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ThorSport Swaps Crew Chiefs, Engineering Leads for Rhodes and Garcia

Ben Rhodes Jake Garcia crew chief swap ThorSport Racing 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rich Lushes Doug Randolph

Photo Credit: Rusty Jones, NKP for Ford Performance

Ben Rhodes, and Rich Lushes, a driver/crew chief combination that has won two of the last three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships, will be split up for the second year in a row. On Wednesday, ThorSport Racing announced a series of organizational changes aimed at strengthening the overall organization ahead of Friday’s Buckle Up South Carolina 200 at Darlington Raceway.

Lushes, who had been serving as the crew chief for Rhodes, will now move to the No. 13 Ford F-150 with driver Jake Garcia. Doug Randolph, who had been serving as the crew chief for Garcia, will now be atop the pit box for Rhodes.

Additionally, ThorSport Racing has swapped lead engineers within both teams as well.

On the surface, splitting Rhodes and Lushes is shocking. The duo was split up at the end of a runner-up finish in the championship standings in the 2022 season. As the performance of the No. 13 team didn’t drastically improve with Lushes at the helm last season, the crew chief was re-paired with Rhodes for the final four races of the season.

The end result? Four consecutive top-10 finishes, three of which were top-fives, and two of which were runner-up efforts. The duo recorded a fifth-place finish at Phoenix Raceway, which was enough for them to score their second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title.

However, after eight races in 2024, the duo has recorded just one top-10 finish, and Rhodes sits outside the top-10 in the championship standings. It’s a similar story for Garcia, who impressed and nearly made the Playoffs in his rookie season a year ago. Through the opening eight races, Garcia has no top-10 finishes and he sits mired back in 15th in the championship standings.

A change had to be made for both teams, and ThorSport Racing believes the shake up will spark a change in results for Rhodes and Garcia.

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