Kennedy Captures Historic Bowman Gray Win

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – History and heritage converged Saturday at Bowman Gray Stadium as Ben Kennedy took home the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East checkered flag in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150.

Kennedy, the great-grandson of Bill France Sr., captured his second career K&N Pro Series East victory at one of the sport’s most historic tracks. Not only was France the founding father of NASCAR, but he was also responsible for bringing auto racing to Bowman Gray in 1949.

Sixty-four years later, the two were reconnected.

Kennedy, 21, took the lead on Lap 124 and held it the balance of the 150-lap race for his third overall NASCAR victory. His first win came in 2012 in Tours, France in Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series action. His previous K&N Pro Series East triumph came on April 13 of this season at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.

“Man, this is just awesome,” Kennedy said from Victory Lane. “I’ve got to thank BK Racing and absolutely everyone that made this possible to win here at Bowman Gray. I’m speechless over that.

“I came here two years ago and finished third and we were top of the world,” said the driver of the No. 96 G-Oil Chevrolet out of Daytona Beach, Fla. “There isn’t anything better than a win at Bowman Gray.”

1 Ben Kennedy
2 Dylan Kwasniewski
3 Brandon Gdovic
4 Kenzie Ruston
5 Jesse Little

Dylan Kwasniewski rebounded from an early spin and crossed the line second.

“The Rockstar Energy Drink/Royal Purple Chevy was awesome tonight and I think we had a car capable of winning,” said the 18-year-old out of Las Vegas. “I wanted to race (Kennedy) clean and it’s hard to pass anyone here clean.”

Brandon Gdovic finished third to score his third top-five finish in five outings this season.

“We started fifth and pretty much stayed there all night,” said Gdovic. “I was trying to save as much as I could. We came in here hoping for a top five.”

Rookies Kenzie Ruston and Jesse Little finishes fourth and fifth, respectively, while Mackena Bell, Bryan Ortiz, Gray Gaulding, Daniel Suárez and Cole Custer rounded out the evening’s top-10 finishers.

Polesitter Brett Moffitt, who was dominant in the early going, suffered battery issues mid-race and may have been running underpowered when Kennedy overtook him for the deciding lead change on Lap 124. Moffitt had to pit for a battery change and eventually finished 13th. Despite the bad luck Moffitt maintained his lead in the point standings and holds a four-point advantage over Gdovic and a seven-point edge on Kwasniewski.

With Ruston and Bell notching solid performances it marks the first time in series history that two female competitors finished inside the top 10.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will air on SPEED on June 6 at 3 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action on Friday, June 7 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa in the Casey’s General Stores 150 combination race with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.