Ben Rhodes – 2016 Las Vegas Motor Speedway Preview

Rhodes_Ben_2015Hero_NXSTeam Information:
Crew Chief: Kevin Bellicourt
Manufacturer: Toyota
Engine: Triad Racing Technologies
2016 Driver Points: 13th
2016 Owner Points: 14th

Sounding Off – Ben Rhodes:

How would you rate your mile-and-half program this year?

“I’ve been to Vegas as a spectator, and I’ve actually raced on the bullring outside the track. So, I’ve been there, to the track and I know where to park my car and which restaurants to eat at, which is important as a rookie. I’m looking forward to this weekend, I like our chances there. I felt good about Chicago, another mile-and-a-half track. I think we have good speed – we had good race-run speed – we were at the top of the charts for awhile, and we learned a lot during the race as far as the changes these trucks go through from day to night – which threw me for a loop. We waited in the race – held back – we went back to 14th or so, and just waited for our pit stops to tune the truck back in, and towards the end of the race, when we were charging back to the front, we got caught up in an incident. It was unfortunate because it ended our night. We had great speed, and I think we definitely had something for them, it was just a matter of circumstances. We’re actually going to try something new this weekend at Vegas, and I actually feel really good about it – really confident – excited to try it.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter…The No. 41 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 53 for Saturday night’s DC Solar 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). This is the same chassis Rhodes piloted at Atlanta Motor Speedway (6th), Kansas Speedway (18), Eldora Speedway (23rd), and Michigan International Speedway (6th) earlier this season.
  • Las Vegas Odds… Rhodes, who will be making his 22nd career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start on Saturday, will also make his track debut at the 1.5-mile LVMS. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender does have experience at the .375-mile LVMS Bullring.
  • In the Spotlight… 24-year-old Georgia Napolitano, originally from England, and currently a member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, will join Rhodes and the No. 41 USA Cares team at LVMS on Saturday. The artist/singer/songwriter currently resides in Las Vegas, NV. Napolitano, who is part of the East Group, will be at the track on Saturday, supporting Rhodes, prior to going into rehearsal for tour, which runs November 17 – December 31, 2016.
  • Intermediate Track Facts… In six 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 17 of 23 races this season.
  • Race Rewind – Loudon… Making his track debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the NCWTS, Rhodes started fifth, ran as high as third, and finished 15th following a last lap spin in the 175-lap event.
  • USA Cares Back on Board… USA Cares, a non-profit organization based in Radcliff, KY, made their NCWTS debut with Rhodes at Charlotte Motor Speedway earlier this season, and will adorn the No. 41 Toyota Tundra for the second time in 2016 at LVMS this weekend. USA Cares is committed to its mission of providing financial and advocacy assistance to post-9/11 active duty U.S. military service personnel, veterans, and their families in their time of need. For more information visit, USACares.org

Rhodes’ 2016 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 17
  • Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 2
  • Top-10 Finishes: 5
  • Laps Completed: 2326 of 2568 (90.6%)
  • Laps Led: 55
  • Start: 8.8
  • Finish: 15.4

Rhodes’ Career NCWTS stats:

  • Starts: 21 since 2014
  • First full-time season: 2016
  • Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 3
  • Top-10 Finishes: 8
  • Laps Completed: 3077
  • Laps Led: 55
  • First start: Martinsville, 2014 (8th)
  • Best finish: 2nd (Gateway, 2016)
  • Start: 8.7
  • Finish: 14.6

Race Information:
Date: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Time: 8:30pm ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio & SiriusXM Channel 90
Track: 1.5-mile oval
Distance: 146 laps/219 miles

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