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Ben Rhodes Ready for Martinsville Speedway Debut with Hawk-McCall Motorsports

Ben Rhodes Ready for Martinsville Speedway Debut with Hawk-McCall Motorsports

by October 16, 2012 0 comments

LOUISVILLE, KY (October 16th, 2012) – With just a year of Late Model racing experience under his belt, 15-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native Ben Rhodes is now looking towards one of the biggest Late Model events of his career to date as he will attempt to make it into the field of the prestigious “Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300” at Martinsville Speedway (VA), which takes place on Sunday, October 21st.  His racing debut at the track and in the event will also be his debut with his new team, Hawk-McCall Motorsports, driving the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions / Alliance Comfort Systems Chevy.

“This race is something everyone in the Late Model short track world wants to win,” said Rhodes.  “Many legendary Late Model drivers like Dennis Setzer, Phillip Morris, and Lee Pulliam have won this race over the past five years.  To just be in a race with these guys will be cool, but to be able to battle door to door with them is something I am looking forward to.”

Rhodes made his Late Model debut in July, 2011, at Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) while battling for a national championship in Legends Car competition, where he earned 43 victories in the small cars that season, more than any of the 1200 drivers internationally.  He quickly adapted to the bigger, heavier cars, which earned him a wild card spot into the invite-only Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown in April, 2012, at Richmond International Raceway (VA).  As the youngest racer in that event, which was broadcast live on SPEED TV, Rhodes mixed it up with some of the biggest NASCAR stars, finishing sixth.  He is looking to use some of that big-event experience at Martinsville Speedway.

“Every race I have competed in this year in the UARA-STARS and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series has been a challenge because there are a lot of talented drivers and teams at the track,” said Rhodes.  “These special events ratchet up the intensity level even higher especially when it is a challenge to just get into the show.  The key is to just go into each race step by step and not let the pressure get overwhelming.”

Preparations for this event started weeks ago as Rhodes’ new team Hawk-McCall Motorsports, led by legendary NASCAR crew chief Lee McCall, prepared the No. 41 for competition.  After a recent track test, Rhodes is ready for the weekend to begin.

“Lee and the Hawk-McCall Motorsports team had the car rolling great during our test,” said Rhodes.  “We learned a lot on what we need when we go back to the track this weekend.  The new format this year putting more weight on heat racing will make speed and handling critical elements to making our way in.  Of course, a little racing luck on our side will also be helpful, but we have the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions / Alliance Comfort Systems Chevy ready and we are up for the challenge.”

A victory at any track or in any event is something a driver yearns for, but at Martinsville Speedway, the winner takes home something more than the pride of the victory and a first-place winner’s check.  Every big-event winner at the track receives one of the most-coveted prizes in motorsports today, a grandfather clock.

“I have been very close to winning in a Late Model this year.  Winning my first-ever Late Model race in my first race with Hawk-McCall Motorsports in my first time at Martinsville Speedway would be amazing.  Winning the grandfather clock and putting my name in the record books with all of the big Late Model and NASCAR drivers that have won one would be beyond words.”

Qualifying practice for the “Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300” Late Model event at Martinsville Speedway takes place on Saturday, October 20th, which will set the starting grids for the four 25-lap qualifying races that take place on Sunday, October 21st.  The finishes from the four races as well as a 50-lap last-chance race will set the starting grid for the feature event, which will be 150 laps, and will start immediately after.

Weekend updates on Ben Rhodes can be found on his social media outlets at www.facebook.com/benrhodesinc and www.twitter.com/benrhodesinc, with live race updates occurring on his Twitter.

For more information on the “Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300” at Martinsville Speedway, visit the track’s website at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

Press Release
Press Release, source information and photo credits are located at the bottom of the article.

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