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.
Coming off the strength of three victories and three pole awards as a crew chief in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Justin Alexander will remain in his role for the No. 2 Rheem/Menards team for the 2017 season.
After serving as the crew chief of the No. 27 NASCAR premiere series team at Richard Childress Racing, Alexander assumed the role of crew chief of the No. 2 Chevrolet in July and called the shots for the final 14 races of the season. The sophomore crew chief worked with numerous drivers on the No. 2 Chevrolet team throughout the 2016 season, including Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Ben Kennedy, Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael McDowell. Alexander made his first trip to Victory Lane, just one week after assuming his role as crew chief of the No. 2 team at Bristol Motor Speedway in August and again the following week at Road America. In total, Alexander captured seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
Alexander, 34, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University where he struck up a friendship with Luke Lambert, crew chief for Ryan Newman and the No. 31 Chevrolet team. The two met while participating in the Formula SAE program and became roommates during and after college.
The Charlotte, North Carolina, native started his NASCAR career at Hendrick Motorsports as a shock specialist for the No. 24 and No. 48 teams in 2003. Two years later, he became lead engineer on the No. 48 team and moved to a R&D engineer in 2006. In 2009, he was named lead engineer for the No. 24 team. During his tenure, Alexander was part of five NASCAR premiere series championships.
Following his aspirations of becoming a crew chief, Alexander joined RCR and the No. 27 team in January 2014 as the lead engineer. Throughout 36 races of the 2014 season, Alexander contributed to the team’s career-best of five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes.
The 2015 premiere series season marked Alexander’s first as a full-time crew chief in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Alexander led the No. 27 team to its first bid in the Chase for the premiere series championship, ultimately finishing 14th in the championship driver point standings. With Alexander’s guidance on the pit box, Menard collected two top-five, five top-10 and 20 top-15 finishes. Alexander received four of the prestigious MOOG Problem Solver of the Race awards throughout the season. This award is presented to the crew chief that makes the biggest gain in lap average speed in the second half of each race.