Ben Rhodes Wins Back-to-Back in NASCAR Truck Series at Daytona - Engine Builder Magazine

Ben Rhodes Wins Back-to-Back in NASCAR Truck Series at Daytona

Ben Rhodes wrapped up a perfect pair of race outings at Daytona International Speedway answering his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory on the oval last week with a dramatic win Friday night on the infield road coursing the BrakeBest Select 159 Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts.

It took three overtime starts to secure the victory over 2020 series champion Sheldon Creed, but Rhodes’ work in the No. 99 ThorSport Racing Toyota marked only the third time in series history a driver has opened the season with back-to-back wins. And it marked the 200th victory for Toyota in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Rhodes, 23, of Louisville, KY, crossed the finish line .320-seconds ahead of Creed – the running order frozen, however, when a caution – one of 10 on the night – came out with a half-lap remaining in overtime.

John Hunter Nemechek, who won Stage 1 and led 14 laps on the night, finished third. Todd Gilliland, who started 31st, rallied to an impressive fourth-place finish and Riley Herbst rounded out the top five.

Matt Crafton, Derek Kraus, Kaz Grala, Timmy Hill and Christian Eckes completed the top 10. Rookie Hailie Deegan was running in the top-10 until a spin on the final lap of overtime. She finished 28th.

“Unbelievable, I don’t even have words for it,” Rhodes said after climbing out of this truck just below the flag-stand on the frontstretch. “I don’t even know what to say, this is so cool. I just have to thank my team. The Bombardier Tundra was fast all day. ThorSport Racing gave me a truck that handled this year and we were fast. Rich (Lushes) is a really good crew chief. It’s good to be paired up with him and all of the guys on my team. I’m just thrilled. I don’t know what to say. I’ve been on cloud nine all week, so it’s above that. I’m just so happy.”

Certainly, Rhodes was in a celebratory mood following the race, but it was a tense finish. He was about 50-yards shy of the flag-stand on the first overtime period when a caution came out extending the race instead of earning him the trophy then.

He and Creed – who led a race best 17 laps – dueled for the lead multiple times in the closing laps – often exchanging the point during the infield series of turns of the road course. 

“Never fun being the first loser,” Creed said. “But my guys brought a fast truck and I felt like we were on top of the strategy there going to slicks early. Man, got hit by a lapper there leading and I don’t think that did us any favors and got to the lead, saving fuel and then worked way back to the lead got pushed out the way on the restart, just doing everything I could there. Wished it could have stayed green.”

The race started under wet conditions with teams having to decide when the track was dry enough to switch from rain tires to slicks or “dry” tires. Nemechek was the early leader – pacing the field for the opening 14 laps until his No. 4 Toyota suffered an oil pressure and fuel pick-up problem, leaving the Tundra on track and necessitating a caution. Later he ran out of gas and at one point was a lap down to the leaders before racing back to the front in the closing laps.

Rhodes had to deal with Creed and then ultimately Nemechek’s comeback as well, to earn his fifth career victory.

You May Also Like

Dayco Recruits Craig Frohock as its New Aftermarket/Belt CEO

Dayco, a leading engine product and drive systems manufacturer for the automotive, heavy-duty and industrial market segments, is delighted to announce that Craig Frohock accepted the opportunity to join Dayco Aftermarket and Belts as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 16, 2023. Reporting directly to the Board of Dayco, Craig is responsible for the business

Dayco, a leading engine product and drive systems manufacturer for the automotive, heavy-duty and industrial market segments, is delighted to announce that Craig Frohock accepted the opportunity to join Dayco Aftermarket and Belts as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 16, 2023. Reporting directly to the Board of Dayco, Craig is responsible for the business unit’s global operational performance and strategic direction. 

WyoTech to Unveil New Campus Expansion

WyoTech, a leading U.S. automotive, diesel, and collision trade school, announces it will host an open house on Nov. 19 to unveil the 90,000-square-foot expansion to its Laramie, Wyoming campus. The $16 million expansion will allow the school to increase its capacity to 1,200 students to accommodate a rapidly growing enrollment. Related Articles – Holley

Holley Announces 2023 Event Dates

Holley Performance Parts has revealed the dates for its popular high-performance race events, including an all-new gathering for LS enthusiasts in Texas.  Related Articles – Nominations Open for SEMA Hall of Fame – Shelby American to Build 750hp Mustang for Carroll Shelby’s 100th Birthday – The 2023 Engine Performance EXPO Starts Today! Holley is again

2023 Drive for Diversity Driver Development Class Announced

NASCAR and Rev Racing have announced the next generation of drivers participating in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program. Following a national and international search, eight talented drivers were selected for the newest class after participating in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine. Related Articles – Lucas Oil Welcomes 15th Year

Joe Morrison Teams With Herzhauser for Switch From Top Fuel to Funny Car in 2023

Joe Morrison, who gained a loyal following over his first three seasons in Top Fuel, will switch to the nitro Funny Car class in 2023, driving for East Coast-based owner Mark Herzhauser. Related Articles – Jesel Valvetrain Founder Dan Jesel Has Passed Away – Josh Steinmetz Named Hot Shot’s Secret Brand Manager – Hoonigan Co-Founder

Other Posts

Reid Machine’s 392 Intake Roller Rocker Arms

These rocker arms come ready to handle just about any racing application.

Top 10 Ken Block Gymkhana Films

Who doesn’t like a little bit of burnt rubber?

NGK Spark Plugs Adds Jeffrey Schlenker as GM of Purchasing

NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.)—the Wixom, Michigan-based manufacturer of ignition parts and sensors—has announced Jeffrey Schlenker has joined the company as general manager of Purchasing.   Related Articles – Ralph Sheheen Among Inductees for 2023 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame – SEMA Statement on the Status of the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act –

Ralph Sheheen Among Inductees for 2023 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame

The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame has announced its 2023 inductees, who will be honored on Saturday, June 3, for the 33rd induction ceremonies in Knoxville, Iowa. Among the names is SPEED SPORT’s Ralph Sheheen, who also serves as the host of PRI’s Grand Opening Breakfast.  Related Articles – Introducing Screen to Speed Powered