Ben Rhodes – 2016 Eldora Recap

ROSSBURG, OH - JULY 19:  Ben Rhodes, driver of the #41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota, drives during practice for the 4th Annual Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway on July 19, 2016 in Rossburg, Ohio.   (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Team Information:
Started: 5th
Finished: 23rd
Laps: 136/150
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
2016 Driver Points: 12th
2016 Owner Points: 13th

Ben Rhodes Race Recap:

Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 41 XPO Logistics Toyota Tundra, made his track debut at Eldora Speedway in Wednesday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby. Starting fifth, in the unique, 150 lap, three segment race, Rhodes ran as high as second, but radiator problems late in the historic event relegated the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender to a 23rd-place finish in the series only stop on dirt at the “Big E.”

Starting fifth, after winning his qualifying race, Rhodes maintained a position inside the top-five, running as high as third, during the first 40 lap segment. Under caution at lap 39, crew chief Kevin Bellicourt brought the No. 41 Toyota Tundra to pit road, for their only pit stop of the night, for four tires, and fuel. Restarting fourth, at lap 42, Rhodes contended for the race lead, running as high as second, before getting shuffled back to the eighth position prior to the end of the second 50 lap segment. When the seventh caution flag was displayed at lap 93, for the conclusion of the second segment, Bellicourt was forced to bring his rookie driver to pit road, and then behind the wall for repairs to a punctured radiator. The No. 41 ThorSport Racing team would get a new radiator installed, and get Rhodes back out on the half-mile clay oval, but the Louisville, KY native would be scored 14 laps down to the race leaders. Rhodes would ultimately cross the stripe in the 23rd position behind race winner, Kyle Larson.

Quote:

“We had a really fast XPO Logistics Toyota Tundra tonight. Unfortunately, I think it was just a product of me learning how to run on this race track, run on dirt. I slipped on the berm one time, because I didn’t have my brake bias tuned-in just right, and it just kind of ripped everything out from underneath my Tundra – packed a bunch of dirt under there and ripped the radiator out. It was a lesson to be learned. Not to get up there on the berm was really big tonight, really pronounced. It was really close to the wall, so it made it hard to run on, and when you did run over it, it was very treacherous. We weren’t the only ones to do that tonight. We just have to move on from this. You can look at the truck, and the whole right side is curled under, and knocked out from the berm. I’m really proud of everyone for putting in the hard work, and for helping when we went behind the wall. I can’t thank XPO Logistics enough for coming on board, and everyone at ThorSport for everything they’ve done for me.”

News & Notes:

  • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Tuesday evening in preparation for Wednesday night’s Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway. Ben Rhodes was 19th, and fifth, respectively, in both sessions.
  • The No. 41 XPO Logistics Toyota Tundra was fifth in single truck qualifying on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Rhodes lined-up first in Qualifying Race No. 5, and finished first, locking his No. 41 Toyota Tundra into the 150-lap feature.
  • Making his track debut at Eldora Speedway, Rhodes started fifth, ran as high as second, and finished 23rd, due to a radiator problem, in the 4th annual event at the “Big E.”
  • In 11 starts in 2016, Rhodes has led 51 laps en route to two top-five (Iowa), and four top-10 finishes.
  • In 15 career NCWTS starts, Rhodes has one pole (Martinsville), and has led 51 laps en route to three top-five, and seven top-10 finishes.
  • Rhodes’ ThorSport Racing teammates finished third (Abreu), seventh (Hayley), and 10th (Crafton).
  • Up Next: The Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 30 at 1:00pm ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90.
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