LEXINGTON, Ohio – On the stat sheet, a fifth-place finish at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Ben Rhodes seemed like a pretty solid day, especially when considering that ThorSport Racing is based just 60 miles up the road in Sandusky.
It was anything but.
Rhodes won stage one and finished second behind teammate Ty Majeski in stage two, and it was looking like it’d be a good day for both drivers, even after eventual-race winner Corey Heim passed both of them on lap 42 for what would be the race win. But one lap later, the two made contact and spun, pinning both drivers deep in the field.
“I think [Majeski] and I both probably feel the same way, although I haven’t talked to him,” Rhodes said. “I gave him that spot going into [turn] 5, and then once I had the run, I thought we were just going to exchange positions.
“He gave me enough room, I thought I gave him enough room as we were exchanging, and it just didn’t work out, so it was a racing deal.”
Rhodes managed to claw his way back up to fifth after 67 laps. Majeski finished seventh, separated only by another ThorSport teammate in Matt Crafton. However, instead of Rhodes and Majeski discussing what happened, it was Crafton who was irate with Rhodes on pit road, getting up in Rhodes’ face and voicing his displeasure.
Crafton walked away without any comment, and Rhodes said he was trying to de-escalate the situation.
“My conversation with him went like this: ‘Calm down. Calm down. Matt, please calm down. We’ll talk later,'” Rhodes told reporters with a laugh after the race. “I’ve raced with Matt for a long time now, it’s just part of it.”
Despite not exactly knowing what Crafton was upset about, Rhodes took the blame for both that and for the spin with Majeski.
“I don’t know whose fault it is, but I’ll just take the blame if that’s what it takes.”
As for what the team meeting will look like, Rhodes says that there was no malicious intent in the racing, it just wasn’t the smartest.
“I think we just got to be smarter about the big picture and realize that I got a playoff point today, and we’ve got a race win,” Rhodes said. “I’m in the playoffs, I probably should’ve gave him more room, just being a better teammate.
“I know what I got to do to be better there, but that also means that there will be a conversation on the other side. We all have to work together better.”
About the author
Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. He co-authors Only Yesterday (Wednesdays) and Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the site's primary Truck Series reporter and writer, and contributes to SRX coverage, too. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is currently pursuing his master of journalism at Temple University. He is a theatre actor and fight choreographer-in-training outside of Frontstretch. He is a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.
You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.