The Louisville, Kentucky driver will be competing in his first ever post-season playoffs.
Ben Rhodes has been so close to victory lane in 2017. It all started at Kansas earlier this year when he was leading late but a blown motor, unfortunately, put him out of the race and he wound up 23rd. Since then, despite a few bad finishes, Rhodes has had strong results, with the highest finish of second coming at Pocono in July. Rhodes can’t have finishes like 20th at Martinsville, 27th at Kentucky and 30th at Eldora. However, there are a lot of unknowns throughout the playoffs, but Rhodes likes uncertainty.
“I guess I’m different because I kind of like it,” Rhodes said. “I like the fact that there’s an unknown certainty to it. We all have to go there, we all have to race. We all are subjected to the same conditions, so I kind of like the uncertainty of it. I like Talladega. I like Daytona. Those are some of my favorite races out of the whole year so that it’s in the Playoffs – I don’t think it could come at a better time.”
Although Rhodes was certain he had a chance to make it into the playoffs, he really didn’t know until after the race was over.
“It’s honestly a blur looking back at it,” Rhodes said. “I can tell you it wasn’t pleasant, wasn’t the most fun race of the season. We had a good time. The race didn’t go the way we wanted. There was multiple mistakes, different things that were going on and we had to overcome those throughout the entire day, the entire night. Not the most fun race in recent memory, but I feel like that’s good rehearsal for the Final Four. Hopefully, we can make it there and be consistent, limit those mistakes going forward and just play it safe going forward. Make sure that we don’t put the pressure on ourselves and I think we’ll be just fine.”
Even though Rhodes did not make the Round of 8 last year, he earned finishes 15th at Loudon, 12th at Las Vegas and 24th at Talladega due to a crash. He’ll need to improve upon those finishes if Rhodes wants to move on to the Round of 6.