DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Through the chaos of the closing laps of Friday night’s season-opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Ben Rhodes came away with one of the best performances of his career.
While exiting Turn 2, contact from behind by Rhodes’ teammate Grant Enfinger turned Rhodes and created a mele, collecting many of the remaining trucks in the field.
However, an 12th-place result doesn’t define Rhodes’ stellar performance as he remained competitive and up front throughout the NextEra Energy Resources 250.
“I’d say this is one of my best performances,” Rhodes said. “Absolutely my best performance on a big track.”
Rhodes has performed well on restrictor-plate tracks before. He made his debut at Daytona last February and finished seventh.
He had another impressive performance going at Talladega last October before being caught up in a wreck.
“We had a good performance at Talladega last time,” Rhodes said. “We just didn’t get to showcase it. As we were pushing Grant Enfinger to the lead, we got turned again as I was inheriting the outside row.”
Running up front and running into trouble has been a common theme for Rhodes at restrictor plate races. Had the field not wrecked on the final lap on Friday night, Rhodes likely would have been in contention for his first career NASCAR victory.
“Every time we get to the lead, something seems to happen,” Rhodes said. “I’m glad we were able to run up there for so long tonight.”
As Rhodes enters his second full-time season in the Truck Series, he will look to use his experience to improve and earn his first career playoff spot.
He will now look to carry the momentum from a strong run throughout the race including collecting 12 championship points through both stages into Atlanta where he finished sixth last March.
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