Ben Rhodes Race Recap:
Ben Rhodes, driver of the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra, made his track debut in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway. Starting seventh, Rhodes battled handling issues, and settled for a 25th-place finish, due to damage suffered from a late-race accident.
Showing speed in both practice sessions on Thursday afternoon, Rhodes followed up his times in practice with a solid seventh-place starting position for Friday night's event. Battling an Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra that was loose in the opening laps of the 150-lap race, crew chief Kevin Bellicourt brought the No. 41 machine to pit road, under caution, for scheduled stops three times, at laps 47, 84, and 106, respectively, for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. Scored inside the top-15 through the races first 50 laps, Rhodes broke into the top-10 by lap 75, and was scored eighth before making his final pit stop of the night on lap 106. A mix of pit strategies would force the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender to restart from the 13th position at lap 109.
With a Chase spot up for grabs in the final race before the Chase, the competition heated up on the race track in the final laps. Just four laps later, at lap 113, the No. 33 machine would spin down the track, and Rhodes No. 41 would make contact, causing severe damage to the right-side of the Alpha Energy Solutions Tundra. Bellicourt would bring the Louisville, KY native to pit road multiple times for repairs, but significant damage would force Rhodes to retire early from the event, crediting the ThorSport Racing driver with a 25th-place finish behind race winner, Kyle Busch.