Rhodes Trip: Rookie Sets Qualifying Record
Ben Rhodes Sets K&N Track Record at NHMS
Jerry Gappens, General Manager
LOUDON, N.H. - Ben Rhodes has won four straight races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. With a win in Friday's Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ben Rhodes can set a new series record for consecutive victories, eclipsing the man he's currently tied with, Ricky Craven, who set the standard back in 1991 - coincidently, at New Hampshire.
Rhodes' has begun his pursuit of Craven's record on the right note, taking the pole on Thursday night and setting a new track qualifying record at 128.580 mph (27.998 seconds) in the process.
"I was expecting to run a little faster, but the track has certainly got a lot slicker out there," said Rhodes, a 17-year-old rookie who leads the K&N Pro Series East point standings with eight top-fives in nine races, including five victories. "We ran (a 29.4 seconds time) in practice, so I was expecting a little bit quicker time. I don't really look at the records that much. When it comes to records, whatever happens, happens. I don't want to put that kind of pressure on myself. "
Jesse Little, Chad Finley, Sergio Pena and Gray Gaulding round out the top-five qualifying spots.
Rhodes will lead the Granite State 100 field to green at 6 p.m.
The Granite State 100 will be among a plethora of on-track action Friday, beginning with the inaugural Whelen All-Star Shootout at 2:10 p.m. The Shootout will pit northern and southern Whelen Modified Tour stars against one another in a heated 40-lap, two-segment battle.
Friday will also feature group-style knockout qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the very first time. The two-segment format will begin at 4:35 p.m. and set the field for Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 301.