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Apr 15, 2013 - 06:11 PM
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Ben Rhodes Races To A Runner-Up Finish At Rockingham Speedway
Posted by: newsla on Apr 15, 2013 - 06:06 PM
NASCAR News
Ben Rhodes Races To A Runner-Up Finish At Rockingham Speedway


On Saturday, April 13th, 2013, 16-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native Ben Rhodes raced at Rockingham Speedway (NC) in the UARA-STARS 75-lap Late Model Stock event, his second time racing on the one-mile oval. After discovering a parts failure the night before, Rhodes qualified the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Late Model in the 12th position, racing his way to a second-place finish.

 

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On Friday, Rhodes and the Hawk-McCall Motorsports team waited out the rain for two rounds of practice. While the car was strong, Rhodes reported the car felt “weird” during the sessions.

“After testing a few weeks ago, we knew we had a good set-up, but something just didn’t seem right,” said Rhodes. “After practice we checked out the whole car and found that a right rear shock mount tab sheared off and the other was bent, so it was causing the shock to wobble around. It is a good thing we caught that when we did because this track is very fast and having it all come apart at speed could have been bad.”

After staying at the track late Friday night to fix the mount, the team headed back Saturday for qualifying just before noon. Rhodes timed in 12th fastest.

During the afternoon race, Rhodes patiently worked his way up through the field while still trying to save his tires for a late-race charge. Just past the halfway mark, he was sixth and still moving forward. He moved up into the top-three with under 15 laps to go, and then made a pass for second with fewer than 10 laps remaining, but ran out of time to catch the leader for the victory.

“We had a great car during the entire race,” said Rhodes. “Starting back in 12th put us back a bit farther than we wanted to be, so we had to use up more tires getting towards the front. There at the end I was doing everything I could to catch the leader, but our tires were worn pretty good and that is all we had.”

With two thirds and a second in the first-three UARA-STARS races of 2013, Rhodes is currently second in the series standings.

“We would have liked to win Rockingham and thought we had the car to do it, but second place is not bad. Lee (McCall, crew chief) and the entire Hawk-McCall Motorsports team worked hard on the Alpha Energy Solutions Late Model this weekend and I am proud of our season so far. Hopefully we can get into victory lane soon.”

On Sunday, Rhodes sat on top of the Turner Scott Motorsports No. 30 Autism Speaks Chevy pit box, driven by Kyle Larson, for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Rhodes took in a different perspective as Larson drove on to the victory.

“I had a great time Sunday at Rockingham on Kyle’s pit box,” said Rhodes. “I sat behind Trent Owens (crew chief) and was able to watch how things operate with the team. Watching the pit stops this close was pretty cool, and of course watching Kyle drive to the victory and being with the Turner Scott Motorsports team for the day was awesome.”

Rhodes will now head up to Richmond International Raceway (VA) on Tuesday, April 16th, to practice for the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Late Model Stock event with Hawk-McCall Motorsports, which will take place on Thursday, April 25th. Rhodes finished sixth last year behind race winner and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, who will be teammates with Rhodes in this year’s event. On that same day at Richmond, Rhodes will also make his second start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with Turner Scott Motorsports.

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



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