LOUISVILLE, KY – 17-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) championship points leader Ben Rhodes will head to Watkins Glen, New York, to tackle a new challenge in the “Bully Hill Vineyards 125” at Watkins Glen International on Friday, August 8th. The NASCAR Next driver will make his series road course debut on the 2.45-mile track, driving the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet with Turner Scott Motorsports in the 13th race of the 16-race season.
Last Time Out … After qualifying fourth, Rhodes raced to the lead in the first half of the “Autolite Iridium XP 150” at Iowa Speedway (IA) on Friday, August 1st, only to have to start at the rear of the field for the second half due to a pit road miscommunication violation. He was able to rally back to a seventh-place finish.
Points Lead Extension … Despite the mid-race setback at Iowa Speedway, Rhodes was able to increase his points lead in the championship standings from 62 points to 71. He also increased his lead in the rookie of the year standings to 32 (up from 30).
2014 Stat Tracker … After 12 races of the 16-race season, Rhodes has an average starting spot of 2.3 (five poles, four outside poles, a fourth, fifth and a sixth) and an average finish of 5.1. He has completed all 1709 laps to date (the only driver to do so in 2014), leading 757 of them (44-percent of the laps). He has five victories, nine top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes.
Ben Rhodes Quotes
What experience do you have going into this weekend’s road course race at Watkins Glen? “I really do not have much experience in road course racing. I ran road courses back in my Legends Car days, but I haven’t been in a full-size car in a road course race yet. I did go to the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving earlier this year and we tested my Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet at Virginia International Raceway (VA) recently, so that has helped get me prepared for Watkins Glen. I am pretty excited for this weekend, so we will see how it goes.”
You have been spending a lot of time at GoPro Motorplex. Will that experience help for this weekend? “I bought a Kart to race this summer at GoPro Motorplex, and that has helped to keep up my reflexes when I am not in my K&N car. It is also a lot of fun to race there. It does help running the road course to get your body and mind used to going left and right.”
Have you sought out advice from road course experts? “I did talk to my TSM teammate Dylan Kwasniewski since he won both K&N Pro Series East road course races last year. Also, I raced for Marcos Ambrose in Late Models, and I spoke to him to get advice on road course racing since he is always fast on them. Colin Braun is also a road course expert, so I met with him at GoPro Motorplex to race and talk about road courses. I am hoping to take what I have learned from them and my VIR test with my Turner Scott Motorsports team and have a great run at Watkins Glen.”
In 2014, Ben Rhodes is sponsored by Alpha Energy Solutions, Alliance Comfort Systems, Kentucky National Guard, Park Community Credit Union, and Refrigerant Rescue.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East – Race 13 of 16
Friday, August 8th, 2014
“Bully Hill Vineyards 125”
Watkins Glen International (2.45-mile road course) – Watkins Glen, New York
First Practice Session: 8am – 9:20am
Final Practice Session: 11am – 12:20pm
Autograph Session: 1pm – 1:45pm
Green Flag (51 laps): 6:15pm
(times listed in local track / eastern time zone)
TV Coverage: Sunday, August 17th at 9am ET on FOX Sports 1
Online and Social Media
(PR updates posted on Rhodes’ Twitter during the race weekends)