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Aug 22, 2014 - 06:17 AM
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2014 Bristol: Ben Rhodes NASCAR Truck Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Aug 22, 2014 - 06:15 AM
2014 Bristol: Ben Rhodes NASCAR Truck Race Recap

In his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start for Turner Scott Motorsports, Ben Rhodes moved like a seasoned pro in the No. 32 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet Silverado as he made his way around the World's Fastest Half Mile. Having limited track time in his two previous NCWTS starts due to weather, the steak continued as the first practice session was delayed by rain, forcing NASCAR to combine both sessions into one extended period. After just 62 laps on the track, the 17-year-old qualified the No. 32 Alpha Energy Solutions truck in ninth position for the start of the UNOH 200. The NCWTS soon found itself in a holding pattern for the 200-lap night race as severe weather took over the East Tennessee area, ultimately resulting in a washout, and delaying the green flag until the following morning. Still in race mode, Rhodes took the green flag on Thursday morning and quickly began learning his way around the lightning-fast loop. Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. elected to remain on track when the first caution flag waved on lap 16, and Rhodes soon began to run the same lap times as the leaders. When the competition caution arose on lap 50, Hillman called Rhodes to pit road for four tires, fuel and a slight wedge adjustment to tighten up his Chevy. The young driver rejoined the field, still looking to find the perfect line to gain momentum around the corner. By the halfway mark, the No. 32 truck had found its groove as Rhodes made a couple of laps behind NASCAR veteran Kyle Busch. Taking the wave around when the third caution flag waved, Hillman waited until the fourth caution on lap 148 to give Rhodes four new tires and fuel. With veteran-spotter Eddie D'Hondt guiding the rookie driver around the track, the No. 32 Alpha Energy Solutions truck began picking competitors off one-by-one, rocketing into the top 10 with 36 laps remaining. Rhodes skillfully maneuvered his way through tight racing conditions in the final laps and drove to a ninth-place finish in his NCWTS debut at The Last Great Colosseum.


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Ben Rhodes on a Top-10 Finish at Bristol:
"That was a fun race. It felt really good to be back in my Turner Scott Motorsports truck, especially at a place like Bristol. We had a solid run in our Alpha Energy Solutions truck all week and I'm really thankful for all of the hard work this team put into it. It seems like rainy weather keeps following us though; first at Martinsville, then Dover, and then last night. I think it says a lot that despite limited track time, my crew chief, spotter and this entire team can still get a top-10 finish. I had some trouble on pit road today; I plan to dedicate a lot of time to pit-stop practice soon. Overall, I'm happy with our finish here and I can't wait to be back in the truck at Martinsville in October."

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