to defend home ground to start 2014 season

RaceChaser Staff NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

February 19, 2014 — NASCAR photo — DAYTONA BEACH, FL — The 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season kicks off for Ben Kennedy and the No. 31 Florida Lottery/Whelen/Team Fox crew at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) on Friday, February 21.

Kennedy, the great-grandson of NASCAR founder and racing visionary Bill France, Sr., will make his first start in the No. 31 Chevrolet in Daytona Beach, Florida, which is not only his hometown, but also the birthplace of NASCAR, at the track France, Sr. opened in 1959.

While Kennedy has done everything from selling hotdogs to painting walls and giving tours, the 22-year-old has never taken the green flag at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Kennedy made his first laps around DIS last month when the NCWTS tested at the conclusion of Preseason Thunder. Kennedy was proven to be a quick learner on home turf, laying down the first and second-fastest lap times in the first and second testing sessions, respectively.

“Making my first start at Daytona this weekend is going to be really special for me; getting to finally race there is going to be unreal. I was grinning ear-to-ear for the first few laps of the test last month. It was really cool after spending my life doing so many things at this track but never actually driving a racecar on the oval.”

“I know that we’re bringing a really good truck and I learned a lot at the test; I think we have a real shot of winning this thing if we can stay out of trouble. But either way, this race is going to be special to me because Daytona is home.”

The No. 31 truck will be sporting the colors of the Florida Lottery, Whelen Engineering and Team Fox for the season-opening race at Daytona. Kennedy first partnered with Florida Lottery at the Truck Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November, as well as the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in December. The education-based initiative has partnered with TSM drivers James Buescher and Nelson Piquet Jr. in past seasons, and will also adorn the No. 30 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry driven for the team by Danica Patrick in Daytona. The Florida Lottery’s sole mission is to generate as much revenue as possible, through ticket sales and promotions, for the benefit of education in the State of Florida.

Associate sponsors Whelen Engineering and Team Fox have also partnered with the team in the past, supporting Todd Bodine in his TSM debut at Pocono Raceway in 2013. Whelen Engineering currently provides safety lighting for Police, Fire, EMS, and DOT professionals as well as many other industries, such as racetracks and race safety vehicles across the country. Team Fox is the grassroots community fundraising program at The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Each year more than 1,600 Team Fox members worldwide turn their passions and interests into unique fundraising events and athletic feats. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today.

Kennedy and the No. 31 Florida Lottery/Whelen/Team Fox Silverado crew will utilize chassis TSM-701 this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. TSM-701 is a brand-new chassis, which will make its on-track debut on Friday.

Kennedy will also be signing autographs at the NCWTS autograph session on race day from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. EST in the Sprint FANZONE.

The NextEra Energy Resources 250 can be seen live on Friday, February 21 on FOX Sports 1. You can catch all the racing action as Kennedy’s No. 31 truck will be carrying an on-board camera for the race broadcast. Race coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. EST, and the event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as SiriusXM Radio, channel 90.

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