LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 11th, 2013) – Prior to racing in twin 75-lap Late Model Stock Events at Southern National Motorsports Park (NC) on Saturday, September 14th, 16-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native and NASCAR Next driver Ben Rhodes will head to Illinois to participate in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Sprint Cup Contenders Live event at the Navy Pier in downtown Chicago as well as the Race Fan Rally in downtown Joliet on Thursday, September 12th.

NASCAR Next is an industry initiative to help spotlight NASCAR’s rising stars.  It demonstrates NASCAR’s commitment to the future of the sport by identifying young drivers to help shape and mold them to carry the sport in years to come.

 

Rhodes, who races in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and part time this year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, was selected by the NASCAR Selection Committee and announced in June to the NASCAR Next program for 2013 – 2014.

 

“This is a big event for us,” said Rhodes.  “Wednesday we all arrive in Chicago and first have a dinner with some media members in the sport, and then Thursday we make several stops along with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 12 Chase drivers to engage with the fans and the media.  It will be a great experience for us.

 

“The Next program is a great program NASCAR has developed.  A few months back we participated in a Karting event at GoPro Motorplex (NC) and we took a tour of the NASCAR Fan and Engagement Center at the NASCAR offices in uptown Charlotte (NC).  I appreciate NASCAR having me be a part of the program, and I am looking forward to the trip to Illinois.”

 

This has already been a busy week for Rhodes.  On Tuesday, on behalf of his sponsor Kentucky National Guard, Rhodes made an appearance at the Bullitt County Area Technical Center in Louisville, Kentucky, to interact with 300 students about their career path and motivation to succeed.

 

“I had a great time meeting all the students at Bullitt County Area Technical Center and talking with them about my racing career and hearing about what they plan to do with their career,” said Rhodes.  “There are a lot of motivated students there, and it was great to talk to them a bit about NASCAR racing and the Kentucky National Guard.”

 

Friday morning, Rhodes will leave Illinois, heading to North Carolina to practice at Southern National Motorsports Park, driving the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions ride with his Hawk-McCall Motorsports team prior to racing Saturday night.  This will be his second time in a Late Model Stock at the track this year, but first time under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banner.

 

Entering the event, Rhodes has won five of his last seven Late Model Stock races, and hopes to continue his strong run in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

 

“We finished third earlier this year in a race at Southern National,” said Rhodes.  “We have some great notes from that event that will help us when we go back there this weekend.  Also, we have had momentum on our side over the last month that we hope will carry over to Saturday night’s races.  We are heading there with confidence and we will see what we can do.”

 

In 2013, Rhodes is sponsored by Alpha Energy Solutions, Kentucky National Guard, Park Community Federal Credit Union, Alliance Comfort Systems and Refrigerant Rescue.

 

For information and tickets to the Contenders Live event in Chicago, Illinois, on Thursday, September 12th, visit http://contenderslive.nascar.com.  For information on the Race Fan Rally later that day, visit http://racefanrally.com.  Also, for ticket and schedule information for Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Twin 75s at Southern National Motorsports Park, visit the track website at www.snmpark.com.

 

For more information on Ben Rhodes, including media availability, contact Jason “Stix” Buckley of STIX FX Entertainment at (704) 519-5528 or stix@stixfx.com, and make sure to keep up to date on his racing career at benrhodes.com, like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/benrhodesinc, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/benrhodes as well as Instagram at www.instagram.com/benrhodes.

 

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