Former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Ben Rhodes is moving to a fulltime ride in the Camping World Truck Series in 2016.
Rhodes, 18, announced Tuesday he will join ThorSport Racing in 2016 as a teammate to two-time Truck champion Matt Crafton. Rhodes will drive the No. 41 Energy Solutions Toyota and will compete for series rookie of the year honors.
“The team as a whole has won two out of the last three Truck championships, went to Victory Lane many times this year, and all three trucks were within the top six in points,” Rhodes said in a statement.
“I feel confident I am joining a team that will be able to produce top-notch Toyota Tundras for me to contend for poles, race wins, rookie of the year honors, and the championship.”
Rhodes, a Louisville native, was the 2014 K&N Pro Series East champion, rookie of the year and most popular driver.
In 2014, he competed in four Truck series races, finishing ninth or higher in three of them. He also competed in 10 Xfinity Series races with JR Motorsports, with a career-best finish of seventh in his series debut at Iowa.
“The 2015 season was a great way to get my feet wet in the upper levels of NASCAR,” Rhodes said. “I gained a lot of knowledge on how things work, and I feel as though I’m ready for a fulltime ride. That is why I’m looking forward to the 2016 season with ThorSport Racing.”
Based out of Sandusky, Ohio, ThorSport is the longest-tenured Truck series team, competing annually since 1996.
“Ben is an outstanding, hands-on driver, with a ‘go-getter’ attitude, and we look forward to him leading laps, winning races, and contending for a championship title,” said Matt LaNeve of ThorSport Racing. “We are confident he will represent ThorSport Racing, Toyota and Alpha Energy Solutions with pride.”
Team officials said Rhodes’ crew chief, additional sponsors, and the paint scheme will be revealed in January.