From ThorSport Racing PR:
Ben Rhodes, No. 41 USA Cares/Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Charlotte Motor Speedway – NC Education Lottery 200
Race No. 6 of 23
Laps Led: 0
Laps Led: 0
Driver Points: 16th
Owner Points: 17th
Ben Rhodes Race Recap:
Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 41 USA Cares Toyota Tundra made his track debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) rain-postponed NC Education Lottery 200. Starting from the 12th position, when Friday afternoon’s qualifying session was cancelled, and the field was set per the rule book – Thursday’s practice times – Rhodes was able to work his way inside the top-10 by lap 10, and settled into the 10th position by lap 20. Under the races first caution of the afternoon at lap 24, for an accident in Turn 1, crew chief Kevin Bellicourt brought the No. 41 Toyota Tundra to pit road for four tires and fuel. Due to a combination of two, and four tire pit stops down pit road, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender would restart from the 17th position when the field went back to green on lap 28.
Continuing to fight a Toyota Tundra that had no grip, Rhodes was mired inside the top-20 until the second caution flag was waved on lap 68 of 134 for an expired caution clock. Bellicourt brought the No. 41 machine to pit road, under caution, for relief. Four tires, fuel, and an adjustment, to aid in lateral grip, were on call for the Louisville, KY native. Restarting 12th when the field went back to green at lap 71, Rhodes was able to maintain a position inside the top-10 for the ensuing 10 laps, until falling to 11th at lap 90, and just inside the top-15 by lap 100. During the long green-flag run, which consisted of the races final 63 laps, fuel mileage began to play a role in the outcome of the event. Under green, with 10 laps remaining, Rhodes was forced to bring his Tundra to pit road for fuel only. Rejoining the field in the 18th position, Rhodes was able to gain one spot on the race track to finish 17th behind teammate and race winner, Matt Crafton.
“The No. 41 USA Cares Toyota Tundra struggled a little today. We started off with zero grip, and as we went on, and everything got slicker, that equaled it out a little bit. We kept falling back, and there were times during the race when I thought, ‘we’re going to have to give up spots on the restarts because I can’t drive around anyone.’ So, we just need to do some homework, and get the aero balance on this truck a little better. I’m really proud of all my guys today, they worked really hard. We picked up spots on pit road, like we always do, which shows how strong my guys are on pit road. So, there are positives to take away from today, we just have to make the trucks a little faster, and go out there to compete for wins, and get in the chase.”
- Rain cancelled two of the three scheduled practice sessions on Thursday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) due to rain. Following the one-hour final practice session, Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 41 USA Cares Toyota Tundra was 12th fastest of 36 trucks.
- Qualifying for the 14th annual NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event was cancelled on Friday afternoon due to weather. The 32-truck field was set based on the rule book – practice speeds – and Rhodes rolled off from the 12th position for the 134-lap event.
- In his CMS debut, the ThorSport Racing driver started 12th, ran as high as fourth, and finished 17th.
- In six starts in 2016, Rhodes has led 47 laps en route to two top-10 finishes.
- In 10 career NCWTS starts, Rhodes has one pole (Martinsville), and has led 47 laps en route to one top-five (Phoenix, 2014), and five top-10 finishes.
- Rhodes’ ThorSport Racing teammates finished first (Crafton), 15th (Hayley), and 20th (Abreu).
- Up next: The Rattlesnake 400 on Friday, June 10 at Texas Motor Speedway
About USA Cares:
USA Cares is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that addresses the critical and unmet needs of post 9-11 service members, veterans & military families facing service related hardships. The objective is to reach families at the earliest stage of intervention to proactively prevent further financial distress including foreclosure. When USA Cares is contacted to provide assistance, our goal is to respond to each family within 48 hours. Assistance programs include combat injured, career transition, emergency and housing assistance. We have responded to more than 80,000 requests for emergency financial assistance, which are paid directly to the creditor in the form of a grant. USA Cares provides the critical support that our veterans and military families need to create a foundation for financial resilience. For more information visit: www.usacares.org
About Alpha Energy Solutions:
Alpha Energy Solutions is a commercial and industrial service provider specializing in building automation, indoor energy solutions, chillers, boilers, electrical, equipment rental, food equipment service, piping, plumbing, sheet metal, refrigeration, insulation, and part sales. With more than 200 service personnel, Alpha is one of the largest self-performing service providers. Alpha’s highly skilled technicians operate quickly and efficiently in all areas of system maintenance and management. As members of the community they serve, Alpha’s associates are committed to job quality and customer satisfaction. To learn more, visit www.alphamechanicalservice.com
About ThorSport Racing:
ThorSport Racing, based in a state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot facility in Sandusky, Ohio, is the longest-tenured NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. ThorSport Racing, which has competed in the NCWTS since 1996, will run the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra driven by two-time NCWTS drivers’ champion Matt Crafton, the No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra driven by Cameron Hayley, the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra driven by Ben Rhodes, and the No. 98 Safelite/CURB Records Toyota Tundra driven by Rico Abreu in 2016. To learn more visit www.ThorSport.com
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