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Apr 29, 2014 - 03:29 PM
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Ben Rhodes Victorious in 25th-Annual Kentucky Derby Festival Great Bed Races
Posted by: newsla on Apr 29, 2014 - 03:24 PM
Ben Rhodes Victorious in 25th-Annual Kentucky Derby Festival Great Bed Races

17-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native and NASCAR Next driver Ben Rhodes raced his way to victory in a different fashion on Monday, April 28th, as he was the driver behind the wheel of the winning Alpha Energy Solutions bed in the champions division of the 25th-annual Kentucky Derby Festival Great Bed Races at Broadbent Arena in Louisville, Kentucky. Rhodes and the team won in the final race of the night, dethroning a five-year champion of the event in Alpha’s event debut.


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The Great Bed Races, which began in 1990 as one of the many events leading up to the historic Kentucky Derby, put teams up against a clock on a figure-eight track for one lap to see who can come out on top with the best single-lap time. A team consists of one driver with four pushers on a custom-made bed, using human power instead of horsepower, to navigate around the course. The Alpha team made their lap in 33.41 seconds, beating out five-time champions Curtain Call Photo Booth, who held the fast time throughout the entire event, by just a mere 0.56 seconds.

Alpha Energy Solutions was one of many local and national businesses that joined in this year’s competition. Texas Roadhouse, General Electric, Cabela’s, Air Hydro Power, Hampton Inn, AAA East Central, Whole Foods Market, UAW/Assembly Plant Ford Louisville, Purdue University, Home Depot, Geek Squad City, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 502, and Frisch’s Restaurants were just some of the companies participating.

Rhodes, who is the current championship points leader in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, driving the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet Impala with Turner Scott Motorsports, enjoyed the challenge of a different kind of racing.

“It was a blast,” said Rhodes. “All of us on the Alpha team put all our efforts in to our debut in the Great Bed Races, and it paid off. The guys were pushing hard and we got a little loose in turn one, but we were good all the way around the rest of the course and didn’t hit a cone. The most stressful part was waiting to hear our time and if we beat the other team.”

The Alpha team consisted of some top athletes in the Louisville area. With Rhodes behind the wheel, the four pushers were Jeff Ellison, COO for Heuser Health and a Cross-fit athlete, Patrick Smalley, Director of Training at Heuser Health who is ex-military and a collegiate football player, Chris Daniel, founder of SocialSphereStudios and former University of Kentucky and professional Pole Vaulter, as well as Chip Heuser, Executive Vice President of Heuser Health and President and Meet Director for Vault in the Ville, who is also a former University of Florida and University of Oklahoma and current professional Pole Vaulter.

Along with the muscle to get the winners’ trophy, Alpha had a one-of-a-kind bed that had some NASCAR engineering behind it.

“Joe Kruschek, one of my TSM team members, came up with the design,” said Rhodes. “The entire Turner Scott Motorsports team was behind us and was anxious to see how we would do. It worked great.

“Our community really gets behind the Kentucky Derby and all the events surrounding it during the Derby Festival. It was really cool to be a part of the action this year and win our first time out. We now have a friendly rivalry with some of the teams and we will see if we can come back next year and go faster and start our own winning streak with the Alpha Energy Solutions bed.”

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