August 16th, 2018

Ben Rhodes seeks win at Thunder Valley

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 

Ben Rhodes seeks win at Thunder Valley
Ben Rhodes / file photo

Ben Rhodes will try to close out the regular season with a bang when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visits Bristol Motor Speedway Thursday night.

When the playoffs begin next Sunday in Canada, only eight drivers will be eligible to compete for the series championship. Rhodes locked himself into the playoffs by winning at Kentucky Speedway in July. As for Thursday’s race, Rhodes and his team have two primary objectives.

“First and foremost, we need to keep the truck from getting damaged,” says Rhodes. “We need to keep our fleet strong for the playoffs, and we don’t need to destroy a truck one race before the playoffs start. That’s goal number one. Number two is getting that win or getting stage wins because that’s the only way we can help ourselves. We have to do one of those two. If we can do that, we’re going to give ourselves a nice boost going into Canada.”

Bristol often provides some of the most exciting racing of the season. Nicknamed “Thunder Valley,” Bristol is a half-mile oval with 30 degrees of banking in the corners. It is a track that tests not only a driver’s endurance but their patience as well.

“The track itself is just a monster, and you have to approach it differently than any other track,” says Rhodes. “Because of that, you need to have your own separate notebook, and I feel like I’ve developed that very well. I feel more confident going into Bristol than ever before.

“That’s a really fun race track. It’s a really good race track for our team. I feel like we’re not only going to have a fun day, but also a really good run.”

Rhodes’ best finish at Bristol is fifth in three previous starts. Through 15 races this season, the Holy Cross High School alum has one win, two poles, five top 5s, and four stage wins.

Rhodes also has a new sponsor for Thursday night. He will pilot the No. 41 FEI World Equestrian Games Ford F-150.

Race coverage from Bristol begins at 8:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.


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