JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015
Race 33 of 33: Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Cloudy; 83 degrees
Race Winner: Kyle Larson
Rhodes’ finish: 20th
Ben Rhodes and the Alpha Energy Solutions team fought through a series of obstacles during the Ford EcoBoost 300 to battle back for a 20th-place finish Saturday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
After starting 18th in his first race at the 1.5-mile speedway, JR Motorsports (JRM) rookie Rhodes held steady in the top 20 for the first quarter of the race, running as high as 15th. The 18-year-old made contact with the wall near lap 65 while fighting to stay on the lead lap. The contact caused a flat tire and Rhodes had no choice but to hit pit road. The crew went to work on the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro, pulling out the fender to repair the damage and change the tires. The team received a pit road violation during the stop and Rhodes had to make another pass down pit road as a result.
Rhodes went back on the track three laps down in 32nd place. He made his way up to 22nd , but couldn’t advance further as he was the first car three laps down. When the fifth caution of the day waved with 28 laps to go, crew chief Dave Elenz made the call for Rhodes to stay out and the team received the wave-around to restart just two laps down. In the remaining laps, Rhodes raced his way up to 20th, wrapping up the season for the No. 88 JRM team.
Kyle Larson won the final NASCAR XFINITY Series race of the year, followed to the stripe by Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney.
Ben Rhodes, driver No. 88 Alpha Energy Solutions team
“It was not the night the No. 88 Alpha Energy Solutions team wanted, but we were able to come back to 20th after a long, hard race. Early on, we ended up getting into the wall. A couple of the veterans were racing pretty hard around us, playing some aero games. When they did that we got caught up in it and nudged the wall. I fell back quite a bit. I ended up hitting the wall again and we had to come in and pull the fender out and that put us behind. We got a violation, so that put us another lap down. We went three laps down pretty quickly and we were fighting the whole race to get it back. We held our position in front of the cars we needed to the entire time. I think we had a pretty great race car. All in all, I’m happy with how much I learned and the adversity that we overcame taught me a whole lot.”