Sounding Off – Ben Rhodes:
How would you characterize the first quarter of your sophomore season?
“We’ve been so close, yet so far. Our performance has been amazing. Everything that we could control has been there. Anything outside of our control, has worked a complete 180, and hasn’t been in our favor this year. So that’s been very unfortunate. At some point it has to turn around. All of our hard work and preparation will meet the opportunity once the opportunity is starting to go our way, and we will win! But until that point, we’re just going to keep knocking down the doors.”
You’ve shown speed at Iowa Speedway in the past. Is this a track that you enjoy racing at?
“I love Iowa Speedway because I have a win there. We have had very good speed in the past, and it’s a familiar place for me. Iowa, I think, has some of the best fans in all of the country. It’s a home away from home, in a sense. Certain tracks become like that for you, and Iowa is one of them. I feel like I have the track figured out – it’s not one of those places that I’m searching the entire time or stressed out about the race track. I know what I need there, and I know what I’ve got to do. It’s just a matter of getting our Safelite Tundra to that point.”
Would you consider Iowa Speedway a short track or a superspeedway?
“The Iowa speedway is definitely a mix of short track and superspeedway. It feels like a superspeedway down the front stretch for sure. It’s got the big bowed out front stretch – you’re in the throttle for so long, you’re kinda drafting. But once you get into the corners, it’s so tight and it goes by really fast. When I first went there, I used to think it was a superspeedway. For me, it was the biggest track I’d ever been on. Now, when I go back, its nothing, and I can characterize it as a short track. The biggest thing is the front stretch that makes it feel like a speedway.”
Driver Point Standings: 5th
Owner Point Standings: 5th
News & Notes:
- Chassis Information…The No. 27 ThorSport Racing (TSR) team will utilize chassis No. 61 for Friday night’s M&M’S 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. This is the same chassis that former teammate, Cameron Hayley piloted twice in 2016, including a fourth-place finish at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Speedway.
- Hawkeye State Stats… Rhodes has one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start (2016), two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts (2015), and four NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts (2013-2014) at Iowa Speedway. In his track debut in the NCWTS, the ThorSport Racing driver started 10th, ran consistently inside the top-five, even contended for the race win, and finished fourth.
- In the Loop – Iowa… According to NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics, Rhodes is ranked first in Average Running Position (4.6), second in Driver Rating (111.5), and has completed 100% of laps attempted inside the Top-15.
- In the Loop – 2017… According to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics, Rhodes ranks fourth in the following categories after eight races this season; Fastest Laps Run, and Laps Led (116). The TSR driver ranks fifth in Average Running Position (8.4), Driver Rating (97.1), Fastest Laps Run (75), and Laps Led (116), and sixth in Laps in the Top-15 (1066).
- Rearview Mirror – Gateway… Making his second start at Gateway Motorsports Park, Rhodes started 12th, ran as high as eighth, and finished eighth in the 160-lap event.
- Catch Ben at Iowa… Rhodes will greet fans, and hand-out Safelite AutoGlass koozies, at the Iowa Speedway Ticket Booth 1, outside Turn 1, at 1:00pm CT on Friday, June 23. Rhodes will also participate in the NCWTS autograph session from 3-3:45pm CT under the grandstands in Turn 4.
Rhodes Iowa NASCAR K&N Pro Series Stats:
- Starts: 4
- Laps Completed: 609 of 609 (100%)
- Laps Led: 140
- Wins: 1 (2014)
- Top-5 Finishes: 2
- Top-10 Finishes: 4
- Average Start: 9.0
- Average Finish: 4.8
Rhodes Iowa XFINITY Series Stats:
- Starts: 2 (2015)
- Laps Completed: 498 of 519 (96.0%)
- Top-5 Finishes: 0
- Top-10 Finishes: 1 (2015-1)
- Best Start: 13th (2015-2)
- Best Finish: 7th (2015-1)
Rhodes Career NCWTS Stats:
- Starts: 35 since 2014
- First Full-time Season: 2016
- First Start: Martinsville-1, 2014 (8th)
- Poles: 1 (Martinsville-1, 2016)
- Top-5 Finishes: 6
- Top-10 Finishes: 13
- Laps Completed: 5213
- Laps Led: 171
- Best Finish: 2nd; Gateway
- Start: 9.6
- Finish: 14.1
- Stage 1 – 60 laps (concludes at lap 60)
- Stage 2 – 60 laps (concludes at lap 120)
- Stage 3 – 80 laps (concludes at lap 200)
Date: Friday, June 23, 2017
Time: 8:30pm ET on FOX Sports 1, SiriusXM & MRN
Track: 7/8-mile oval
Distance: 200 Laps, 175-Miles