Ben Rhodes – 2016 Chicago 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 got some experience at Chicagoland Speedway. Is it a track you enjoy racing on?

“I really like Chicagoland Speedway. I actually raced there in the Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports last year. I had a blast doing it, it’s a fun track, but very fast. I think we got up to speeds around 195 there, whenever I was testing. It was really cold and had a lot of grip. It was definitely the fastest I’d ever gone at the time. It’s another mile-and-a-half track that I have experience on, so that’s really nice. I know that my crew chief’s been there, too. In the few races that we have had this year, that my crew chief and I have both been to, we raced really well. We feel like this is a make or break point in the season, so knowing that I have experience there, and know what to look for, I think we can try a few different things, and I think it could lend itself to some great speed for our No. 41 Toyota Tundra.”

Is there anything you can transfer from your Xfinity start there a year ago, to the Truck Series race this weekend?

“I feel like I can transfer everything that I’ve learned, as a driver, and everything I learned in the race last year. As far as setup goes, and preparing and making speed in practice, I think that just comes down to the setup that we’re working with this year. We’re trying new stuff now that it’s the last race before the Chase. We are going back to old notes that I have a history with, and that I know I’m comfortable with. So, I feel really good about what we’re bringing. Everything I learned last year in the race, what I learned from the competition, what I learned in practice, getting myself up to speed quickly, that’ll transfer over to make practice a little smoother for me.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter…The No. 41 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 57 for Friday night’s American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. This chassis is brand new for 2016, and will make its debut on Friday night in the “Windy City.”
  • Windy City Stats… Rhodes, who will be making his 20th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start on Friday night, has one previous start at Chicagoland Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2015 with JR Motorsports.
  • Chase Status – One to Go… With only one race remaining until the cut-off for the inaugural NCWTS Chase, Rhodes, who is 12th in points, will have to earn his career-first win at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night. Fortunately for Rhodes, four different NCWTS drivers have claimed their career-first wins in 2016.
  • Intermediate Track Facts… In five career NCWTS starts on an Intermediate-style track, Rhodes has one top-10 (Atlanta), and two top-15 finishes (Texas, and Kentucky).
  • Rookie Stripe… Rhodes is currently fourth in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after 15 of 23 races this season.
  • Race Rewind – Canada… Making his track debut at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in the NCWTS, Rhodes started from the rear of the 32-truck field, due to changing brakes on the No. 41 machine following qualifying, and was credited with a 30th-place finish when an accident on lap six took the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender out of the 66-lap race for the remainder of the event.

Rhodes’ Chicago Xfinity Stats:

  • Started: 17th
  • Finished: 21st
  • Completed 100 of 100 laps (100%)

Rhodes’ 2016 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 15
  • Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 2
  • Top-10 Finishes: 5
  • Laps Completed 2026 of 2242 (90.4%)
  • Laps Led: 55
  • Start: 9.1
  • Finish: 14.8

Rhodes’ Career NCWTS stats:

  • Starts: 19 since 2014
  • First full-time season: 2016
  • Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 3
  • Top-10 Finishes: 8
  • Laps Completed: 2777
  • Laps Led: 55
  • First start: Martinsville, 2014 (8th)
  • Best finish: 2nd (Gateway, 2016)
  • Start: 9.0
  • Finish: 14.0

Race Information:
Date: Friday, September 16, 2016
Time: 8:30pm ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio & SiriusXM Channel 90
Track: 1.5-mile Tri-Oval
Distance: 150 laps/225 miles

 

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