This weekend, NASCAR Next driver Ben Rhodes and the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet Impala team heads to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for the “NASCAR Hall of Fame 150” NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) race at Bowman Gray Stadium, which will take place on Saturday, May 31st. This will be the first-career start for the 17-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native at the famed track known as the “Madhouse,” which is the seventh race of the 16-race NKNPSE 2014 schedule for the Turner Scott Motorsports team.
Last Time Out… Leading 115 of the 150 laps, Rhodes drove the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet from the outside pole position to victory lane at Iowa Speedway on May 17th. It was his second-career win in the series, and his third start at the Midwest track.
Increasing the Points Lead… The Iowa Speedway victory helped extend Rhodes’ points lead in the 2014 championship standings from 18 points to 38 heading into the Bowman Gray Stadium race. He has also extended his lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points from 16 points to 17.
2014 Stat Tracker… After six of the 16-race season, Rhodes has an average starting spot of 2.0 (three poles, two outside poles, and a fifth) and an average finish of 4.3. He has completed all 832 laps to date, leading 351 of them (42.2-percent of the laps). He has two victories, five top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes.
Double Duty Weekend… Prior to Saturday’s NKNPSE race in North Carolina, Rhodes will make his second start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), driving the No. 32 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet Silverado in the “Lucas Oil 200” at Dover International Speedway in Delaware on Friday, May 30th. Rhodes finished eighth in his NCWTS debut in March at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway, and has experience at Dover, running third in the NKNPSE race in 2013 until hitting debris late in the race, sending him into the wall and out of the event.
Ben Rhodes on Racing at Bowman Gray Stadium
Are you ready to race at the Madhouse? “I am ready to finally race at the track because of the excitement it produces for the fans and the history of it. We had a great test there recently and it is a lot of fun to drive, but there isn’t a lot of room for racing side by side or passing. I watched last year’s race to study it and I don’t think there was anyone without some sort of damage on their car from contact. It will be an interesting race for sure.”
As the points leader, how are you approaching the race? “I approach every race the same way. My Alpha team goes to every race to win, and if we don’t we hope to have the best finish we can for the points. We are fortunate to have a 38-point lead going into this weekend which will help in case something happens and we get wrecked. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the drivers say Daytona and Talladega are their mulligan races because things can happen there so quick you almost do not control your own destiny. For us in the K&N Pro Series East, I would say Bowman Gray is that way since it is so small and so tight, someone can easily turn you going into the corner and ruin your race. We just need to put ourselves in a good position and try to overcome adversity if it comes our way.”
Are you ready for the double this weekend? “I am used to racing at two different tracks in two different states in a weekend. I did that in Late Models, and one weekend I was able to win in Tennessee on Friday and North Carolina on Saturday. This is a little different because I will be driving a Truck Friday and a K&N car Saturday, but I am approaching it the same way. We are going to both to succeed. Team Alpha has both the Truck and K&N Chevrolets ready to roll, and we are looking forward to both races this weekend.”
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 7 of 16
Saturday, May 31st, 2014
“NASCAR Hall of Fame 150”
Bowman Gray Stadium (0.25-mile asphalt oval) – Winston-Salem, NC
Practice Session: 1:30pm – 3pm
Autograph Session: 6:45pm
Green Flag (150 laps): 9pm
(times listed in local track / eastern time zone)
TV: FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, June 7th, at 10:30am Eastern
www.nascarhometracks.com | www.bowmangrayracing.com
Online and Social Media
(PR updates posted on Rhodes’ Twitter during the race weekends)