Ben Rhodes joins ThorSport Racing for 2016 Camping World Truck season
Former NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Ben Rhodes announced he will join ThorSport Racing to compete full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2016. The 18-year-old driver will pilot the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota next season, competing for both the series championship and the Rookie of the Year Award.
"I’m grateful for the opportunity to race full time with ThorSport Racing next season," said Rhodes. "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 competed in 10 XFINITY Series events for JR Motorsports during the 2015 season, earning a pole a Road America and scoring a season-best finish of seventh at Iowa Speedway in May. The Louisville, Kentucky, native also has four Camping World Truck Series starts, all coming during the 2014 season. His best NCWTS finish is a fifth at Phoenix International Raceway.
With limited experience in NASCAR’s top touring series, Rhodes is eager to get a full season under his belt in 2016.
"The 2015 season was a great way to get my feet wet in the upper levels of NASCAR," he 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."
The young driver will have plenty of experience to lean on, as he joins one of the longest-tenured teams in the Camping World Truck Series and has two-time champion Matt Crafton to lean on.
"We are thrilled to have Ben join our team behind the wheel of the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra in 2016," said 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’ crew chief, additional sponsors and paint scheme will be released in January, according to the team.