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Ben Rhodes Takes Overtime Victory in NextEra Energy 250

With a gaggle of trucks wrecking behind him as the field approached the finish line, Ben Rhodes shot past Cory Roper in the tri-oval at Daytona International Speedway to win Friday night’s NextEra Energy 250, the 2021 season-opener for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. 

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With a decisive push from ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton on the final lap of an overtime shootout, Rhodes had more than enough momentum to charge past Roper in the final 400 yards. Likewise, Jordan Anderson blew past Roper into second place, .036 seconds behind the winner, as Roper held third for a career-best result. 

“This is so special—the biggest win of my career,” Rhodes exulted after climbing from his truck. “I can’t even believe this. As a driver, you’re always asked about what your biggest accomplishment is… This is it. This is hands-down it. This is the place to be. I can’t even believe it.” 

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The win was the first for ThorSport after an offseason switch from Ford to Toyota. 

“We came back to Toyota and we won in our first race with them at ThorSport,” Rhodes said. “I can’t thank (owners) Duke and Rhonda Thorson enough for this opportunity. This is special. I’m going to soak it up for as long as I can. I’m going to enjoy this night. Best night of my life right here.” 

Anderson was a close runner-up for the second straight year, matching his career-best finish. 

A multicar wreck on Lap 95 of 100 ended the winning chances of a handful of contenders. Chandler Smith spun into the infield, and behind him, a vicious crash ended the race for Tyler Ankrum and heavily damaged the trucks of Timothy Peters, Austin Hill, and three-time Daytona winner Johnny Sauter.  

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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – 22nd Annual NextEra Energy 250

               1. (23)  Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 101.

               2. (20)  Jordan Anderson(i), Chevrolet, 101.

               3. (31)  Cory Roper, Ford, 101.

               4. (25)  Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 101.

               5. (12)  Carson Hocevar #, Chevrolet, 101.

               6. (2)  Sheldon Creed, Chevrolet, 101.

               7. (7)  John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, 101.

               8. (26)  Codie Rohrbaugh, Chevrolet, 101.

               9. (6)  Chandler Smith #, Toyota, 101.

               10. (17)  Drew Dollar, Toyota, 101.

               11. (3)  Grant Enfinger, Toyota, 101.

               12. (27)  Kris Wright #, Chevrolet, 101.

               13. (24)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 101.

               14. (13)  David Gilliland, Ford, 101.

               15. (14)  Matt Crafton, Toyota, 101.

               16. (8)  Zane Smith, Chevrolet, 101.

               17. (32)  Danny Bohn, Toyota, 101.

               18. (16)  Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, 101.

               19. (28)  Bryan Dauzat, Chevrolet, 101.

               20. (35)  Jason White, Chevrolet, 101.

               21. (19)  Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, 100.

               22. (18)  Austin Hill, Toyota, 99.

               23. (5)  Raphael Lessard, Chevrolet, 99.

               24. (9)  Hailie Deegan #, Ford, 98.

               25. (15)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 96.

               26. (10)  Timothy Peters, Chevrolet, DVP, 95.

               27. (1)  Johnny Sauter, Toyota, DVP, 94.

               28. (11)  Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, Accident, 94.

               29. (4)  Chase Purdy #, Chevrolet, Electrical, 91.

               30. (30)  Tate Fogleman, Chevrolet, DVP, 73.

               31. (21)  Todd Gilliland, Ford, Accident, 71.

               32. (29)  Stewart Friesen, Toyota, Accident, 71.

               33. (33)  Derek Kraus, Toyota, DVP, 56.

               34. (34)  Gus Dean, Chevrolet, Accident, 1.

               35. (22)  Tanner Gray, Ford, Drivetrain, 0.

               36. (36)  James Buescher, Chevrolet, Accident, 0.

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