LOUISVILLE, KY (September 21st, 2012) – 15-year-old racer Ben Rhodes, who is in his first full season of Late Model Stock racing, will make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Debut in 2013. The Louisville, Kentucky, native will drive the #14 Toyota with legendary crew chief Lee McCall joining him for a limited schedule of events with the eventual plan of racing full time in the series in 2014.
“I am looking forward to racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East,” said Rhodes, who will turn 16 in February. “The series is a stepping stone to the NASCAR top-three ranks, and it has been a highly-competitive series with big names racing there. I am looking forward to the new challenge next year.”
While the specifics of the team he will be driving for will be named in the near future, as well as sponsors, Rhodes will reunite with McCall, who was his crew chief when he started his Late Model Stock career in July, 2011.
“Lee has been around the sport for many years and carries a wealth of knowledge,” said Rhodes. “I have a lot of respect for Lee and I am looking forward to working with him in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
McCall, who has been a crew chief up in the top levels of NASCAR and most recently was the crew chief for Tony Stewart’s winning entry in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway (VA) in April, a race that Rhodes finished sixth in as the youngest entry into the invite-only event, is thrilled to be working with Rhodes again.
“Ben’s talent level is above and beyond anyone that I have worked with in my 26 years in this sport,” said McCall. “I am really excited to be a part of his racing program, and I am looking forward to being with him in the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.”
This season, Rhodes has driven the #9 Stanley / Alpha Energy Solutions Ford Fusion with Marcos Ambrose Motorsport (MAM) and Jamie Yelton’s Fat Head Racing (FHR) in the UARA-STARS Late Model Stock tour as well as various NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events. The end of the 2012 UARA season will also mark the end of Rhodes’ tenure with MAM and FHR.
“I have learned a lot from Marcos Ambrose and Jamie Yelton’s team,” said Rhodes. “It has been great getting to know Marcos and build our friendship. His fan base has also been very supportive of my career, and I really appreciate that. Also, Billy Smith (current crew chief) and the Marcos Ambrose Motorsport / Fat Head Racing team have been great to work with this year. We have a handful of races left to run, and our number one goal is to go out on top and win the last few races we have together.”
More announcements will be made in the near future on which of the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races Rhodes will enter as well as more of his 2013 schedule of events.
“We have a few cool things to announce in the coming weeks about our 2013 schedule,” said Rhodes. “We decided to go ahead and announce we were going to race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East next year during the NASCAR weekend at Kentucky Speedway and have a show car here in the infield. My home state fans have been extremely supportive of my racing career, and I wanted to share this announcement with them right here at Kentucky Speedway.”
Next up for Rhodes is the Saturday, September 22nd, UARA-STARS Late Model Stock race at Lonesome Pine Raceway (VA), where he will drive the #9 Stanley / Alpha Energy Solutions Ford Fusion with Marcos Ambrose Motorsport.