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Ben Rhodes Scores First-Career Truck Series Victory

Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Sunday, October 1, 2017

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Ben Rhodes celebrates his first Truck Series victory
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Ben Rhodes took the lead on the final restart and held off Christopher Bell to capture his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career win in Saturday night's Las Vegas 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 

Rhodes, who earlier in the season lost what appeared to be a sure victory at Kansas Speedway when a piece of debris punctured his Toyota's radiator, blocked Bell's last-gasp effort by going all the way to the track's apron to take the checkered flag. 

Rhodes, who drives for ThorSport Racing, started sixth in the 28-truck field to become the 1.5-mile speedway's 10th consecutive different winner. He joins Bell to advance to the Round of 6 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. 

"I used every play in my playbook," said Rhodes of the final laps battle. "I knew if I could keep him close to me, he couldn't break the (air) bubble.  This is the biggest high of my life. 

"So many things have gone wrong and now here I am in Victory Lane." 

Rhodes' victory came in his 45th series start. His official victory margin over Bell was 0.066 seconds. 

Bell, who led three times for 64 laps and dominated much of the 146-lap race in his Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, blamed himself for coming up short in his quest for a sixth season victory. 

"I just didn't get it done there on the last restart (at Lap 140)," he said. "He's (Rhodes) been long overdue for that win and he earned it tonight." 

Chase Briscoe finished third in his Brad Keselowski Racing Ford, followed by BKR teammate Austin Cindric, who overcame an early-race accident. Kaz Grala, who started 14th, also battled back from an early incident, was the top-finishing Chevrolet in fifth. 

Pole sitter Ryan Truex was unable to lead the opening lap but had put his Toyota in position for a solid top-10 finish. A brush with the wall in the closing laps while battling Briscoe and Grant Enfinger for third sent his Toyota to pit road, where he lost two laps and finished 12th. 

Seven different drivers traded the lead 11 times. There were six cautions consuming 32 laps. 

Briscoe won the race's first stage by 1.25 seconds over Johnny Sauter. Sauter clawed his way back to 10th-place finish, a lap behind, after cutting a tire and twice speeding on pit road. 

Rhodes claimed Stage 2 by 0.419 seconds over Bell in a preview of the final stage finish. 

While both Rhodes and Bell are guaranteed to move into the Round of 6 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, the final four spots remain up for grabs at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 14. Crafton is best placed, followed by Sauter and Briscoe while Grala and John H. Nemechek are currently below the cutoff point.

RACE RESULTS

Pos.#DriverMakeStartLapsLedStatusPointsPlayoff Points
127Ben RhodesToyota614620Running5513
24Christopher BellToyota414664Running5247
329Chase BriscoeFord314640Running4910
419Austin CindricFord71461Running397
533Kaz GralaChevy141460Running365
613Cody CoughlinToyota121460Running310
788Matt CraftonToyota51460Running4214
88John Hunter NemechekChevy151468Running3714
998Grant EnfingerToyota101460Running290
1021Johnny SauterChevy21450Running3825
1102Timothy PetersChevy201450Running260
1216Ryan TruexToyota11451Running390
1318Noah GragsonToyota1314412Running290
1449Wendell ChavousChevy161440Running230
151Jordan AndersonChevy211430Running220
1650Josh ReaumeChevy231420Running210
1783Camden MurphyChevy221410Running200
1810Jennifer Jo CobbChevy271380Running190
196Norm BenningChevy261290Running180
2044Austin Wayne SelfChevy171280Accident170
2124Justin HaleyChevy81170Engine160
2245Travis PastranaChevy181120Accident150
2352Stewart FriesenChevy11410Accident160
2438T.J. BellChevy25270Overheating130
250Matt MillsChevy19110Engine120
2687Joe NemechekChevy2490Electrical110
2757Mike SenicaChevy2840Transmission100
2851Myatt SniderToyota900Accident90
2963Todd PeckChevy2900Engine80


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