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Born: February 21, 1997
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Ben Rhodes, the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) Champion, Rookie of the Year and Most Popular driver, returns to ThorSport Racing and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) in 2017 piloting the No. 27 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra and contending for the series championship title.
During his first full-time season in the NCWTS in 2016, Rhodes earned his series first 21 Means 21 Pole Award at Martinsville Speedway (April), and finished 14th in the series point standings on the strength of two top-five and five top-10 finishes.
The 20-year-old Louisville, KY native began his career in go karts at the age of seven, winning races and championships on both dirt and asphalt before moving up to Bandoleros in 2008. After earning his state and Midwest titles in 2009, the young racer quickly adapted to the bigger and faster Legends Cars in 2010. The next year, Rhodes tallied more championships to underscore his season’s 43 Legends Car victories, more than any other driver internationally. His success translated to Late Model Stock Cars with several starts in 2011 and a full season of racing in 2012 and 2013.
The NASCAR Next Alumni made his national series debut in 2014, in the NCWTS, earning one top-five and three top-10 finishes in four starts. Additionally, Rhodes amassed six poles, five wins, 11 top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes in the NKNPSE en route to the 2014 championship.
After his championship year in the NKNPSE, Rhodes raced a part-time, 10-race schedule in the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series, earning his first NASCAR national series pole in just his seventh start at Road America in Elkart Lake, Wisc. (August), and picked up a series-best seventh-place finish in his first series start at Iowa Speedway in Newton (May).
Early Racing Career
The Louisville, Kentucky native started racing go karts at age 7, winning races and championships on both dirt and asphalt before moving up to Bandoleros in 2008. After earning his state and Midwest titles in 2009, the young racer quickly adapted to the bigger and faster Legends Cars in 2010. The next year, Rhodes tallied more championships to underscore his season’s 43 Legends Car victories, more than any other driver internationally. His success translated to Late Model Stock Cars with several starts in 2011 and a full season of racing in 2012. Rhodes turned heads in April of 2012, in the invitation-only Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway (Va.), finishing sixth behind top NASCAR stars as the highest-finishing rookie in the race.
The 2013 racing season started off on a high note for Rhodes when he took to the track in the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach Late Model Stock event at Daytona International Speedway (Fla.), earning his first heat race victory and finishing second in the feature behind Kyle Larson. He backed up the strong run with several top-five finishes, but his Late Model Stock season really kicked into high gear in the second half of the year when Rhodes earned two victories in one weekend, first at Kingsport Speedway (Tenn.), and then at Hickory Motor Speedway (N.C.). He went on to win a total of six Late Model Stock events, including leading all but one lap in the 150-lap Fall Brawl at Hickory.
Rhodes was also impressive in his first start, finishing ninth in the NKNPSE at Bristol Motor Speedway (Tenn.) in March 2013. He backed that up with a third-place finish at Iowa Speedway in June (amongst East drivers). That same day Rhodes was announced as a selection to the NASCAR Next program, an industry initiative to help spotlight NASCAR’s rising stars. He continued his strong runs in the series by picking up one top-five and two top-10 finishes in the remaining three races.
Like any professional athlete, Rhodes maintains a rigorous training schedule throughout the course of the year, including a solid fitness routine and many hours behind the wheel of a race car. He is a typical, well-spoken teenager with a passion for cars and a genial personality, which helps make him one of the most popular drivers at each track he visits. Rhodes graduated from Holy Cross High School in May, 2015, with a 3.8 GPA, and was selected to the National Honor Society. Away from the track, he enjoys aviation, ATVs, shooting guns, boxing, working on project cars, and playing video games.
For more information on Ben Rhodes, visit www.benrhodes.com.
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2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series
- Made series debut in March at Iowa Speedway (IA), finishing seventh.
- Earned first-career NXS pole position August 29th at Elkart Lake, WI.
- Finished within top 13 four out of 10 starts.
- Had an average start of 12.5.
- Completed 93.6% of laps in 10 races he entered.
2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
- Earned first-career NKNPSE pole position February 18th at Daytona International Speedway (FL).
- Earned first-career NKNPSE victory at Greenville Pickens Speedway (SC) on March 22nd.
- Went on a three-race pole streak (Daytona, Bristol, Greenville), as well as a four-race win streak (Iowa, Bowman Gray, Five Flags, Langley).
