Richard Childress Racing announced Monday that Ben Kennedy will join the organization for nine NASCAR XFINITY Series events in 2017.
Kennedy will share the No. 2 car with Cup Series drivers Austin Dillon and Paul Menard over the course of the 33-race season. The 25-year-old will get his first shot in the machine at Talladega Superspeedway on May 6.
“I am looking forward to working with Rheem, Menards and the No. 2 XFINITY Series team,” Kennedy said in a team press release. “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. 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.”
Justin Alexander will continue to be the crew chief of the No. 2 team, something he did 14 times in 2016, picking up two victories with Dillon and Michael McDowell.
Kennedy is coming off a season in which he qualified for the inaugural Chase in the Camping World Truck Series, finishing seventh in the championship standings. He picked up his first career Truck Series victory at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, the same weekend Alexander recorded his first career win in the XFINITY Series as a crew chief.
In 2016, Kennedy made one start for RCR in the XFINITY Series, starting sixth and finish 10th at Iowa Speedway. The No. 2 car had speed the entire weekend, sitting atop the leader-board in each of the first two practice sessions, by more than one-tenth of a second.