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Ben Rhodes will have a new home in 2016: the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Rhodes will join ThorSport Racing to pilot the No. 41 Toyota Tundra full-time in 2016 with sponsorship from Alpha Energy Solutions, the team announced Tuesday (Dec. 15).
The 2016 Camping World Truck Series season will mark Rhodes’s first full-time deal in the top three national series.
Rhodes has already made his mark in the world of NASCAR. The rising star captured the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship, Rookie of the Year marker and even the Most Popular Driver Award.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to race full time with ThorSport Racing next season,” said Rhodes in a release. “I was excited when I received the phone call. The team as a whole has won two out of the last three Truck Series championship titles, went to Victory Lane many times this year, and all three trucks were within the top six in points. I feel confident I am joining a team that will be able to produce top-notch Toyota Tundras for me to contend for poles, race wins, Rookie of the Year honors and the championship.”
Rhodes made numerous starts throughout 2015 with JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The Kentucky native earned one pole and two top-10 finishes across 10 starts. Rhodes best finish came in his debut at the Iowa Speedway in May with a seventh-place run.
“The 2015 season was a great way to get my feet wet in the upper levels of NASCAR,” Rhodes said. “I gained a lot of knowledge on how things work, and I feel as though I’m ready for a full-time ride. That is why I’m looking forward to the 2016 season with ThorSport Racing. I will have a crew chief that I can work closely with week to week and a team that knows what driver will be in the seat every race. We can focus on being successful, starting at Daytona and ending at Homestead.”
“We are thrilled to have Ben [Rhodes] join our team behind the wheel of the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra in 2016,” added Matt LaNeve of ThorSport Racing. “Ben’s experience and success in the K&N Pro Series East, coupled with his NASCAR XFINITY Series starts, have produced a fruitful start to his racing career and we are honored to have him competing for ThorSport Racing next season. Ben is an outstanding, hands-on driver, with a ‘go-getter’ attitude, and we look forward to him leading laps, winning races, and contending for a championship title. We are confident he will represent ThorSport Racing, Toyota and Alpha Energy Solutions with pride.”
Rhodes made four NCWTS starts in 2014. The 18-year-old ended those starts with one top five and three top-10 finishes. His best finish came at the Phoenix International Raceway in November 2014.
ThorSport Racing plans to announce the crew chief, additional sponsors and paint scheme for the team in January.