Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 27 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra, made his second career start in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS. Starting eighth the ThorSport Racing driver led the 32-truck field four times, for 25 laps, and was leading with eight laps remaining in the 167-lap event when a dime size piece of debris went through the grille of his Toyota Tundra, puncturing the radiator and ultimately blowing up the motor. The sophomore driver would settle for a 23rd-place finish behind race winner Kyle Busch in the 17th annual event at the 1.5-mile track.
“We ran with the best tonight. Our Safelite Toyota Tundra had speed all night long. We did everything right, but Ben Rhodes has a curse on his back or something, because something always goes wrong. A piece of debris went through the grille and into the radiator, and blew up the motor, so it’s just tough. We ran with the best of the best. I was learning from (Kyle) Busch all night long. He’s has more wins than I have total stock car starts. It’s just crazy because something always goes wrong for our team. We do everything right, we just can’t pull one off. I’ve been trying for years and years, so if I don’t make it in this game, its not from lack of effort.”
“Racing with Kyle (Busch) tonight for the lead was a dream come true. Last year we struggled so much with the fire, and getting good equipment. Now we’ve finally rebuilt, and have good, consistent, equipment. We know what we have, and we went to the test last week and got better. We worked so hard. It’s so cool to run with him like that tonight because I’ve looked up to him my whole life. I was able to learn from him because like I said, he’s got more wins in XFINITY and Trucks than I have total stock car starts. It’s crazy that I was able to learn from such a guy. He played these games out there all night along and I was finally able to pick up on them – because I choked on them several times last year – now I was able to play a couple of games on him. I guess if there were any positives in this, that was it, I learned.”
- The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250. Ben Rhodes was 11th and fifth-quick, respectively, in both sessions.
- Making his second start at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway, Rhodes started eighth, led the field four times for 25 laps, and finished 23rd.
- The ThorSport Racing driver earned bonus points in Stages 1 and 2 at Kansas Speedway for finishing inside the top-10.
- In two starts at the 1.5-mile track, Rhodes has led 30 laps en route to one top-20 finish.
- After four starts in 2017, the Safelite AutoGlass driver has led 45 laps en route to one top-five finish (Atlanta).
- In 31 career starts, Rhodes has one pole (Martinsville-1, 2016), and has led 100 laps en route to four top-five, and nine top-10 finishes.
- Rhodes’ ThorSport Racing teammates finished 11th (Enfinger), 16th (Crafton), and 26th (Coughlin).
- Up next: The Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte (NC) Motor Speedway on Friday, May 19.
Driver Points: 7th
Owner Points: 8th