Ben Kennedy, driver of the No. 24 JACOB Companies Chevrolet, earned a 13th place finish in the JACOB Companies 200 after starting from the back following an on-track incident in practice at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Late in final practice on Friday afternoon, Kennedy hit the wall and reported he had lost his brakes after something broke in the front end. Because of the amount of time it would have taken to diagnose the issue and repair the primary chassis, the team decided to switch to their backup truck for Saturday's event. Kennedy and the No. 24 JACOB Companies team earned an 11th-place starting position based on practice speeds, after qualifying was cancelled due to inclement weather, but would drop back before the start of the race because the team switched trucks.
Shortly after the green flag waved on Saturday afternoon, Kennedy reported to crew chief Joey Cohen that the JACOB Companies Chevrolet was handling tight and “on the splitter” coming off of turn four. The first caution of the event occurred on lap 44, just as Kennedy was about to be lapped by the race leader in the 22nd position, allowing Cohen to bring the No. 24 to pit road for adjustments. Kennedy received four tires, fuel and air pressure and wedge adjustments to help with the handling issues. When the second caution occurred just nine laps later, Kennedy returned to pit road for additional adjustments and fuel. He rejoined the field in the 17th position and, following a third quick caution, went to work advancing his position. 81 laps into the race, Kennedy told the team the JACOB Companies Chevrolet was once again handling tight. Having been lapped by the leader during an extended green flag run, Kennedy would return to the lead lap back during the fourth caution of the day via the Lucky Dog reward, placing him in the 17th position for a lap-138 restart. The last yellow-flag period of the day struck with 31 laps remaining. The Daytona Beach, Fla., native did not pit despite the continuing tight-handling condition. Once the green flag waved on lap 173, Kennedy steadily gained four positions en route to a 13th place finish in his second race with GMS Racing.
Kennedy gained one spot and is now 12th in the driver championship point standings.
BEN KENNEDY QUOTE:
"I think we wound up with a pretty decent finish in the JACOB Companies Chevrolet today. We didn't know much about how the backup truck would handle since we didn't have a chance to get it on track during qualifying. We were just really tight all day and there were a couple of times where the adjustments did the opposite of what we expected. When you take all of that into consideration, a 13th place finish is great. I'm really proud of the GMS Racing team and the effort they put in all weekend."
GMS Racing PR