Ben Rhodes sailed to victory lane at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday at his home track in the No. 41 ThorSport Racing Ford. The Louisville, KY. native used pit strategy by taking fuel only on the final set of pit stops with around 30 laps to go. Second-place finisher Stewart Friesen changed two tires and stalled as he was leaving his pit box. The misfortune helped Rhodes in the long run to secure the victory.
Stewart Friesen looked strong in the closing laps as he pitted from the lead to add two tires and fuel. Friesen later stalled leaving the pit box while eventual race winner Ben Rhodes stayed out another lap. Despite the issue on pit road, Friesen will leave the 1.5-mile oval with a runner-up finish in the No. 52 Chevrolet.
Friesen, a native of Canada, will take home his fourth top five and seventh top 10 finish of the season on Thursday. The 33-year old led 37 circuits of the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225.
As for Rhodes, winner of stage one, he’ll leave his home track with five top five and seven top 10 finishes through 12 races. The young racer led 38 laps on his way to victory lane.
Matt Crafton rounded out the top three finishers at Kentucky. Crafton started in the back of the field after getting sideways in turns three and four during his qualifying lap in round one. It didn’t take long for the California native to make his way into the top 15 and top 10.
The two-time series champion sits seventh in points as the series heads to Eldora Speedway next week.
Brandon Jones and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top five finishers.
Noah Gragson started on the pole in the No. 18 Safelite Auto Glass Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Gragson, winner of stage two, posting a 29.355 / 183.955 mph. in round two of single-truck qualifying, led the field for 62 circuits and went on to an eighth-place finish.
Holding a victory this season, the Las Vegas native has five top five and nine top 10 finishes.
Rounding out the top 10 was Grant Enfinger, Todd Gilliland, Noah Gragson, Dalton Sargeant and Justin Haley.
Johnny Sauter had a top 10 run going until he was caught too fast on pit road in the last set of pit stops. While serving the pass-through for being too fast on pit road, Sauter was popped for a commitment line violation and had to make another pass-through. That relegated the current points leader to 15th and two laps down in the finishing order.
The next race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be at Eldora Speedway on July 18. The much-anticipated race on dirt will air live on FS1 at 9:00 p.m. ET.