Ben Rhodes comes up short at Martinsville

Ben Rhodes was looking to put that Martinsville finish from a year ago behind him when he won both stages only to finish 12th. One year later, he almost pulled it off but was one spot short, finishing second to race winner Kyle Busch.

He started 16th but wasn’t a factor until Stage 2 when Rhodes finished second in his new No. 99 Carolina Nut Company Ford F-150 for 2019.

With 52 to go, the No. 99 team went to second and was trying to chase down Kyle Busch for the win. Rhodes had a couple of chances to get to Busch, and was closing in, only a half second behind Busch.

Unfortunately, that’s the closest he got to Busch and wound up finishing second when the race ended under caution after Reid Wilson spun on the last lap.

It’s what could have been for Rhodes and the No. 99 ThorSport team. If the race has restarted, he might have had a shot to win.

“I don’t know, we just kind of got up there,” Rhodes told MRN Radio. “I give a lot of credit to my pit crew and the decisions on the pit box today. They gave me some track position and did a phenomenal job on that. I give them an A+, but our Carolina Nut Company Ford F-150 had speed, just not quite enough to get by Kyle Busch.”

“You know, we got beat by the best in the business,” Rhodes continued in his post race interview with MRN Radio. “Just experience. He’s (Kyle Busch) very smart on pacing himself and every time we get out there with him, I’m logging something in my memory bank. A lot of our team is really young. My crew chief is like 27, engineer is 24, a lot of our mechanics are under 27. So we’re building together and learning together, just building a notebook and building set ups. This is our first season and we’re just getting better as we go from where we unloaded this season.”


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