Sunday, February 5, 2023

Ben Rhodes Making Cup Debut With Spire Motorsports At Sonoma

Spire Motorsports confirmed on Tuesday that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ben Rhodes will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend at Sonoma Raceway.

The news was confirmed via social media by Spire.

“You only get to make your first Cup start once and to do it with Spire Motorsports is pretty special,” said Rhodes. “I have a fun and long history with the Spire family but we haven’t worked together in a few years so it’s nice to come full circle. It’s daunting to make my first Cup start at a road course that I have no experience at, but I’m confident the team will have the car comfortable and fast. This is pretty exciting for me, and Sonoma can’t get here quick enough.”

Kaeding Performance will serve as the primary sponsor for Rhodes’ first Cup start.

The No. 77 Kaeding Performance Camaro For Ben Rhodes (PC : Spire)

“Ben Rhodes has long been a part of the Spire family and we’re thrilled to have him make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet,” said Spire Motorsports co-owner T.J. Puchyr. “Ben is a great kid and comes from a great family. Justin Haley will be focusing on his NASCAR Xfinity championship aspirations at Mid-Ohio so this was a great opportunity for Ben to slide in the seat. He’s a tremendous road racer and has earned this opportunity. We think a ton of Ben and we’re eager to see how he does at Sonoma.

Because the No. 77 had two unsecured lug nuts post-race following the Coca-Cola 600, Kevin Bellicourt will not be available for Sonoma. Peter Sospenzo will call the shots for Rhodes, who helped lead Justin Haley to Spire’s 2019 Daytona win.

The start will make the first time since 2015 that Rhodes is racing in a series other than the Camping World Truck Series. In 2015, he made 10 starts with JR Motorsports, posting two top 10 finishes.

The Kentucky driver is in the midst of an impressive season in Trucks, scoring wins at the season opener at Daytona, as well as the track’s road course configuration. In 10 starts this season, Rhodes’ worst finish was a 16th at Atlanta. He currently sits second in the driver points.

Fans can see Rhodes make his Cup debut on Sunday, June 6th at 4:00 p.m. EST on FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Sports app.

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