Ben Rhodes joins ThorSport Racing in Truck series for 2016

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After losing Johnny Sauter to GMS Racing in 2016, Camping World Truck Series team ThorSport Racing has reloaded with former JR Motorsports driver Ben Rhodes.

Earlier this week ThorSport announced the 18-year-old driver would pilot the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra next season, joining two-time Truck champion Matt Crafton.

Rhodes competed in 10 Xfinity Series races in 2015 driving the No. 88 with JR Motorsports. Rhodes recorded one pole (Road America) and two top-10 finishes, as well a three DNFs.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to race full-time with ThorSport Racing next season,” said Rhodes in a press release. “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.”

The No. 41 was used by Rhodes during his time in the K&N Pro Series East and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series where he earned eight poles, 11 wins, 27 top-five finishes, and 35 top-10 finishes in 46 starts. Rhodes claimed the KNPSE title in 2014.

The Louisville, Ky. native is not new to the Truck series. Rhodes competed in four races in 2014, earning one top-five finish at Phoenix International Raceway.

Based out of Sandusky, Ohio, ThorSport Racing is the longest-tenured NCWTS team, competing since 1996.

“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 in a release. “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.”

Rhodes announced Thursday on Twitter that his crew chief would be Kevin Bellicourt.

Bellicourt spent the 2015 season as the crew chief to William Byron in the K&N Pro Series East, where Byron won three races and the series title.