MADISON, Ill. – Ben Rhodes drove a very respectable race, finishing seventh at World Wide Technology Raceway in Saturday afternoon’s Toyota 200.
Rhodes, driver of the No. 99 Bommarito Ford F-150, qualified second for the race, driving a 32.663 second lap, just 0.094 seconds behind the pole sitter, Ty Majeski.
Throughout the race, Rhodes had top 10 worthy speed, but struggled to maintain his qualifying position, securing a third place Stage 1 finish, fifth place in Stage 2 before his final seventh place finish.
Not having enough speed, however, is not what Rhodes is reflecting on after the finish of the Toyota 200. In fact, he seemed confident in his truck going into this weeks race.
“We certainly entered this with a lot of momentum, and we were certainly expecting a better run today,” Rhodes said. “Unfortunately, as people flip the stages, we lose track position. As we try to come through the field, it just turns into carnage. The truck was clean, all the way up to the very end.”
Although Rhodes was pleased with his speed, the Louisville, Kentucky native thought there were other reasons, or consequences of actions, that he did not secure a finish that matched his trucks speed throughout the race.
“[Carson] Hocevar just ran us right into the wall, and that’s what he does,” he said. “Kind of frustrating to finish seventh with such a good truck and having to fight like we did.”
While Saturday’s finish may not be quite what Rhodes was anticipating, he has been trending up and finding some more speed over the most recent races.
The recent speed that Rhodes has shown the past couple weeks has been much anticipated by the 26-year-old driver following several rough weeks at North Wilkesboro, Darlington, and Kansas where he had finishes all outside of the top 10.
After a win last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with his seventh place finish Saturday afternoon, Rhodes stands fifth in points in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular season championship standings, 32 points behind leader Corey Heim.
Last week’s win at Charlotte was the first of the season for Ben Rhodes, but will likely not be the last if he continues on the trend that he seems to have found during Charlotte and carried into World Wide Technology Raceway.
Rhodes will next have the opportunity to maintain his momentum at Nashville Superspeedway during the Rackley Roofing 200 on Friday, June 23.