Many drivers claim to have racing in their blood. For 25-year-old Ben Kennedy, it couldn’t be more true. Ben Kennedy began his racing career behind the wheel of a four-horsepower quarter midget at a little track in New Smyrna Beach, Florida 10 years ago. Today he pilots the No. 2 Ruud Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing.
The University of Florida graduate and team owner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series will continue his third year campaign in the NCWTS with GMS Racing and will be reuniting with Chevrolet after competing full-time in 2015 and part of 2016. Kennedy is also the great grandson of NASCAR founder and racing visionary Bill France, Sr.; his roots go back three generations to the very heart of the sport.
Since beginning his career in 2006, Kennedy has amassed two Pro-Truck championships in 2009 on the short tracks of Florida, as well as a Super Late Model championship in 2010. In 2011, Kennedy entered his first full time season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE).
Kennedy etched his name in the record books in 2012, when he won the very first oval race in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series history at Tours Speedway, just outside of Paris, France.
Kennedy experienced his most successful NKNPSE season in 2013, finishing fourth in the driver point standings with two wins, one pole, three top-five and nine top-10 finishes in addition to being crowned as the series’ Most Popular Driver. He was also named by FoxSports.com as one of the top drivers under 25 to watch and was selected for the NASCAR Next program in 2013, an initiative to spotlight the sport’s up-and-coming stars.
Kennedy made his debut in the NCWTS at Bristol Motor Speedway in August 2013, running a total of five events. In 2014, the Daytona Beach, Florida-native won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in his first full-time NCWTS effort, recording one top-five and seven top-10 results. In 2015, Kennedy picked up four top-five finishes and eight top-10 results, as well as a pole position.
Kennedy joined GMS Racing in April 2016 at Kansas Speedway, picking up his first top-10 finish of the season. On August 17, 2016, Kennedy led 20 laps en route to his first NCWTS win at Bristol Motor Speedway. At 25 years old, Kennedy will compete in one of NASCAR's top series.
Randall Burnett joins Richard Childress Racing in the 2017 season, taking over the crew chief from Justin Alexander for the No. 2 NASCAR XFINITY Series entry that is shared among drivers Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ben Kennedy. This will be Burnett’s first role within the RCR organization.
Burnett has been around racing all his life. Growing up in Fenton, Missouri, he often built and raced his own late models in local events. He later attended UNC Charlotte, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering before getting started in the racing industry.
Burnett comes to Richard Childress Racing after spending the 2016 season as the crew chief for RCR’s technical alliance partner, JTG Daugherty Racing. During the 2016 season, he led the team to two top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his debut season as a crew chief in one of NASCAR’s national touring series.
Prior to JTG Daugherty Racing, Burnett spent 10 years with Chip Ganassi Racing. During his tenure there, he served in multiple positions including lead race engineer, 7-post analysis engineer, lead team engineer and data acquisition engineer.
While at Chip Ganassi Racing, Burnett helped lead Jamie McMurray’s team to wins at both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. He also assisted in securing eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes for rookie Kyle Larson in 2014.