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Apr 23, 2013 - 04:38 PM
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Ben Rhodes Anxious For NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Posted by: newsla on Apr 23, 2013 - 04:34 PM
NASCAR News
Ben Rhodes Anxious For NASCAR K&N Pro Series East And Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown At Richmond International Raceway


On Thursday, April 25th, Ben Rhodes will add another milestone in his career when he races in two events back to back at Richmond International Raceway (VA). The 16-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native will first pilot the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet in the “Blue Ox 100” NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with Turner Scott Motorsports, his second-career start in the series. When the checkered flag drops, he will then hop into the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Late Model Stock with Hawk-McCall Motorsports for the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, his second year racing in the event supporting the Denny Hamlin Foundation which raises awareness and funding for Cystic Fibrosis research and treatment.

 

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In March, Rhodes made his debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. After qualifying a back-up car in the 21st position, he raced his way to a ninth-place finish. Rhodes will be back in his “Sweetness” chassis, which set fast time during the pre-race practice before a competitor dropped oil on the track, causing multiple cars to wreck.

“The Turner Scott Motorsports team has been working hard since Bristol to get our primary car fixed and ready for Richmond,” said Rhodes. “I really wish we had that car for the Bristol race because we think we could have been up front at the end. But, things happen and that was then. We are focused on being up front at Richmond.”

Last year, Rhodes raced to a sixth-place finish driving for Marcos Ambrose Motorsport in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Late Model Stock Event as a rookie and least-experienced driver in the field. This year, Rhodes will race the Hawk-McCall Motorsports chassis nicknamed “Smoke,” which was driven to the 2012 victory by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart.

“I really enjoyed racing last year in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown,” said Rhodes. “It was for a great cause, and it gave me a lot of experience racing in a field of veteran racers. We were up to fourth with 12 laps to go, but when Jeff Burton missed a shift it moved me back to sixth. It was still a great finish and Marcos Ambrose really helped me out throughout the day.”

In February, Turner Scott Motorsports driver Kyle Larson, who just recently won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway (NC), drove Rhodes’ back-up car, nicknamed “Alice,” to victory in the NASCAR Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway (FL). For the Short Track Showdown, Stewart will pilot that same car as Rhodes’ teammate.

“To race against some of the best NASCAR and Late Model drivers last year was really cool, but this year I get the opportunity to be teammates with Tony Stewart,” explained Rhodes. “He is one of the best racers in the country, and being able to listen and learn from him is very big for my career.

“I like every track I get to race on, but I am really looking forward to getting back to Richmond and racing in both races Thursday. I have two top-notch teams and Lee McCall is one of the best crew chiefs in the business. Having him calling the shots for both races, especially after he won the Showdown last year with Tony, is going to give me a big advantage. The ultimate goal would be both cars in victory lane at the end of the night, and that is what we are shooting for.”

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.

Qualifying for the “Blue Ox 100” NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event will take place on Thursday, April 25th, at 4:30pm followed by the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown qualifying at 5:40pm. Green flag for the K&N Pro Series East 100-lap event will take place at 7pm, which will be followed by the 75-lap Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.

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