Ben Rhodes – Daytona International Speedway Recap

Feb 20, 2016

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Rhodes_Ben_2015Hero_NXSTeam Information:
Started: 24
Finished: 7th
Laps: 100/100
Status: Running
Driver Points: 7th
Owner Points: 7th


“It was a crazy race from the start, everybody was running two and three-wide pretty much the whole race. The caution clock got us tonight. Right before it came out a bunch of cars in front of us, on the inside line, came down to pit. When they did that, they weren’t down on the race track yet, and started coming up in front of us. They started checking up in front of us, and we hit Coughlin. I was already on his bumper, so I had no where to go. It sent him around and buckled our hood. The rest of the race, we were fighting on repair, trying to get it as aerodynamically stable as possible. It put us behind from about lap 40 on. After that, I was just stuck in the draft, couldn’t get out to lead anything, and when I did, I fell back. We tried to make the most of the pushing situation, we were three-wide when a wreck happened in front of us once again, and had to come in for repairs multiple times. We tried to make the best of the night. We still finished top-10, and I’m really happy and proud of my guys, they put so much work into these things. It’s a shame it’s all torn up, but I’m glad we have a seventh-place finish, it definitely could have been a lot worse here. I just want to thank everyone at ThorSport Racing, and Alpha Energy Solutions for being on board with us tonight.”

• Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 marked Ben Rhodes debut behind the wheel of the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing, and also his debut at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway (DIS)
• The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) had two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday night’s 100-lap race, and Rhodes was second and seventh-quick, respectively, in both sessions
• Rhodes posted the 24th-fastest time in the two round, single-truck qualifying session on Friday afternoon at DIS
• Starting from the 24th position for Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at DIS, Rhodes made two stops down pit road early, at lap six and 13, under caution, for fuel
• The Sunoco Racing Rookie of the Year contender received front-end damage to his No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra at lap 42 when three trucks made contact on the frontstretch. Crew chief Kevin Bellicourt made the call to bring the No. 41 machine to pit road under caution to repair the damage
• Rhodes worked his way back into the top-five by lap 55, utilizing the draft, but was forced to pit for the fourth and final time under caution at lap 67 for fuel and damage repair
• In what would become the “big one” at DIS, which involved 18 trucks, and ultimately brought out the red flag, Rhodes received more front-end damage on his Toyota Tundra, but was able to complete the final two laps before crossing the stripe in the seventh position behind race winner, Johnny Sauter
• Rhodes, seventh, was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of Year contender following Friday night’s event, and also the highest finishing ThorSport Racing driver
• In five NCWTS starts, Rhodes has one top-five and four top-10 finishes
• Rhodes ThorSport Racing teammates finished 10th (Crafton), 25th (Hayley), and 29th (Abreu)
• Up next: The Great Clips 200 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 27