Ben Rhodes – 2016 Canada Preview

Rhodes_Ben_2015Hero_NXSTeam Information:
Crew Chief: Kevin Bellicourt
Manufacturer: Toyota
Engine: Triad Racing Technologies
2016 Driver Points: 12th
2016 Owner Points: 13th

Sounding Off – Ben Rhodes:

You’ve raced on a road course in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, but we are heading to the first and only road course race of the season this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Do you like road racing?

I do. I really, really, really enjoy road racing. It’s nice to change the pace throughout the season, and since I have prior experience on road courses, I think it’s really going to help. Especially with my experiences with JR Motorsports last year in the Xfinity Series. I did all 3 of the road courses, and although we didn’t necessarily have the finishes we wanted, we had great speed. I feel really good about this road course. It’s been circled on my calendar for a long time throughout the season, and while I’ve never been to this race track, I’ve been watching all the videos I can, and I’m actually confident about this weekend. It should be a good opportunity to get us in the Chase with only two race remaining until the cut-off.”

Take me through that first lap or two in practice. What will you be looking for, as far as comfort level, from the driver’s seat?

“Well the main thing, as a driver, is to get your braking points, your shifting points, and throttle points down on a road course. Then once you have a good general rotation of that, you know what gear you need to be in at what point on the race track, and then you can start looking for your comfort zone. You can start looking at what you can do, how far you can push it into each corner, and then after that, I feel like that’s when you can start adjusting on the race truck, and try to get more speed out of it. All in all, I think we’re going to have a good showing there. I know my ThorSport Racing team has an awesome road course package that we plan on bringing. We made a few modifications for what we think will suit my driving style best, but I just feel good about it. Road course driving suits drivers well because it’s different, it’s like more in the driver’s hands, and I enjoy that aspect of it.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter…The No. 41 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 23 for Sunday’s NCWTS 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP). This is the same chassis Rhodes teammate, Cameron Hayley, piloted to a seventh-place finish at CTMP in 2015.
  • Canada Stats… Rhodes, who will be making his 19th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start on Sunday, will also make his track debut at CTMP.
  • Road Course Stats… Although Rhodes will be making his track debut at CTMP on Sunday, the ThorSport Racing driver has five starts on a road course in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. His success includes one top-five, and three top-10 finishes.
  • Rookie Stripe… Rhodes is currently fourth in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after 14 of 23 races this season.
  • Race Rewind – Michigan… Making his track debut at Michigan International Speedway in the NCWTS, Rhodes started 19th, led the 32-truck field once for four laps, and finished sixth.

Rhodes’ 2016 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 14
  • Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 2
  • Top-10 Finishes: 5
  • Laps Completed 2020 of 2176 (92.8%)
  • Laps Led: 55
  • Start: 9.1
  • Finish: 13.7

Rhodes’ Career NCWTS stats:

  • Starts: 18 since 2014
  • First full-time season: 2016
  • Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 3
  • Top-10 Finishes: 8
  • Laps Completed: 2771
  • Laps Led: 55
  • First start: Martinsville (8th)
  • Best finish: 2nd (Gateway, 2016)
  • Start: 8.9
  • Finish: 13.1

Race Information:
Date: Sunday, September 4, 2016
Time: 2:30pm ET on FOX Sports 1, and MRN Radio
Track: 2.459-mile road course
Distance: 64 laps/157.37 miles

 

 

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