Rheem, Menards and Richard Childress Racing Tap Young Driver Ben Kennedy to Run Nine XFINITY Series Races
by Official Release On Mon, Feb. 06, 2017
Kennedy will run select races with RCR’s No. 2 XFINITY Series team
WELCOME, N.C. (February 6, 2017) – Rheem, Menards and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) are committed to championing the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) charge to be the series where “names are made,” and each have long histories of supporting aspiring drivers from local short tracks to NASCAR’s feeder series.
Ben Kennedy will be the latest up-and-coming driver to be given that opportunity when he climbs into the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro for nine NXS races, the first of which will be at Talladega Superspeedway this spring.
Kennedy has worked his way up through the NASCAR development ladder. In 2016, he competed full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and secured his first NASCAR national touring series win at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. He also finished 10th in his NXS debut last season at Iowa Speedway, driving the No. 2 Ruud Chevrolet for RCR.
“I am looking forward to working with Rheem, Menards and the No. 2 XFINITY Series team,” said Kennedy. “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.”
RCR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Austin Dillon and Paul Menard understand the need to develop young talent and continue growing the sport. Both made the decision to give up seat time in the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro to provide Kennedy the opportunity to gain valuable experience.
“I cut my teeth in the XFINITY Series,” said Dillon, 2013 NXS champion. “If it hadn’t been for the success I experienced in both the Truck Series and the XFINITY Series, I wouldn’t be driving in the Cup Series now. I understand how important it is to give younger drivers a chance to make a name for themselves and gain valuable experience. They can’t prove themselves unless someone gives them a shot, and I’m glad that Rheem and Menards want to provide Ben that opportunity.”
“It is great that our partners recognize the value in developing young drivers,” said Menard. “They are the future of NASCAR and need to be given chances to race in good equipment at the front of the field. This is a big opportunity for Ben, and I know he’s going to make the most of it with Rheem and Menards on board. He has a lot of talent and this is his chance to show everyone what he’s got.”
Dillon, Menard and Kennedy will share the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro throughout the 2017 season. The XFINITY Series kicks off at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 25 on FS1. A full series schedule can be found at NASCAR.com, and tickets can be purchased at NASCAR.com/tickets.
Rheem is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas.Rheem is the only manufacturer in the world that produces heating, cooling, water heating, pool & spa heating and commercial refrigeration products, and it is the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America. In its 90th year of operation, the company is a global manufacturer of residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; commercial boilers; and commercial refrigeration equipment. The company’s premium brands include Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond, as well as commercial refrigeration brands Russell, Witt, ColdZone and Kramer, which are part of the company’s Heat Transfer Products Group (HTPG) division. Rheem products have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality.
Menards home improvement stores are well known throughout the Midwest for a complete selection of high-quality, name brand merchandise and all the tools, materials and supplies for any job. Menards offers full-service lumberyards, beautiful garden centers, name brand appliances, pet & wildlife products and even a line of convenience groceries to provide a one-stop shopping experience. Whether just needing a light bulb, gallon of paint or household supplies, or building a deck, fence or new home, there is something for everyone at Menards whether a beginning do-it-yourselfer or more experienced contractor. A family-owned and run company started in 1958, Menards currently operates 305 stores located in 14 Midwestern states. Menards is known throughout the home improvement industry as the low price leader; it’s no wonder their famous slogan – “SAVE BIG MONEY” – is so widely known and easy to remember. Menards does things right – the company’s strength and success can be seen in the well-stocked and maintained stores, the lowest prices in town, and the way Guests are always treated like family.
About Richard Childress Racing:
Richard Childress Racing (rcrracing.com) is a renowned, performance-driven racing, marketing and manufacturing organization. RCR has earned more than 200 victories and 17 championships, including six in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. RCR was the first organization to win championships in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Its 2017 Cup Series lineup includes two-time NASCAR champion Austin Dillon (No. 3 Dow/American Ethanol/AAA Chevrolet), 2011 Brickyard 400 champion Paul Menard (No. 27 Menards Chevrolet) and 2008 Daytona 500 champion and 2013 Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar/Grainger Chevrolet). Its XFINITY Series program includes a multi-driver lineup with Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ben Kennedy (No. 2 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet), a multi-driver lineup with Ty Dillon and others (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Rheem/Red Kap/Advil/Nexium 24HR® Chevrolet), Daniel Hemric (No. 21 Chevrolet), Brandon Jones (No. 33 Menards/Nexteer Chevrolet) and Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino/U.S. Cellular Chevrolet).