Ben Rhodes Race Recap:
Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 41 XPO Logistics Toyota Tundra, made his track debut at Eldora Speedway in Wednesday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby. Starting fifth, in the unique, 150 lap, three segment race, Rhodes ran as high as second, but radiator problems late in the historic event relegated the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender to a 23rd-place finish in the series only stop on dirt at the "Big E."
Starting fifth, after winning his qualifying race, Rhodes maintained a position inside the top-five, running as high as third, during the first 40 lap segment. Under caution at lap 39, crew chief Kevin Bellicourt brought the No. 41 Toyota Tundra to pit road, for their only pit stop of the night, for four tires, and fuel. Restarting fourth, at lap 42, Rhodes contended for the race lead, running as high as second, before getting shuffled back to the eighth position prior to the end of the second 50 lap segment. When the seventh caution flag was displayed at lap 93, for the conclusion of the second segment, Bellicourt was forced to bring his rookie driver to pit road, and then behind the wall for repairs to a punctured radiator. The No. 41 ThorSport Racing team would get a new radiator installed, and get Rhodes back out on the half-mile clay oval, but the Louisville, KY native would be scored 14 laps down to the race leaders. Rhodes would ultimately cross the stripe in the 23rd position behind race winner, Kyle Larson.
"We had a really fast XPO Logistics Toyota Tundra tonight. Unfortunately, I think it was just a product of me learning how to run on this race track, run on dirt. I slipped on the berm one time, because I didn't have my brake bias tuned-in just right, and it just kind of ripped everything out from underneath my Tundra - packed a bunch of dirt under there and ripped the radiator out. It was a lesson to be learned. Not to get up there on the berm was really big tonight, really pronounced. It was really close to the wall, so it made it hard to run on, and when you did run over it, it was very treacherous. We weren't the only ones to do that tonight. We just have to move on from this. You can look at the truck, and the whole right side is curled under, and knocked out from the berm. I'm really proud of everyone for putting in the hard work, and for helping when we went behind the wall. I can't thank XPO Logistics enough for coming on board, and everyone at ThorSport for everything they've done for me."