June 9th, 2018

Rhodes finishes 16th at Texas

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 


Rhodes finishes 16th at Texas
Ben Rhodes / file photo

For the third time this season, engine problems spoil a promising race for Ben Rhodes.

The Louisville native was running second in the early laps of the PPG 400 at Texas Motor Speedway when his No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Ford suddenly lost power and dropped off the pace. Rhodes was forced to make a pit stop under green and lost three laps to the leaders. He returned to the race but was a non-factor for the victory and finished 16th.

 

“It’s just another heartbreaker for our team,” said Rhodes. “There’s not much to be said about how we feel right now. We’re frustrated, angry, disappointed, sad, every emotion you can think.

 

“(The engine) literally will go from full power to about five percent power, if that. It basically just cuts off.”

 

The bigger concern for Rhodes and his team is figuring out why his engines keep failing. Right now, everyone is stumped.

 

“What I’m really mad about is the issue hasn’t been corrected yet and we’ve done everything within our power to do that and we’re still not sure what’s causing it,” said Rhodes. “The engine builder doesn’t know, we don’t know. We’re working together to try and fix it but nobody else is really having these issues.

 

“It only shows up just a little bit in qualifying, just enough to hurt our qualifying effort. And then in the race it shows up fully. We’re not sure why that is, why it’s happening and why this pattern is continuing. We’ve made all of the recommended adjustments and even after all of that it was actually worse last night than it was all season.”

 

Rhodes also took a big hit in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points standings, dropping two spots from fourth to sixth. On the positive side, he’s only 12 points out of third place.

 

“Hopefully we go to Iowa and there will be no issues and we can go get a win and lock ourselves into the playoffs because we have lost a lot of points the past few races,” said Rhodes.

 

Rhodes will look to rebound from Friday’s struggles next Saturday at Iowa Speedway. Race coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

 

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