From ThorSport Racing PR –
Race 4 of 23: Martinsville Speedway
Track: 0.526-mile “Paperclip”
Distance: 250 laps, 131.5 miles
Format: Three Stages (Stage 1: 70 Laps, Stage 2: 70 Laps, Final Stage: 110 Laps, ending at Lap 250.)
Crew Chief: Eddie Troconis
Driver Point Standings: 5th
Owner Point Standings: 6th
Spotter: Lloyd Garner
News and Notes:
• This Week’s No. 41 Ford F-150… The No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Ford F-150 team will bring chassis No. 61 to Martinsville Speedway this weekend, last competing at Martinsville in the fall of 2017. First hitting the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in 2016, the chassis has accumulated one top-five finish at ISM Raceway in 2016, and two top-10 finishes at NHMS and Martinsville in 2017.
• ‘A’ for Alpha… This weekend will be special for Rhodes and Alpha Energy Solutions, not only partnering with the No. 41 team once again, but also headlining the Alpha Energy Solutions 250. With title sponsorship for the event, Rhodes will have many hometown supporters and partners in Alpha in the stands, cheering him on in this weekend’s race.
• Hot Streak… Kicking off the season strong, Rhodes has accumulated two top-five and three top-10 finishes in the first three races on the schedule, but heads to the first short-track of the season where he looks to improve on last season’s 20th-place and ninth-place finishes at Martinsville Speedway. On his resume? The 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro East Championship, a schedule heavily emphasized on short-track competition.
• Catch Rhodes in Martinsville… Rhodes will join fellow ThorSport Racing teammates for the NCWTS autograph session in front of the Martinsville Speedway Administration Building on Friday, March 23 from 5-5:45 p.m. ET.
Chatting with Ben Rhodes…
“I’m looking for some redemption at Martinsville Speedway this go-around, but I’m also really excited for all the support from Alpha Energy Solutions this weekend. They will not only be on my Ford F-150, but they’re also the title sponsor of the race. This will be their third year as title sponsor in both the spring and fall, and with that comes a lot of support from them and my hometown. Hopefully, we can put on a great show for them and get ourselves locked into the playoffs.”
Martinsville is the first short-track on the schedule this season. What is your main goal heading into Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250?
“I enjoy short-track racing – that’s where my background is – but Martinsville Speedway is its own animal. It’s aggressive and there’s a lot of chaos that happens throughout the whole race. We need to survive – it reminds me in a sense of Daytona and Talladega where you could get caught up in something that may not be your fault, we need to survive – be there in the end. I know we’ll have a fast-enough Ford F-150 to be up there, we just have to put ourselves in the right place, right time, and be smart throughout the whole day.”
Ford Fact – Martinsville Speedway
Saturday’s Alpha Energy Solutions 250 is one of 15 different racing venues on the 2018, 23-race schedule, that Ford-powered F-150’s have found victory lane. In 38 races at the 0.526-mile “Paperclip,” Ford Performance is credited with five wins: Joe Ruttman (1995), Jon Wood (2003), Rick Crawford (2004), Ricky Craven (2005) and Joey Logano (2015). Additionally, Ford has six poles at the Ridgeway, Virginia, track: Greg Biffle (1998), Mike Bliss (1999), Carl Edwards (2003), Rick Crawford (2005), Rick Crawford (2009) and Chase Briscoe (2017).
ThorSport Racing at Martinsville Speedway
ThorSport Racing has made 77 starts with 17 different drivers (Terry Cook, Matt Crafton, Tina Gordon, Andy Houston, Tracy Hines, Kerry Earnhardt, Willie Allen, Shelby Howard, Johnny Sauter, Dakoda Armstrong, Todd Bodine, Jeb Burton, Cameron Hayley, Ben Rhodes, Rico Abreu, Grant Enfinger and Cody Coughlin) at Martinsville Speedway since September 26, 1998. The Sandusky, Ohio-based team’s success includes 726 laps led, three poles, four wins, 15 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes.
Catch the Action
Saturday, March 24 | 2 p.m. ET | FOX Sports 1 – Alpha Energy Solutions 250