From ThorSport Racing PR:
Ben Rhodes, No. 41 Operation BBQ Relief/Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Kansas Speedway – Toyota Tundra 250
Race No. 4 of 23
Crew Chief: Kevin Bellicourt
Engine: Triad Racing Technologies
2016 Driver Point Standings: 10th
2016 Owner Point Standings: 10th
Sounding Off – Ben Rhodes:
You’ll be making your debut at Kansas Speedway Friday night. What do you do to prepare, going to a race track for the first time?
“I’ll be going to a lot of tracks for the first time this year, and watching video and talking to teammates is generally how I prepare. While watching the videos, I’ll make a list of any questions I may have, and I can talk to Matt (Crafton) or even Cameron (Hayley). They are a great resource to have, and they help me with everything. I’ll go back and watch in-truck camera footage, make another list of questions, and go back to them. They are both really quick to answer and are always helpful. Once I get to the track, I’ll try and get Crafton to give me a ride around the track in the pace car, he did that in Atlanta because I had never been there before, and I think we’ll prepare the same way for Kansas too. I think we have a really good Tundra for Kansas this weekend, it’s been at the wind tunnel, and showed some really good numbers. I feel really good about it.”
What does your list of questions look like for Kansas?
“Right now, it’s pretty detailed – a lot of aero questions, day and night questions, how the track changes in those conditions. Crafton can give me a heads up on what to be looking for, which is a huge help. Each track is different and we have some one day shows where we practice, qualify, and race in one day. You have to know how the track will change throughout the day. I’m trying to learn everything I can right now, and just build my notebook. I try to keep my list of questions as detailed as possible. I’ll try and talk to him on the phone, or just text him, anything I can do to get the job done.”
News & Notes:
- Chassis Information… The No. 41 ThorSport Racing team will utilize chassis No. 53 for Friday night’s Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway. This is the same chassis that Rhodes piloted at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this season, finishing sixth. Teammate, Cameron Hayley piloted this same chassis to one top-five finish at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (4th), and four top-10 finishes; Kentucky Speedway in Sparta (9th), Pocono Raceway (4th), Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (10th), and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (10th) in 2015.
- Kansas Debut… Rhodes will make his Kansas Speedway debut in Friday night’s 167 lap event. In Rhodes’ intermediate track debut earlier this season, the Louisville, Kentucky native started seventh and finished sixth at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
- On Board with Ben Rhodes… ThorSport Racing, Ben Rhodes, and Alpha Energy Solutions partnered with Operation BBQ Relief, a non-profit organization based in Pleasant Hill, MO for Friday night’s 16th Annual NCWTS race at Kansas Speedway. Operation BBQ Relief was started in 2011 by eight competition barbecue teams from eight states following the highly destructive and deadly EF-5 tornado that ripped through the small town of Joplin, MO on May 23, 2011. The group was able to serve over 120,000 meals in 13 days to the displaced families and emergency personnel of the impacted area. Almost five years later, the volunteer-based organization has served over 703,000 meals in 18 states through the efforts of over 2,750 volunteers.
- Meet & Greet with Ben… In an effort to help raise awareness for Operation BBQ Relief, Rhodes will be at Famous Dave’s, a partner of the non-profit organization, across from Kansas Speedway, on Friday, May 6 from 11:30-1pm CT signing autographs.
- Famous Fundraiser… In conjunction with the Operations BBQ Relief partnership, Famous Dave’s, across from the Kansas Speedway, will be offering all you can eat ribs for $19.99 all day on Friday, May 6. Additionally, the location will match donations made to Operation BBQ Relief up to $500.00.
- In The Loop – 2016… According to NASCAR’s Loop Data statistics, Rhodes has an Average Start of 10.7, an Average Finish of 9.7, has spent 87.2% of laps completed inside the Top-15, and has a Driver Rating of 91.4 in 2016. Rhodes is ranked 10th overall.
- Rookie Stripe… Rhodes continues to lead the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle with 38 points, four points ahead of second place, William Byron going into the fourth race of the season at Kansas Speedway.
- Derby Bound… Louisville, KY native, Rhodes, will be making an appearance in the Delta Dental Celebrity Green Room at the 142nd Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7. The event will mark Rhodes Kentucky Derby debut.
- Race Rewind – Martinsville… Rhodes earned his career first NCWTS pole for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway, beating 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Kyle Busch, by .08 seconds. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender led the field for the first 42 laps, his first laps led in NCWTS competition, and finished 16th.
Rhodes’ 2016 NCWTS Stats:
- Starts: 3
- Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
- Top-5 Finishes: 0
- Top-10 Finishes: 2
- Best Finish: 6th (Atlanta)
- Laps Completed: 485 of 485 (100%)
- Laps Led: 42
Rhodes’ Career NCWTS stats:
- Starts: 7 since 2014
- First full-time season: 2016
- Poles: 1 (Martinsville, 2016)
- Top-5 Finishes: 1 (Phoenix, 2014)
- Top-10 Finishes: 5
- Laps Completed: 1236 of 1267 (97.5%)
- Laps Led: 42
- First start: Martinsville (8th)
- Best finish: 5th: Phoenix
- Avg. Start: 9.4
- Avg. Finish: 10.4
Date: Friday, May 6
Time: 8:30pm ET on FOX Sports 1
Track: 1.5-mile oval
Distance: 167 laps/250.5 miles
About Operation BBQ Relief:
The mission of Operation BBQ Relief is to provide compassion, offer hope and friendship to those whose lives have been affected by disasters across the United States through our expertise in cooking and catering barbecue meals and our ability to quickly mobilize our teams into any area where nature disrupts and tears apart the lives of Americans. Over 700,000 meals have been served by volunteers and supported by donations since 2011. For more information visit: www.OperationBBQRelief.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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