Ben Rhodes Scores Emotional Hometown Win

For Growing up less than an hour away from a NASCAR race track, Ben Rhodes was always dreaming of a win. For Louisville Kentucky native Ben Rhodes, that dream became reality.  As the sun set over the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at the Kentucky Speedway, it was Rhodes who scored the win.

Police Escort

Rhodes came to Kentucky with redemption in mind after having issues in this race one year ago. He also, had a little extra angel on board. On the passenger side of Rhodes’ truck, his name was replaced with Nick Rodman’s — the Louisville Metro Police Department officer killed in the line of duty.

Rhodes said, we want to honor Officer Rodman, but we want to also have fun with his family.” He added that Officer Rodman’s family was at the race track and they were having a great time with them.

A strategy call by Rhodes crew chief Eddie Troconis for fuel only on the final stop put Rhodes out front.  Rhodes said after the race, he almost blew that call all together as he was coming in to his pit. A truck had just pulled away and a fire had started in the pit box prior to Rhodes. When they put it out, and big plum of smoked all but covered the No. 41 pit box. “I couldn’t see it, and just barely got turned in.

Everything worked out on pit road, and tires on the No. 52 of Stewart Friesen weren’t enough to catch and make the pass.

“It all came together, we kept the air in the tires and didn’t hit the wall” Rhodes said with a laugh after the race.

Rhodes said that he had to really fight for this, as Kentucky is still a one groove, maybe a one and a half groove race track. Noah Gragson had by far the fastest truck early in the race, and run. Rhodes during a long run was able to chase down the leader in first and second stages.

Do I Belong…

For  This ThorSport Racing team, they haven’t had the easiest and best of years. Rhodes said it’s been an up and down year, “we’ve had fast trucks all season, but the weirdest of things have happend. “It’s been cut tires, wrong place wrong time and a blown motor.” He said they could be in contention if not for all of the bad luck.

Rhodes said in the media center that he was so down with all of the bad luck that he wondered if he should even be here. ” I really thought I should just quit.” He added that it takes focus to keep going during that. “All i’ve ever wanted to do is race, and that desire is one thing that kept me going.”

Racing is a mental struggle, especially for drivers that aren’t having the results they wanted. Many times it takes a strong team, and Rhodes said it was the guys around him that really kept him positive. Now, he can to Eldora and have some fun. “This is good for Duke (Thorson), we usually come out of Eldora with 4 torn up trucks. We can just go race and have fun. I don’t have to worry about the stress of trying to win next week.

Rhodes is now locked in to the playoffs, and he thinks this is the turninig point for his race team. “Look out for ThorSport”, he said.

 

Stephen Conley

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera.

I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University. I have hosted multiple Motorsports talk shows, worked in Country Music radio, and now i spend every day on the air in the morning with 1300 and 100.9 WMVO and in the afternoons watching the roadways around Central Ohio for 93.7 WQIO.

The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting 15 years having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and you can find me at pretty much any event run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth.

Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras.

My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports.

See you at a track soon

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