Tundra driver Ben Rhodes won his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship on Friday night with a third-place finish at Phoenix Raceway. Rhodes’ championship marks the ninth Truck Series driver title for Toyota.
TOYOTA FAST FACTS
- Rhodes won two races, claimed eight top-five results and 16 top-10 finishes over 22 races to claim the 2021 NCWTS Driver’s Championship.
- The title is Rhodes’ first NASCAR championship in his sixth full-time season competing in the Truck Series and the third year racing a Tundra for ThorSport Racing.
- Rhodes won Toyota’s 200th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the Daytona International Speedway road course on February 19, 2021
- It is the fourth driver’s championship for ThorSport Racing (Matt Crafton – 2013, 2014, 2019).
- The 24-year-old Louisville, Kentucky native is the seventh Tundra racer to capture a driver’s championship. In addition to Rhodes, Brett Moffitt (2018), Christopher Bell (2017), Erik Jones (2015), Matt Crafton (2013 and 2014), Todd Bodine (2006, 2010) and Johnny Benson (2008) have also captured Truck Series titles for Toyota.
- Toyota also clinched its series-high 12th NCWTS Manufacturer’s Championship (2006-2010, 2013-2017, 2019, 2021) earlier this season at Martinsville Speedway with Tundra drivers winning 15 races during the 2021 season. Toyota has scored a total of 213 victories since joining NCWTS competition in 2004.
BEN RHODES, No. 99 Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
“That was the hardest last 40 laps I think I have ever driven in my life. I was doing things to the race car I probably shouldn’t have been doing, it was dumb, but I had everything to lose. And we brought it home and won it. I don’t even know what to say. This is crazy. Bookends for the season, I am so proud of my ThorSport Racing group. This wasn’t like a vision we had, right, everyone wants to win it, but you just don’t know, it’s so hard. I just can’t thank Duke and Rhonda (Thorson) enough. They are the reason I’m here tonight, Bombardier, Toyota, Menards, WileyX, we have so many people that help us, I can’t even talk right now I’m so excited.“
PAUL DOLESHAL, group manager, motorsports and asset management, Toyota Motor North America
“To see Ben’s excitement in winning his first career NASCAR championship has been really special. We couldn’t be more thrilled to a part of this championship journey for Ben and help add his name to a remarkable list of Tundra drivers who have won Truck Series championships. Additionally, we are excited to celebrate this title with everyone at ThorSport Racing after their return to the Toyota family this season. Congratulations to Ben, Duke & Rhonda Thorson and all of ThorSport Racing on this accomplishment.”