LAS VEGAS – Ben Rhodes led the final 10 laps of the second stage in Saturday’s Las Vegas 350 to notch his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stage win of the season and first since Kentucky in July.
Rhodes overhauled points leader Christopher Bell on a restart with 10 laps to go in the stage and never looked back, driving out to a .419 of a second margin at the green-checkered flag.
“I don’t know what else we could do right now to make (our truck) a whole lot quicker,” said Rhodes. “(Bell) was all over my bumper and I was trying to do everything I could in my playbook to keep him behind me. Being in the playoffs it’s really important to get some points and we did just that; we just need to keep it going now and see if we can do the same in the final stage of the race.”
After a caution-free opening stint, two early cautions slowed the pace in the second stage, impacting multiple playoff contenders in the process.
A suspected missed shift on the first restart at lap 42 saw Johnny Sauter take a shot from behind by Austin Cindric, with Sauter spinning into the pack from third and sparking a seven-truck accident as Bell took the lead out front.
Then, following a lap 47 restart in which three- and four-wide racing saw Matt Crafton and John Hunter Nemechek get to second and third behind Bell, Austin Cindric spun through the frontstretch while battling Grant Enfinger for sixth and brought out another yellow on with 15 to go in the stage.
That set up a 10-lap dash to the stage break, in which Rhodes got a huge shove from behind to pass Bell into Turn 1, then held off the points leader’s furious charge over the next 15 miles to bank a playoff point towards his championship chase.
Bell crossed the line in second ahead of John Hunter Nemechek, polesitter Ryan Truex and Matt Crafton.
Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, Johnny Sauter and Grant Enfinger completed the points-scoring drivers in the top 10 at the second stage break.
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
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