July 11th, 2018

Ben Rhodes seeks win at home track

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 


Ben Rhodes seeks win at home track
Ben Rhodes / file photo

For Ben Rhodes, Thursday night is the Daytona 500, Super Bowl, and World Series all wrapped into one. That’s how much Kentucky Speedway means to him.

“I don’t think there are really words that I could put it into perspective with,” says Rhodes. “I think if you asked me this question after we had won, I still don’t think I would have the words for it. I just know this is a race on my schedule that is marked every single year and would mean the absolute most.

"When I compete here at home in the Bluegrass State, I look forward to combining the best of both worlds,” says Rhodes. “I get to sleep in my own bed and eat breakfast at the house, be with my family, and then get to race and do battle at night with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Kentucky Speedway.

Thursday’s race is Rhodes’ third attempt at winning in Sparta. In two previous tries, he finished 13th in 2016 and 27th last year. In the 2017 event, Rhodes led five laps and won stage one before a crash ended his night after just 41 laps.

“Ever since then I’ve really changed my driving style quite a bit as far as making sure everywhere I go I have an out and just looking at a bigger picture at the shop with the trucks we have in circulation. I have to make sure I’m taking care of my team,” Rhodes says.

The CWTS was off last weekend, but Rhodes stayed busy. For the past several weeks, he has made the rounds with local media promoting the race as part of the “All Rhodes Lead to Kentucky Speedway” Tour. Rhodes says he has probably done between 35 to 40 interviews in just the past two weeks alone.

“The week leading up to Kentucky is one of the busiest weeks of the year for me,” says Rhodes. “There is a ton of media and events that we're doing, but it's okay, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's what allows me to get out into the community and meet people, creating memories.”

In addition to the media blitz, the tour also recognized first responders. In that spirit, Rhodes will pay special tribute to Officer Nick Rodman, a fellow Holy Cross alum who was killed in the line of duty last year, by replacing his own name with Rodman’s name on the roof of his No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Ford. Rodman’s parents will also get to watch Thursday’s race from pit road.

“It’s a way to honor his memory, but at the same time, bring his family out and do something special for them,” says Rhodes.

Race coverage of the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway begins at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

 

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