Joe Gibbs Racing has acquired the talents of a bright up and comer in 19-year-old Kyle Benjamin, who has signed a four-race XFINITY Series deal with the team for 2017. JGR announced in a press release Wednesday.
Benjamin will make his XFINITY Series debut at the April 29 race at Richmond International Raceway in the No. 20 Toyota for the organization. He will return to the No. 20 when the tour goes to Pocono Raceway.
Later in the season, JGR’s No. 18 Toyota will adorn Benjamin’s name for his final two starts at Iowa Speedway in July and Kentucky Speedway in September.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to drive a Toyota in the XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing,” Benjamin said in the press release. “This is going to be an incredible experience. JGR is a first-class organization, and I’m looking forward to learning about how they operate and prepare for each race.”
Benjamin showed his excitement about the move by taking to his Twitter page to post a picture of himself and JGR driver Kyle Busch from eight years ago.
— Kyle Benjamin (@kylebenjamin71) April 5, 2017
The native of Easley, South Carolina spent the past two seasons racing full time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he accumulated wins at Bristol Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway and his home track of Greenville Pickens Speedway.
Last season, Benjamin finished second in points to current Camping World Truck Series rookie Justin Haley. He led 582 of the 1660 laps he completed.
In 2013, Benjamin won two ARCA Racing Series races at the age of 15, making him the youngest winner in series’ history until Todd Gilliland broke that record two years later.
The addition of Benjamin to the team comes after Daniel Suarez reduced his XFINITY Series schedule from the full 33-race season to 10 races upon moving up the ranks to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.