Ben Rhodes – Atlanta Motor Speedway Preview

Feb 23, 2016

Hero Card Requests:

Send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to: ThorSport Racing Attn: Hero Card Request PO Box 2218 Sandusky, OH 44871

Rhodes_Ben_2015Hero_NXSTeam Information:
Crew Chief: Kevin Bellicourt
Manufacturer: Toyota
Engine: Triad Racing Technologies
2016 driver point standings: 7th
2016 owner point standings: 7th

Sounding Off – Ben Rhodes:

You’ve never raced at Atlanta, so what kind of experience do you have on the mile-and-a-half tracks?

“Mile-and-a-half tracks are great. From what I hear, Atlanta is a very abrasive track, so it wears out tires, which I like. Greenville Pickens Speedway was one of my favorite race tracks in the K&N Pro Series East, and I had some success there, so I’m really looking forward to Atlanta. I’ve had some experience on mile-and-a-half tracks – I’ve raced at Kentucky Speedway, Chicago. I think I’ll be able to take what I learned at Daytona, the drafting, the side drafting, all the aero games we play on the track, are all the things I think I can apply at Atlanta and the rest of the season.”

Kentucky was the next most abrasive track to Atlanta. Do you think your experience there will help you this weekend?

“I’m not sure what to expect, but I believe it will. Just from the sense that it’s a mile-and-a-half track, and from how rough it was, and how tough it was to keep your line exactly right going into Turn 3 – a very tricky corner. You’ve got to keep your truck on the yellow line in Atlanta too. What I learned last year with Kevin Harvick, and some other teammates, I think its going to be a really good weekend in Atlanta. We’ve done a lot with Toyota, and my crew chief Kevin Bellicourt to prepare for it, and I feel really good about going there.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Information… The No. 41 ThorSport Racing team will utilize chassis No. 53 for Saturday’s Great Clips 200 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway (AMS). This is the same chassis that Rhodes teammate, Cameron Hayley piloted to one top-five finish at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (4th), and four top-10 finishes; Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (9th), Pocono Raceway (4th), Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (10th), and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (10th).
  • Atlanta Debut… Although Rhodes will be making his AMS debut in Friday night’s 130-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at the 1.54-mile track, Rhodes won’t be making his debut in Atlanta. The NASCAR Next alumni raced on the front stretch quarter-mile in Legend Cars and Bandoleros during Thursday Thunder competition, including finishing second three times in 2011 in Legends Car competition.
  • Rookie Stripe… Rhodes was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender following his Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway debut in last Friday’s NextEra Energy Resources 250. The 19-year-old Louisville, Kentucky native now leads the rookie standings by five points over William Byron going into the second race on the 2016 schedule at Atlanta.
  • Ridin’ With Rhodes… Once again, Rhodes’ No. 41 Toyota Tundra will feature a special silver scheme at AMS, promoting the NCWTS Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on April 2. In January, it was announced that Alpha Energy Solutions will sponsor both Truck Series events at the half-mile paperclip for the next three years.
  • Daytona Recap… Rhodes started 24th in his DIS debut, and finished seventh. The 19-year-old was the highest finishing ThorSport Racing driver.

Rhodes Career NCWTS stats:

  • Starts: 5 since 2014
  • First full-time season: 2016
  • Top-5 Finishes: 1 (Phoenix, 2014)
  • Top-10 Finishes: 4
  • Laps Completed: 851 of 882 (96.5%)
  • Laps Led: 0
  • First start: Martinsville (8th)
  • Best start: 4th: Phoenix
  • Best finish: 5th: Phoenix
  • Start: 11.6
  • Finish: 10.2