Ben Rhodes – 2016 Talladega Superspeedway 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:

What can you take away from Daytona earlier this season and apply to Talladega this weekend?
“Survival. Daytona was an eye-opener for me. That was my very first start on a superspeedway, and they say Talladega is even faster. I know handling isn’t really an issue at Talladega, its nothing but speed – an aerodynamic truck and horsepower. I learned a lot at Daytona about survival, as long as you survived, you were good. I know ThorSport Racing can building some superspeedway bullets, and I just want to put it in victory lane for them there.”

How intense is a restrictor plate race for a driver?
“Intense is a good word for it, but for me, its just frustrating. No matter where you went, or how big of a draft you got, you couldn’t go anywhere without help. I’ve made my diplomacy with everyone in the truck garage, because you need some friends at a place like Talladega. At Daytona, I would get a huge run, 10 to 15mph or more than the guys in front of me, I could shoot to their outside and move up a couple of rows, but as soon as I did that, I would fall straight back. Or, even if I pulled out and had a decent run, I’d just stay even with them and fall back. It’s just frustrating trying to make passes, but if your patient, the rewards will come. You just need to put yourself in the right positions, and be patient.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter…The No. 41 ThorSport Racing team will unload chassis No. 24 for Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Fred’s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. This is the same chassis Rhodes raced to a seventh-place finish at Daytona International Speedway earlier this season.
  • Superspeedway Stats… Rhodes, who will be making his 23rd career NCWTS start on Saturday, will also make his track debut at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. The Louisville, KY native has one superspeedway start to his credit. Rhodes started 24th, and finished seventh at Daytona International Speedway earlier this season.
  • Rookie Stripe… Rhodes is currently fourth in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after 18 of 23 races this season.
  • Race Rewind – Las Vegas… Making his track debut at Las Vega Motor Speedway in the NCWTS, Rhodes started eighth, ran as high as seventh, and finished 12th.
  • XPO Logistics Back on Board… XPO Logistics, one of the world’s largest providers of transportation and logistics services, will make their second appearance on board the No. 41 Toyota Tundra of Rhodes this weekend at Talladega. The global XPO Logistics brand made their debut during the Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway.

Rhodes’ 2016 NCWTS Stats:

  • Starts: 18
  • Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 2
  • Top-10 Finishes: 5
  • Laps Completed: 2472 of 2714 (91.1%)
  • Laps Led: 55
  • Start: 8.7
  • Finish: 15.2

Rhodes’ Career NCWTS stats:

  • Starts: 22 since 2014
  • First full-time season: 2016
  • Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
  • Top-5 Finishes: 3
  • Top-10 Finishes: 8
  • Laps Completed: 3223
  • Laps Led: 55
  • First start: Martinsville, 2014 (8th)
  • Best finish: 2nd (Gateway, 2016)
  • Start: 8.7
  • Finish: 14.5

Race Information:
Date: Saturday, October 22, 2016
Time: 1:00pm ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio & SiriusXM Channel 90
Track: 2,66-mile superspeedway
Distance: 94 laps/250.04 miles

 

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