Ben Rhodes – 2017 Pocono Raceway Recap

Recap:

PO6_3843Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 27 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra, made his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in Saturday’s Overton’s 150. Starting from the pole position, the second of his career, and first at the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle,” the Safelite AutoGlass driver finished third in Stage 1, and fourth in Stage 2, battling a “tight” Toyota Tundra. With a mix of strategy down pit road late in the 60-lap event, Rhodes would restart the final Stage from the 14th position. Navigating his way through traffic, the ThorSport Racing driver would make a late-race pass on the No. 8 truck of John Hunter Nemechek, and finish a track-best second behind race winner, Christopher Bell. 

The strong run was Rhodes fourth top-five finish of the 2017 season.

Quote:

How was the race overall today, and how much do you enjoy this race at Pocono?
“It is a great race. This race reminds me a lot of Michigan, Daytona, Talladega – just the big tracks where we’re drafting and the aerodynamics are so important – but you’re playing those games the whole time here at Pocono. Good race for our Safelite Tundra. We were fast, just not fast enough to beat the 4 (Christopher Bell). I was hoping to try to plan it out right, once he was running with the 8 (John Hunter Nemechek). That was going to be our race winning move there, but we ran out of straightaway, and I got to him as fast as I could, running as hard as I could at that point, I just ran out of straightaway. I was just trying to keep them side-by-side, playing some games with who I was drafting and giving the push to. I didn’t do it enough because the 4 got past the 8, I couldn’t keep them side-by-side long enough to get them back to the front straightaway. Just made the most of the race today. I gave up a few spots in the beginning just trying to be patient, and that wasn’t because the truck was slow. The truck was a little tight at the time, but just trying to race smart. If I’ve learned anything from the last three races, you have to give up some spots to make up some spots. I think we saw that in the middle of the race when guys were going five wide into turn two, where I wouldn’t go two-wide the whole day.”

Team Information:
Started: 1st
Finished: 2nd
Laps: 60/60
Laps Led: 0
Status: Running
Driver Points: 6th
Owner Points: 6th

Notes:

  • The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s Overton’s 150 at Pocono Raceway. Ben Rhodes was seventh, and 12th, respectively, in both sessions.
  • Rhodes earned his second career NCWTS pole on Saturday, and his first at the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle.”
  • The Safelite driver earned his second career NCWTS pole for Saturday’s Overton’s 150 at Pocono Raceway.
  • Starting from the pole position, Rhodes finished third in Stage 1, fourth in Stage 2, and second in the Overton’s 150 at Pocono Raceway.
  • In two starts at the “Tricky Triangle,” Rhodes has on top-five finish (2017).
  • In 12 starts this season, the ThorSport Racing driver has one pole (Pocono), and has led 121 laps en route to four top-five, and six top-10 finishes.
  • In 39 career starts, Rhodes has two poles, and has led 176 laps en route to seven top-five, and 14 top-10 finishes.
  • Rhodes’ ThorSport Racing teammates finished sixth (Crafton), eighth (Coughlin), and 13th (Enfinger).
  • Up Next: The LTi Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, August 12.
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