Ben Rhodes managed to overcome a pit road mishap to take a lead with 3 circuits to go in the NASCAR Trucks race at the Bristol Dirt Track and hold on for the win.
With 4 of the 150 circuits left, Rhodes lined up 4th on a beginning and rapidly advanced to 2nd spot, then dove to the inside of leader Carson Hocevar with three laps remained to reclaim the lead.
He won by 0.824 seconds over Hocevar, his first triumph of the 2022 season. Last season, Rhodes came second in the first Bristol Truck race on dirt.
Following failing to listen to his crew’s order to pit after the opening stage, Rhodes was able to keep racing back to the front.
He was obliged to pit at the end of Stage 2 as a result of his miscalculation (teams had to pit at the end of at least one of the stages). When the last 50-lap stage kicked off, he was in 13th place.
“I thought we gave it away for a moment,” Rhodes said of the mistake not to pit. “Coming back through the pack like that was really, really tough. It wasn’t something we wanted to do.
“My crew gave me such an awesome Toyota Tundra this weekend that I wasn’t going to let them down. I had to go back up there and earn the spot back. Really, really proud of their effort.”
Third place went to John Hunter Nemechek, fourth place went to Parker Kligerman, and fifth place went to Christian Eckes.
“Either rip the top (lane) or crash him,” Hocevar said when questioned what he might have done anything differently to stop Rhodes’ late surge to the lead. ‘I mean, I hate saying that, but it’s part of this racing, right? He had newer tires and he had the fastest truck all day.’
“He slide-jobbed me and I should have prepared for it, crossed him over and raced him really hard. Second just sucks. It’s terrible, especially being that close.”
Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Grant Enfinger, Matt Crafton, and Zane Smith rounded out the top ten.
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Bristol Dirt Track, Grand Prix, IndyCar, Nascar, NASCAR Cup Series, Ben Rhodes, XFinity