For the fourth time in 2017 and the fallout of teammates, Christopher Bell won the Overton’s 150 after a late race battle for the lead.
“My guys do the best. They do a good job taking care of me. I just can’t say enough to be able to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports. I am glad to be able to get SiriusXM into victory lane,” said Bell.
Despite a late race charge and a strong run at Pocono after a few disappointing weeks, Ben Rhodes will finished second.
“Pretty mellow about it. I guess that has been the story of the day. There were several situations out that we could have put ourselves in a bad place. I let a couple guys go early on in the race. I knew we had a fast Safelight Tundra,” said Rhodes.
Running up front for majority of the day, Ryan Truex finished in the third position.
John Hunter Nemchek, Johnny Suater, Matt Crafton, Austin Cindric, Cody Coughlin, Chase Briscoe, and Justin Haley round out the top-10.
There were five lead changes among five different drivers. The caution flew four times for XX laps. The average speed was 119.210 mph. The time of race was one hour, 17 minutes, 37 seconds.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Michigan International Raceway on August 12th for the LTI Printing 200. The race will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network at 1:00 p.m. ET.
SPARTA, Ky.— For Ben Rhodes, his “Old Kentucky Home” at Kentucky Speedway was not what he had hoped for.
Rhodes started the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 in the fourth position after qualifying was rained out. Rhodes was able to run in the front for all of stage 2. After leaders made pit stops during the caution period for a spin by Matt Mills, Rhodes cycled to the race lead.
Rhodes was able to hold off chariest from behind to score his first stage victory of the season. During the first stage break, Rhodes hit pit road for four tires and fuel. Rhodes started the second stage in the 13th position.
Shortly after the second stage began, Rhodes was involved in an accident involving Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, Christopher Bell, and TJ Bell.
Rhodes explained what caused the accident:
“I saw an opening on the bottom. This place is pretty much a superspeedway at a mile and a half. A lot of drafting, a lot of really hard, crazy racing tonight. I saw them go four-wide in front of me and they were making it work at that time and everybody else was doing the same thing on the restarts ahead, so I decided to go three-wide and side draft them down into the corner, said the Kentucky native. “We had good position on them, but I saw everybody start to come down on me, so I tried checking up as much as I could. We just ran out of room. Miscalculation on my part. I should’ve known that everybody was going to get together like that. Just unfortunate that it was us in that position.
With the playoffs quickly approaching, Rhodes and his ThorSport Racing team will reevaluate.
“It’s unfortunate cause that was one of our better trucks that we’ve had good success with this year. I know how bad that can bite us for the rest of the season, so we’re going to have to reevaluate, fix my mistakes and get us a faster truck built for the next races to get us into the playoffs,” Rhodes stated.
Rhodes will be assessed with a 27th position. Rhodes was accredited for leading five laps. After the race, Rhodes sits fifth in the points just 134 points back from leader, Johnny Sauter.
SPARTA, Ky.— With nearly two inches of asphalt relaid at Kentucky Speedway, the Kentucky Tire Dragon was called into action to help rubber in the track.
Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Kentucky Speedway officials ran the tire dragon in the middle and lower grooves of the 1.5-mile facility.
However, when NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams arrived on the property on Wednesday morning for practice, the complaints rolled in that speedway officials should have ran the tire dragon in the upper groove of the facility.
?that helps nothing need it from the wall down! https://t.co/vcEsOgeO7p— Ty Dillon (@tydillon) July 5, 2017
Here are what drivers had to say about where the tire dragon ran:
“The thing is I thought they did a really good job at Texas. You saw multi-groove racing at Texas on a repave which is pretty unheard of. They can only do so much man. If we tire drag the whole track, everybody is naturally going to go back to the bottom because it’s a repave and it’s going to be – it’s just gonna be faster down there. It’s just how it’s going to work. I think even if they drag the top in, I don’t think it’s going to be faster up by the wall than it would be right on the white line,” said Erik Jones, who is pulling double duty this weekend. “It’s just a repave and it’s going to be like this for ten years. We’re going to be on the bottom and then we’ll start to work up to the middle. Kentucky really, even on the old surface, was just starting to get up to the wall, so it just takes time.”
Yeah, that’s been kind of an ongoing thing at race tracks is running the tire dragon in the bottom groove or putting grip in the bottom groove and it’s – to me I honestly think and from especially what I saw yesterday is the tire dragon, the rubber, the groove is going to be on the bottom especially in Turns 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 because that’s the shortest way around the track here and that’s where it’s going to make the most grip. It’s going to be the fastest. I feel like maybe we should’ve put like a small amount of rubber on the bottom just to help us get going, but a majority of the rubber concentrated in the middle groove and then up a little bit higher,” said NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ben Rhodes. “Wherever you’re going to put the rubber is where the cars are going to be the fastest at. But with the tires that Goodyear is bringing here, if they drug it in the middle groove, then our left-side tires would be adding to that rubber cause we’re – as drivers, the lower you get the happier you are, so we’re going to add that rubber ourselves to the bottom. I think if they allowed us to work it in that might have maybe widened the groove out a little bit more – if they focused maybe in the middle. Either way, they’ve done a good job with getting rid of the bumps we had last year. Putting that two inches of asphalt all the way around and the tighter compact asphalt that’s here I think is gonna be a little bit better for getting rubber down as well.”
The most adamant about running the tire dragon was Brendan Gaughan.
“It’s stupid. They need to drag the lanes we don’t race. The lane we don’t practice in. Now, Kentucky has a lot of rain so that will wash lots of it away anyways. You could’ve done the upper two lanes and worked your way down. Lots of places could do that,” said Gaughan. “For some reason, someone doesn’t think thats a good idea. I don’t know why. I’d love to hear an answer for it. Nobody has ever given me one.”
Track officials stated that they did it because it worked during the Cup race last season. However, Gaughan was still not pleased with that answer noting that Cup races were shorter.
“There are 25 more teams that run harder than in this (Xfinity) series,’’ Gaughan said. “You have more people battling, more race cars, more laps to do it. It works great,” said Gaughan. “I think we’ve all seen in the media and the drivers, the tire dragon works great. … Then why not put it in the places that you want the track to grow to, not where you know that everybody wants to go?’’
Racing action from Kentucky Speedway kicks off with tonight’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Buckle Up In Your Truck 225 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Fox Sports 1.
MARTINSVILLE, Va -- In typical Martinsville fashion, there was a post-race altercation between two drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series following the running of the Texas Roadhouse 200.
Ben Kennedy and Ben Rhodes confronted each other in the garage area after lap 177. Kennedy spun in turn two after a bump from Rhodes.
Kennedy is currently vying for a championship with GMS Racing. The wreck leaves Kennedy 10 points away from the cutoff line currently held by William Byron.
The caution, however, was a lucky break for Matt Crafton. On an earlier caution, Crafton went a lap down after fixing issues with the left-rear
Kennedy initiated the confrontation. “Come up to me and talk. Don’t stand over here. You gave me a headache all day and then you wreck us over in Turn 2. You wrecked us! That was the second time today! If you were sorry you would’ve walked over and talked to me instead of standing over here by your race truck.”
Rhodes quickly responded, “I was just trying to move you out of the way clean. I don’t want to start problems. That was never my intention.”
Despite the accident, Kennedy rebounded to an 18th place finish and did not fall a lap down. Rhodes finished in the 19th position behind Kennedy.