LOUISVILLE, KY – 17-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) championship points leader Ben Rhodes will head to Columbus, Ohio, for the “JEGS 150 Presented by SteveGermain.com” on Saturday, July 19th, at Columbus Motor Speedway, driving the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet with Turner Scott Motorsports. The 11th stop of the 16-race NKNPSE season will be the series rookie and NASCAR Next driver’s first series race at the 0.333-mile asphalt oval.
Last Time Out … Rhodes set a new track record by earning the pole position, his fifth of the season (and ninth front row starting spot in 10 races), at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NH), for the Friday, July 11th, “Granite State 100” NKNPSE race. Rhodes led 18 of the first 25 laps before damage from a competitor as well as a power issue and a restart penalty resulted in a 22nd-place finish.
Maintaining the Points Lead … Despite his worst finish of 2014 at NHMS, Rhodes still leads the championship points standings after 10 of 16 races with a 62-point lead (down from 71). He also maintains a 22-point lead in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.
2014 Stat Tracker … After 10 races of the 16-race season, Rhodes has an average starting spot of 1.8 (five poles, four outside poles, and a fifth) and an average finish of 5.1. He has completed all 1409 laps to date (the only driver to do so in 2014), leading 732 of them (52-percent of the laps). He has five victories, eight top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes.
Ben Rhodes Quotes
This will be your first NKNPSE trip to Columbus. Thoughts going in? “I am ready for Columbus. I tested there recently with my Turner Scott Motorsports team and learned a lot about the track. My crew chief Mark McFarland and I tried many different set-ups to get tuned in to the different weather and temperature conditions that we might face in the race. My whole Alpha team is ready to head to Ohio and race Saturday!”
Last weekend was your worst finish of the season. How do you put that behind you going into this weekend? “I honestly put it behind me when we left the track Friday night. If you worry about the past, you aren’t spending time thinking about the present or future. We had a bad race day and that happens sometimes. My whole team is focused on Columbus now.”
In 10 races this year you have five poles, five wins, and a large points lead. Thoughts with six races left? “We have had a great year so far with the poles and wins, and my entire Turner Scott Motorsports team should be proud of what we have accomplished together, especially with the great competition in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East this year. But we have to keep focused on performing at the same high level we have each race. We can relax and enjoy the season we had after the checkered flag flies in the final race of the year.”
-Stix FX Entertainment Press Release. Photo Credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com Photo