Ben Rhodes to continue with ThorSport in 2018
Coming off of his best season in the Camping World Truck Series, Ben Rhodes is thrilled to continue his course with ThorSport Racing in 2018.
While Rhodes, 20, returns to the team for his third year —and his second season with crew chief Eddie Troconis—he will now pilot the No. 41 Ford F150.
For Rhodes, who started his racing career in a Ford, looks forward to returning to the Blue Oval camp.
“The very first races I ran in Late Models were with Ford horsepower,” Rhodes told motorsport.com. “That was Marcus Ambrose Motorsports. So, I entered the stock car world in Ford and now I’m actually getting to go back home with Ford.
And my hometown, Louisville, Kentucky, has two Ford plants there—and they’re really close to my house. I can be at one in 30 minutes, the other in 10. There’s a huge Ford presence in our town. So this is a huge announcement for Louisville.”
Rhodes improved his numbers significantly in his second-full year on the truck tour. He led 203 laps compared to 55 in 2016. Rhodes scored his first-career win at Las Vegas along with six top fives and 12 top 10s and easily qualified for the Playoffs.
Five points separated Rhodes from a transfer spot into the final four entering Phoenix Raceway—the final event before the Championship Round was determined. He finished fourth in the first two stages before he wrecked on the restart with 21 laps remaining in the race.
“We’re cleaning up some of the things this year that we let get away from us in 2017,” Rhodes said. “We could have won at least 10 additional races. I look at the speed. If you just look at the speed we had, that along could have allowed us to win that many. Obviously, we didn’t. We only won one but there were things beyond our control that took us out. There were mistakes by me. Mistakes by my pit crew. So really, we just need to clean up those mistakes—soften up the edges that our team has and focus on ourselves this year.
“We already have the foundation. This is the second season for me and my crew chief. And that’s the first time in my career I’ve ever had that. As well as my spotter, the team, all of the mechanics are the same—except now we’re going to have some awesome Ford horsepower and we’re going to have Ford trucks and it’s going to be great. I feel like this is the season we can set the world on fire if we put our minds to it and everyone does their job correctly.”
Rhodes is also grateful for the opportunity afforded him by Duke and Rhonda Thorson. This year marks the Sandusky, Ohio-based company’s 24th season on the truck tour. And ThorSport is optimistic regarding what Rhodes can accomplish this season.
“Obviously, we’re very excited in having Ben and Eddie back together for a second season,” said team manager David Pepper. “They proved they could run up front and win races last year and we’re looking forward to the possibility of winning more races and having a chance to compete for the championship in 2018.”
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