Kennedy ready for new role as Truck GM

Matthew T. Thacker/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

Ben Kennedy is ready for his new role as general manager of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Kennedy joins Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer; Elton Sawyer, vice president of officiating and technical inspection; Brad Moran, managing director of NCWTS, and Jeff Wohlschlaeger, managing director of series marketing.

Kennedy has a unique perspective coming into the sport. Kennedy has recently run in the Truck Series as well as the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Kennedy also owns a NASCAR K&N Pro Series team. With those two perspectives, Kennedy is excited to work with the team.

“Yeah, I think more than anything, I can kind of bring my own perspective into the series,” Kennedy stated. “I think being on both the driver side as well as the team owner side, I see both lenses, kind of on the competition side. I’m still kind of getting up to speed on everything, but I’ve got a great team surrounding me with Brad and Steve and Elton and everybody up here.”

Kennedy, 26, obtained a sports management degree from the University of Florida in 2014. He is also in the demographic NASCAR is striving to focus on. Kennedy is hoping to use his youth to bring new ideas.

“I think I’m more short‑term time span, technology focused, and it’s interesting to kind of go back and forth and talk with these guys, as well, and really learn about the history, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked in the past. I hope when you bring it all together it’ll be a good mix,” Kennedy said.

O’Donnell interjected alluding to a recent trip to China and Kennedy’s new perspective in how to grow the sport with new technology.

“We went to China together, and the difference of maybe how we’d look at it from a race perspective of how can we race, what should we race, Ben immediately was what technology almost outside of racing can we bring,” O’Donnell stated.

“You look at the technology already in China, and so it was great to have kind of that set of younger eyes who’s embraced technology as a part of life, of what we do, and to see how we need to lead with that versus kind of let’s start with the race car ‑‑ well, wait a minute, let’s start with some other aspects of it was interesting to see.”

While being named general manager has been an exciting time, Kennedy mentions that the decision to step back from behind the wheel was difficult. Although the decision process being long, Kennedy is happy with how his racing career went. His new focus is sharing his vision about the future of NASCAR starting with building from Trucks onward.

“I had been thinking about it for a long time, and it was certainly a long decision for me.  But I was happy with what I’ve done in my career in the trucks as well as XFINITY, and had some opportunities to continue forward,” Kennedy stated.

“But I think more than anything, I’m so passionate about this sport and so passionate about the health of the sport, and this opportunity kind of came along, and really weighing out all my options, it made the most sense for me now and for the long run, as well. I think it’s a good time for it, and the Camping World Truck Series is the best place for it.”

What does Kennedy’s role entail?

Kennedy’s role will be thinking about the day-to-day operations of the series. Kennedy could focus on international efforts by the sanctioning body in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *