Rhodes, 26, won his second Truck series title in three seasons Friday night at Phoenix Raceway in most uncharacteristic fashion – by basically surviving a wave of carnage that engulfed the four title contenders in a race that went into four overtimes.
All four drivers – Rhodes, Corey Heim, Carson Hocevar and Grant Enfinger – were involved in on-track incidents at some point in the race and the last two-lap overtime came down to who could survive to the finish line first – Rhodes or Enfinger.
While Chrisitan Eckes won the race, Rhodes edged out Enfinger for fifth and as the highest finisher among the Championship 4, claiming the 2023 title.
Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images
Champion Ben Rhodes, ThorSport Racing, Kubota Ford F-150
In his two championship seasons, Rhodes has a total of three wins, with just one this year – at Charlotte in May. He had two runner-up finishes coming into Phoenix – which is what propelled him into the Championship 4.
Rhodes may not be a regular visitor to Victory Lane – he has seven career wins in 187 starts – but he does seem to make the most out of the circumstances he’s dealt with.
“Let me tell you what, man. Was it 26 laps of overtime? It was something like that. I was getting frustrated I’m not going to lie,” Rhodes said. “I thought even if we won it, I would be so mad. I ain’t mad, though. I just let it roll right off the shoulders.
“I thought we were in like the real catbird seat position prior to the nose getting knocked off (the truck). I couldn’t be mad at [Zane Smith] because I did it myself. I just didn’t blow anybody’s nose off.
“They helped us a lot this weekend, so I feel really bad about their finishing position because it was going to be like a Ford one-two I thought, and that was going to be really cool.”
Finding a home in the Truck Series
Rhodes was at one time considered a hot up-and-coming prospect in NASCAR.
He enjoyed a successful karting career growing up, moved to Late Models and won the 2014 championship in what is now called ARCA East Series. While he has made limited appearances in the Cup and Xfinity series, he has found a lasting home in the Truck series.
Asked the significance of winning a second series title, Rhodes demurred.
“I’m just trying to go and win races,” he said. “I don’t have a good answer for that yet. I’m just excited to be racing in the Truck Series.
“I love the Truck Series….