LOUISVILLE, KY – 17-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native and NASCAR Next driver Ben Rhodes and his No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet Impala with Turner Scott Motorsports will head to Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina for the “Greenville 140” on Saturday, September 6th, the 15th NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) race of the 16-race season. Rhodes enters the penultimate season event as the championship points leader with a possibility of clinching the title at the 0.5-mile oval where he scored his first-career series victory earlier this season.
Last time out (NKNPSE) … After starting second, Rhodes received damage on his Alpha Chevrolet during the “Biscuitville 125” road course race at Virginia International Raceway (VA) on Saturday, August 16th, which caused overheating issues. However, he was able to cool the engine down and race back to a 10th-place finish at the checkered flag.
Greenville history … Rhodes has a solid history of racing at Greenville Pickens Speedway. In 2013 he entered two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock events there, leading all laps in both features and going to victory lane twice in the same weekend. He also finished his first NKNPSE race at the historic track in the sixth position that year before starting on the pole, leading 105 of 150 laps to earn his first series victory at the track in March of 2014.
Championship points breakdown … By surviving the road course race at VIR, Rhodes was able to hang on to the points lead in the championship standings as he heads into Greenville with a 65-point lead. At the conclusion of the Greenville race, if Rhodes has a 48-point lead, he will clinch the championship before heading to the final race at Dover International Speedway (DE) on September 26th. Also, Rhodes leads the rookie of the year standings by 35 points.
2014 Stat Tracker … After 14 races of the 16-race season, Rhodes has an average starting spot of 2.6 (five poles, five outside poles, a fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh) and an average finish of 5.3. He has completed all 1822 laps to date (the only driver to do so in 2014), leading 757 of them (42-percent of the laps). He has five victories, 10 top-five finishes and 12 top-10 finishes.
Gaining experience … Since his last KNPSE race, Rhodes has spent time racing in other series to gain experience. On August 21st he finished ninth with Turner Scott Motorsports in his first Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start, his third-career NCWTS race. On August 24th he finished 11th with Venturini Motorsports in his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at Madison International Speedway (WI).
Ben Rhodes Quotes
Does it give you confidence this weekend since you won at Greenville your last time out? “It gives our whole Turner Scott Motorsports Alpha team a lot of confidence going into this weekend’s race. Mark McFarland (crew chief) and my guys gave me a great Chevrolet that day and we were able to keep it up front most of the race. Last week we went back there to test prior to racing again to try out a few new things and we think we have a great car. If everything works out, hopefully we can get our sixth win of the year.”
You can clinch the championship this weekend. Does that change how you race the race? “The last two races were road courses, and we knew those are dangerous when it comes to losing a lot of positions and points. At Watkins Glen I got spun and at VIR I got damage and had to pit to cool down the engine. We survived both without losing too many points, which was our goal. Now we are back on our plan to race for wins. The way we are looking at it is we have two more chances to win this year and we want both victory trophies. If we do that the points will take care of themselves.”
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 15 of 16
Saturday, September 6th, 2014
Greenville Pickens Speedway (0.5-mile asphalt oval) – Easley, South Carolina
First Practice Session: 1:30pm – 2:15pm ET
Final Practice Session: 2:45pm – 3:15pm ET
Qualifying: 6pm ET
Autograph Session: 7pm ET
Green Flag (140 laps): 8pm ET
(times listed in local track / eastern time zone)