By Bobby Markos
In 2023, the NASCAR Cup Series will embark on its most ambitious and diverse schedule to date. The incorporation of the Chicago Street Race and the highly anticipated return to North Wilkesboro Speedway, join the Clash at the L.A. Coliseum and the Bristol Dirt event as major shifts for the premiere stock car division. While the big swings at keeping NASCAR at the forefront of the modern era of motorsports are a collective effort by all parties involved, much of the expansive vision has been thanks to a young up-and-comer in the NASCAR executive ranks, a fourth-generation member of the France family tree Ben Kennedy.
On this week’s episode of The Dale Jr. Download, Ben stops by the Bojangles Studio to join Dale Earnhardt Jr. and co-host Mike Davis for an end-of-the-season chat. There will be much to talk about as the changes to the Cup schedule and the Next Gen car have been regular topics of discussion on The Download, and Kennedy has had a prominent role in the development of both. Ben brings a unique insight to the governing side of NASCAR, as he has spent time in the driver’s seat and a team ownership role. This episode will give Download listeners an opportunity to hear NASCAR’s perspective on the major metamorphosis that the 74-year-old sanctioning body has seen in the last few years.
After working several jobs at Daytona International and getting his feet wet in racing behind the wheel of pro trucks and super late models at Central Florida short tracks, Kennedy came into the national periphery when he began competing in the K&N East Series in 2010. Over the next few racing seasons, he progressed into the NASCAR Trucks ranks, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2014 and the August Bristol race in 2016. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, he traded his fire suit in for a three-piece suit as he became the General Manager of the NASCAR Truck Series. From there, as he did in racing, he quickly escalated through the NASCAR executive ranks, being named Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Strategy at the beginning of this year.