Rhodes goes two-for-two at Daytona
Ben Rhodes earned his second consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in Friday’s BrakeBest Brake Pads 159 at Daytona.
Rhodes became just the third driver in NCWTS history to earn two consecutive wins to start the season with his second win at Daytona.
“I’m just taken aback by the whole thing,” Rhodes stated. “I went into this race just thinking ‘Conquer the intimidation factor of this.’ I came here, we were able to conquer that, get the confidence back, that was huge for me.”
“They [ThorSport Racing] have set themselves up so well with this new partnership [with Toyota]. I’m grateful for the place I’m in. I tell them all the time how much it truly means.”
Rhodes’ win is the fifth of his NCWTS career. He has won in three of his last 11 NCWTS starts. Rhodes was on his way to victory in the first overtime when the caution fell just a few feet before he took the white flag.
“You know that was frustrating for sure. We were three feet from the line on a 3.61-mile track and the caution comes out,” Rhodes remarked. “I’m happy, but golly that was the most stressful race of my life.”
Defending race winner and NCWTS champion Sheldon Creed finished second to Rhodes. Creed and Rhodes raced closely throughout the night to where they even made contact on Lap 41.
John Hunter Nemechek finished third after leading the first 14 laps. Nemechek was involved in a Lap 24 caution where he ran out of fuel, which caused him to go a lap down. Nemechek received the free pass during the Lap 32 caution, which started his charge back to the front.
The Top 10 finishers were as follows: Ben Rhodes, Sheldon Creed, John Hunter Nemechek, Todd Gilliland, Riley Herbst, Matt Crafton, Derek Kraus, Kaz Grala, Timmy Hill, Christian Eckes.
Camden Murphy finished 13th, which is his best career finish to-date.
There were 10 cautions for 20 laps and three overtime attempts, which extended the race from 44 laps to 51. The race was 2 hours, 44 minutes and 46 seconds long, which was longer than the 65-lap August NASCAR Cup Series race. The Cup race was 2 hours, 37 minutes and 30 seconds long.
There were nine lead changes among six drivers: Sheldon Creed (17), John Hunter Nemechek (14), Sheldon Creed (13), Raphael Lessard (5), Riley Herbst (1), Stewart Friesen (1).
Lessard finished 26th as the last truck on the lead lap.
Friesen finished 11th after starting the final overtime in the Top 5. Friesen fell outside of the Top 10 after running wide in the first corner of overtime.
Following the BrakeBest Brake Pads 159 at the Daytona road course, Ben Rhodes leads the NCWTS regular season championship by four points over Sheldon Creed and John Hunter Nemechek who are tied for second.
The next NCWTS race is the March 5 Silver State 200 at Las Vegas (9 p.m. EST; TV: FS1, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
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