July 10th, 2018

Huge turnout at "All Rhodes Lead to Kentucky Speedway" event

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

Huge turnout at "All Rhodes Lead to Kentucky Speedway" event
photo from Ben Rhodes Facebook page

Holy Cross alum Ben Rhodes held an event for first responders Tuesday night at the Dixie Highway Rooster’s as the final event on his “All Rhodes Lead to Kentucky Speedway Tour.”

The “All Rhodes Lead to Kentucky Speedway Tour” was a media-tour to honor local first responders as they’re our true community heroes.

“We always appreciate when somebody gives us recognition,” Fire Chief Greg Cambron said. “We don’t get into the job looking for recognition. But, when people give back it’s important and means a lot to us. It’s nice to know that people out there care about us and support us.”

Local first responders drove up in their emergency vehicles and Rhodes  signed autographs for his fans and spoke personally to those in attendance.

“This brings back everything full circle to me,” Rhodes said. “My fiance family is full of first responders. Through them I have built a lot of relationships with them. They’re here today. We have done so much with charities through the years but have never done anything for the first responders.”

He also gave away free tickets to Thursday’s race Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to anybody who attended the event.

That wasn’t all.

Rhodes raffled off his memorabilia including race day worn gear, a mini replica mini helmet, and a hat in a raffle that raised money for the Louisville Metro Police Foundation.

The Holy Cross alum also hosted Nick Rodman’s family, a Louisville Metro Police Officer, who was killed in a car crash on the line of duty last year.

“Nick went to the same high school as me,” Rhodes said. “They’re here today with us. Nick Rodman went to the same grade school and high school as me. There’s a lot of ties there. It brings everything full circle. Louisville is a big small town and everything goes back to their high school days.”

Rhodes will honor Rodman at the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225  race Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta by having Nick Rodman’s name on his truck.

“It’s going to have his whole name on the car,” Nick Rodman’s father George Rodman said. “We’ve known Ben for a long time. His family has been good friends with our family for such a long time. It’s such an honor for Ben to do this for our family. It also honors all first responders and it’s going to bring a tear to my eyes and all of our eyes.”

The former Cougar will be looking for his first ever win at his home track as he fights to get into the playoffs.

“This is pretty much my Daytona 500,” Rhodes said. “This is my biggest race of the year. It’s not because of the race track. It’s not because of the history or anything. It’s because of my personal ties with the area. That’s what makes it special, it’s because of the people that are there, we have tickets for everybody and hopefully they all come out.”

Rhodes is currently in eighth place, which is the final spot in the standings to qualify for the playoffs, only four races will remain in the regular season after Thursday night’s race.

“I’m not surprised that he’s doing this for us,” George Rodman said. “That’s how good of a kid he is. With this race being local, we’re expecting a big turnout. Wouldn’t it be cool if Ben brings home the checkered flag? That would be awesome. We’re excited about this.”

A number of Rhodes sponsors also attended the event including his title sponsor Campbellsville University-Louisville.

“At Campbellsville our mission is to create servant leaders,” Campbellsville University-Louisville Executive Director Mark Mann said. “I don’t think there’s any other true servant leader than first responders. Knowing that Ben is a local boy, a Holy Cross guy, we definitely wanted to be a part of this.”

Park Community Credit Union also had a booth and Rooster’s, the host restaurant, is also one of Rhodes big supporters.

“We at Park are here for three reasons,” Donna Baugh, Park Community’s Regional Manager of Regional Operations, said. “First and foremost we are here for our members, for our staff, we take care of them, and then we are here for our community.

“We are all over Jefferson County. We have a branch right up the street and we are affiliated with Holy Cross. It’s important to give back. Ben is such a talented young man and we look forward to working with him for a long time.”

Without his sponsors, none of this would be possible for Rhodes.

You can catch Rhodes drive his Alpha Energy Solutions Truck at Kentucky Speedway Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in person in Sparta, Ky. or if you can’t attend, the race will be shown on FS1.

“Here at Alpha Energy Solutions this is a big deal for us to help promote Ben Rhodes and his team,” Alpha Energy Solutions Sales Director Gerry Lewis said. “Louisville is the home base for Alpha Energy Solutions. We like to give and our goal is to give back. This is a great stepping stone for Thursday when he brings home that checkered flag.”



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