- Won the 2014 NKNPSE Championship (clinched one race prior to end of season).
- Won the 2014 NKNPSE Rookie of the Year.
- Voted by the fans as the 2014 NKNPSE Most Popular Driver.
- In 16 races, had 6 poles, 5 wins, 11 top 5s, 13 top 10s (average start: 2.6; average finish: 5.8).
- Completed 2110 of 2112 laps during the season, leading 778 (zero DNFs).
- Selected to be in the NASCAR Next program for the second year.
2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- Made series debut in March at Martinsville Speedway (VA), finishing eighth.
- Obtained best-career NCWTS finish of fifth at Phoenix International Raceway (AZ) in November.
- In four starts, finished within top 10 three times.
2014 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards
- Made series debut in August, finishing 11th.
- In second race, at home track of Kentucky Speedway, led many laps before wrecking out.
2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
- Finished ninth in first-career start (Bristol Motor Speedway, TN).
- Earned career-best third amongst East drivers at Iowa Speedway (IA) in June in East-West combo.
- Selected in June by NASCAR to the NASCAR Next program.
- Finished fourth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NH) in September.
- Seven starts – 2 top 5s, 5 top 10s, completed 94.6% of all laps.
- Earned two Coca-Cola Move of the Race awards (Iowa and Greenville).
- Earned one Sunoco Rookie of the Race award (Iowa).
- Finished 19th in points despite only competing in seven of 14 series events.
- Finished second in 2013 Most Popular Driver voting.
- Featured in Huffington Post discussing dangers of distracted driving.
2013 Late Model Stock
- Finished second in the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway (FL) in February (won his first Late Model Stock heat race at the event and started on pole).
- Finished third in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway (VA) behind NASCAR regulars Kyle Busch and David Ragan (best two-year average of any driver from 2012 – 2013).
- Earned first-career Late Model Stock win in August at Kingsport Speedway (TN). Went on to win the next night at Hickory Motor Speedway (TN).
- Led 149 of 150 laps to win the Fall Brawl in October at Hickory Motor Speedway.
- Won six Late Model Stock events across three tracks (Kingsport Speedway, Hickory Motor Speedway, and Greenville Pickens Speedway).
- 17 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model starts – 6 wins, 11 top 5s.
- Earned three top-five finishes in 5 UARA-STARS Late Model Stock starts.
2012 Late Model
- Earned Rookie of the Race award in first UARA-STARS start of 2012 with third-place finish at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) in March
- Finished in the top five in first-three Late Model events of 2012 in March.
- Raced to a sixth-place finish in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway (VA) in April.
- Earned first-career UARA-STARS pole position at Kingsport Speedway (TN) in May.
- Finished ninth in the UARA-STARS season point standings, despite not entering two races.
- 21 Late Model starts – 1 pole, 7 top 5s, 12 top 10s.
- Voted third nationally in Speed51.com’s 2012 Late Model Most Popular Driver contest.
2011 Late Model
- Made Late Model debut at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) in July, finishing seventh.
- Qualified second in Dwight Huffman Memorial event at Hickory Motor Speedway in just his fifth Late Model start.
- Qualified within top 10 in five of seven starts.
- Finished within the top 10 in three of seven starts with best finish of fourth (twice).
2011 INEX Legend Cars
- Won 43 races in 2011, more than any other racers (over 1200 drivers internationally).
- Two 2011 Winter Championships in Young Lions division: Charlotte Motor Speedway (NC) Winter Heat Series champion and Auburndale Speedway (FL) Winter Nationals champion.
- 2011 F.A.S.T. Midwest Young Lions division champion.
- Finished third in Legends Big Money 100 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a field filled with Pro division racers.
2008 – 2009 INEX Bandoleros
- Made Bandolero debut in 2008.
- Finished ninth in 2008 Bandolero Nationals in Bandits division at the Speedrome (IN).
- 2009 Kentucky state Bandolero Bandits champion.
- 2009 F.A.S.T. Midwest Bandolero Bandits champion.
2004 – 2009 Karting
- 2005 Falls City Kart Club Dirt champion. .
- 2007, 2008 and 2009 Fall Brawl Dirt Karting champion.
- 2007 Indiana state Karting champion.
- 2007 WKA Karting Family of the Year award winner.