Ben Rhodes Drives Ford F-150 to NASCAR Truck Series Championship

Phoenix Raceway, Avondale, AZ — November 4, 2023

Ben Rhodes won his second career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship and his first with Ford after finishing fifth in Friday night’s Craftsman 150 at Phoenix Raceway.

Rhodes celebrates his Championship win / NASCAR Photo

It also marks the second consecutive series championship for the F-150 after Zane Smith won the title a year ago with Front Row Motorsports. Rhodes is the fifth driver in NCTS history to win multiple titles, joining Ron Hornaday Jr., Matt Crafton, Jack Sprague, and Todd Bodine.

This is Ford’s third series championship in the last five years after Matt Crafton won in 2019 and Smith in 2022. Ford has won the title four times overall, with Greg Biffle being the first in 2002.

What a Night!

After 12 caution flags and four overtimes, Christian Eckes took the race win. Rhodes locked up the title by keeping Grant Enfinger from passing on the last lap. To Enfinger’s credit, he raced Rhodes clean when he had a chance to play bumper tag on the final lap.

The same cannot be said for the other two playoff contenders. Corey Heim led 47 of the 150 scheduled laps. Close racing with 30 laps to go saw Hocevar climb the race track in a corner and make contact with Heim’s truck. The incident and damage to both race cars took the pair out of contention for the championship.

Four laps from the checkered flag, Heim squeezed Hocevar into the wall, totaling Hocevar’s car and doing more damage to Heim’s machine. The accident sent the race into overtime. I then took four restarts over 29 laps to decide the outcome.

Enfinger had to pit late for tires and some sheet metal repairs. However, the four overtimes brought him within striking distance of Rhodes. The champion had to dodge trouble of his own during the overtime periods, including an incident that damaged the right front of his car.

Tonight, the NASCAR Xfinity Series takes to the track to settle its Championship. Cole Custer will drive his Ford Mustang, hoping to make it a Blue Oval repeat as he takes on John Hunter Nemechek, Sam Mayer, and Justin Allgaier.

Results of the Craftsman 150 from Phoenix Raceway

1 19 Christian Eckes
2 35 Jake Garcia
3 4 Chase Purdy
4 1 Jesse Love
5 99 Ben Rhodes (P)
6 23 Grant Enfinger (P)
7 5 Dean Thompson
8 2 Kaden Honeycutt
9 15 Tanner Gray
10 2 Nicholas Sanchez
11 88 Matt Crafton
12 24 Rajah Caruth
13 45 Lawless Alan
14 98 Ty Majeski
15 13 Hailie Deegan
16 22 Christian Rose
17 4 Spencer Davis
18 11 Corey Heim (P)
19 20 Nick Leitz
20 56 Tyler Hill
21 9 Colby Howard
22 16 Tyler Ankrum
23 17 Taylor Gray
24 52 Stewart Friesen
25 38 Zane Smith
26 75 Sean Hingorani
27 51 Jack Wood
28 77 Derek Kraus
29 42 Carson Hocevar (P)
30 25 Stefan Parsons
31 41 Bayley Currey
32 43 Daniel Dye
33 61 Jake Drew
34 66 Conner Jones
35 7 Marco Andretti
36 30 Chris Hacker