Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 27 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra, made his second career start at Gateway Motorsports Park (GMP) in Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Drivin’ for Linemen 200. Starting 12th, Rhodes finished 10th in Stage 1, and eighth in Stage 2. Restarting ninth in the Final Stage, the ThorSport Racing driver maintained a position inside the top-10 through the final 83 laps, battling a tight Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra. With 33 laps remaining, crew chief Eddie Troconis brought the No. 27 machine down pit road for the final scheduled stop of the night, under green, for four tires, fuel and adjustments. With a mix of strategy on pit road, and a late-race caution, Rhodes would cross the stripe in the eighth position behind race winner, John Hunter Nemechek.
“Our Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra had speed during the second stage, but I think we had a couple issues with shocks or something in the first stage. We lost the platform of the truck in the race, which is really odd. So, we’re going to go back, go to work on that, and see what happened. We were also combating some brake issues in the race as well. We’re going to change up our brake package. Overall, just a big learning night for us on how we can make our Safelite Tundra a little bit faster. Like I said, we had speed in the second segment, but track position was huge tonight. You saw a lot of pit strategy play out, but we just weren’t comfortable enough to do that with some issues we were faced with. I’m already looking forward to Iowa next week. I think we’re going to run really well there. Everything we learned tonight is going to transfer over, and make our short track program even stronger.”
Laps Led: 0
Driver Points: 5th
Owner Points: 5th
- The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Saturday morning in preparation for Saturday night’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200. Ben Rhodes was 12th, and third, respectively, in each session.
- Making his second start at GMP, Rhodes started 12th, ran as high as eighth, and finished eighth in the 160-lap event.
- In two starts at GMP, Rhodes has led four laps en route to one top-five and two top-10 finishes.
- After eight starts in 2017, the ThorSport Racing driver has led 116 laps en route to three top-five, and five top-10 finishes.
- In 35 career starts, Rhodes has one pole (Martinsville-1, 2016), and has led 171 laps en route to six top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes.
- Rhodes’ ThorSport Racing teammates finished fourth (Crafton), fifth (Enfinger), and 12th (Coughlin).
- Up Next: The M&M’S 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Friday, June 23 at 8:00pm ET.