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Jul 21, 2014 - 04:14 PM
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Ben Rhodes Races To A Third-Place Finish At Columbus Motor Speedway
Posted by: newsla on Jul 21, 2014 - 04:07 PM
Tidbits
Ben Rhodes Races To A Third-Place Finish At Columbus Motor Speedway


17-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native and championship points leader Ben Rhodes made his Columbus Motor Speedway (OH) track debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, racing in the “JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota” on Saturday, July 19th, the 11th stop during the 16-race 2014 season. After starting sixth, the NASCAR Next driver was able to wheel the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet with Turner Scott Motorsports to a third-place finish.

 

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A persistent drizzle during the morning and early afternoon altered the practice schedule at the 0.333-mile short track. Rhodes was able clock in fourth fast during the single practice session, despite not performing a mock-qualifying run. During qualifying, a loose race car put Rhodes starting sixth for the 150-lap race.

During the race, Rhodes lost positions on the outside line while he tried to get down to the preferred groove. Once he worked his way to the low line, he was able to move his way back up towards the front, but when the cautions flew, he was caught on the even number positions which forced him to restart on the outside line and lose all the positions he gained. At one point, the No. 41 Alpha ride was shuffled back to the 10th position before he could get low. However, Rhodes kept digging throughout the race, working his way up to the third spot when the checkered flag flew.

Rhodes’ podium finish helped him retain a 62-point lead in the championship standings and increase his lead in the rookie of the year standings to 30 points.

Ben Rhodes Quotes

Talk about your qualifying effort. “With the rain changing the track earlier in the day, we worked on the handling of the car during race runs during the one practice session we got, so we never did try a mock qualifying run. When we did go out for qualifying, the car was just really loose, so it put us sixth.”

In the race, you dropped back to 10th at one point. Were you saving tires? “I really wasn’t saving as much as I would have liked. It hurt us starting the race in the outside line. My car was really good low, but on the high line I had to abuse my tires more to stay up there and try to get down. And then just about every restart I ended up having to restart on the outside lane again, so all the spots I made up once I got down were lost. My car was also a little tight at the end of the race, so it was hard to keep up with the leaders.”

After a rough finish last week, were you satisfied with a third? “My Turner Scott Motorsports team goes to each track with the goal of winning, but today we just couldn’t get my Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet to the front. A third-place finish wasn’t what we wanted, but at the end of the day a podium finish is still a solid result, and we will now switch focus to Iowa Speedway.”

Sponsor Support
In 2014, Ben Rhodes is sponsored by Alpha Energy Solutions, Alliance Comfort Systems, Kentucky National Guard, Park Community Credit Union, and Refrigerant Rescue.

Race Breakdown
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East - Race 11 of 16
Saturday, July 19th, 2014
“JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota”
Columbus Motor Speedway (0.333-mile asphalt oval) – Columbus, OH
Start: 6th
Finish: 3rd
Laps Completed (Led): 150 (0)
Championship Points Position: 1st (by 62 points)
Rookie of the Year Points Position: 1st (by 30 points)
TV: July 27th, 2014, at 9am ET on FOX Sports 1

Next Up
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Friday, August 1st, 2014
“Autolite Iridium XP 150”
Iowa Speedway (0.875-mile asphalt oval) – Newton, Iowa

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