Ben Kennedy will compete in nine Xfinity Series races this year for Richard Childress Racing, driving the No. 2 Chevrolet.
Kennedy drove for GMS Racing in the Camping World Truck Series last year and claimed one win. His first 2017 start will be the May 6 race at Talladega Superspeedway. The No. 2 will also be driven by Austin Dillon and Paul Menard throughout the season.
“I’m thrilled that well-respected brands like Rheem and Menards are willing to lend their support and provide the opportunity to prove what I can do,” Kennedy said in a press release. “I may not have the experience that Cup Series drivers do, but I’m confident that I have what it takes to get to Victory Lane.”
According to the RCR press release, Menard and Dillon agreed to give up seat time in order for Kennedy to gain experience.
“I understand how important it is to give younger drivers a chance to make a name for themselves and gain valuable experience,” Dillon said in the release. “They can’t prove themselves unless someone gives them a shot, and I’m glad that Rheem and Menards want to provide Ben that opportunity.”
Kennedy, 25, became the first member of the France family to win a NASCAR race when he took his No. 33 Truck to victory lane last August at Bristol Motor Speedway. Kennedy’s mother is International Speedway Corp. CEO Lesa France Kennedy. His grandfather is former NASCAR CEO Bill France Jr.
Kennedy made his first Xfinity start last year driving the No. 2 car in the June race at Iowa Speedway. He started sixth and finished 10th.