July 30th, 2016

Rhodes' late charge nets 11th at Pocono

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Paul Najjar

Senior Writer


Rhodes' late charge nets 11th at Pocono
photos provided by Ben Rhodes and ThorSport Racing

Louisville’s Ben Rhodes and his No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra finished in 11th place in the caution-filled NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway Saturday afternoon.

Rhodes started the race in the number three position on the grid after qualifying was canceled due to weather.

It was Rhodes' first race at the famed "Tricky Triangle" and the Pocono track certainly got hold of some drivers in this race. There were a record nine cautions during the 60-lap, 150-mile race.

The Holy Cross alum was running in second place when the fourth caution flag came out on Lap 24. During that pit-stop Rhodes' jack-man went over the wall too soon and the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra was penalized and forced to move to the back of the pack.

On lap 40, the No. 41 got tangled in a wreck with the No. 66 truck, but Rhodes made a serious charge in the latter stages of the race to finish just outside of the top 10.

"We started out really strong. Ended up getting back to about fifth or sixth at one point, and worked our way back up to second. We had a really strong truck, we were pulling the guys behind us. The 9 truck in front us, he was pulling us a little bit, but I think we had something for him on the restarts. Had a great restart next to him and we were able to stay strong. I learned some stuff there, but unfortunately I was never able to implement it on the restarts with him. Came down for a pit stop, and got an over the wall penalty. The jackman was over the wall too soon. Unfortunately, we got collected in a guy's mess going into Turn 1 today."

Rhodes maintained 12th place in the 2016 driver point standings and narrowed his deficit between himself and the eighth place driver by 14 points. Rhodes is currently 18 points out of the top-8 in the driver standings. The top eight drivers in points earn an automatic berth in the CWTS Chase for the Championship.

 

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