August 24th, 2018

Ben Rhodes heads to Canada for playoff opener

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 


Ben Rhodes heads to Canada for playoff opener
Ben Rhodes / file photo

Ben Rhodes’ pursuit of a Camping World Truck Series championship begins this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

The Chevrolet Silverado 250 is the first race in the CWTS playoffs. Rhodes is one of just three drivers to make the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.

“I feel pretty darn good about it,” says Rhodes. “I’m happy the playoffs are starting. I would look at the points every single week, and I would be disgusted with where we were because I knew we were so much better than the points showed. And that’s simply because of all the mechanical issues we had.”

Rhodes hit a rough patch earlier in the season and dropped several spots in the points standings. However, everything changed when Rhodes won at Kentucky Speedway and clinched a playoff spot.

Sunday’s race is especially unique because it is the first and only road course race of the season. Road courses typically provide exciting racing, but exciting often leads to chaotic.

“I’m not going to be afraid to put my bumper to somebody or door somebody,” says Rhodes. “This truck that we’re running is chassis no. 46 and this is the only race a year that it runs. It doesn’t need to be fixed for a full year. It’s not going to hurt our resources. This is a race where I can afford to be aggressive, but there’s a fine edge between being aggressive and hurting yourself.”

Rhodes has two previous starts at CTMP. His best finish was tenth last season. He does not have a great deal of experience on road courses, but Rhodes might have a couple of tricks up his sleeve.

“I’ve had some experience here recently that has allowed me to hone my skills for this road course race. And after that experience I feel very confident now about my chances,” says Rhodes. “In the Truck Series, there are a lot of factors that come into play, but I know as a driver, I am capable and ready to go out here and potentially get ourselves a win, but more important, finish the race in the top five and set ourselves up well for the remainder of the first round.”

The CWTS playoffs consist of seven races. Rhodes is one of eight drivers competing for the championship. The first three races make up the first round. The top six drivers in the points standings advance to the second round, which also consists of three races. The top four in points then go heads up at the season finale at Homestead. The driver with the highest finish among those four wins the championship.

In 16 races this season, Rhodes has one win, two poles, two top 5s, and nine top 10s.

Race coverage from Canada begins Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

 

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