Ben Kennedy, great-grandson of NASCAR founder, lands Truck ride

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A young driver with a historic pedigree is set to take to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series grid next season.

21-year-old Ben Kennedy – the great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. – will drive the No. 31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet that used to belong to former CWTS champ James Buescher, who has moved up to the Nationwide Series with RAB Racing.

Kennedy competed in five CWTS races this past year (best finish of fourth at Martinsville) and was a full-time driver in the K&N Pro Series East, one of NASCAR’s top regional leagues. In 2013, Kennedy netted two K&N East wins (Winston-Salem and Pensacola) en route to a fourth-place finish in the series championship and also earned the series’ Most Popular Driver award.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to be in Turner Scott Motorsports’ No. 31 truck for 2014 and to be able to work alongside [crew chief] Michael Shelton and a very talented crew,” Kennedy said in a team release. “It will be a great year and I hope to really learn a lot in the series and compete for wins and Rookie of the Year.

“It’s going to be a blast to work with such great people; I can’t thank everyone I’ve worked with in the past enough for getting me to this point in my career. A big ‘thank you’ to all my fans for always sticking behind me.”

In addition to his racing work, Kennedy is pursuing a sports management degree as a student at the University of Florida.

How Hamilton, Mercedes can clinch F1 titles at the United States GP

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Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).

Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.

However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.

  • If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
  • If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.

While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.

The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.

As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.

The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.