Skip to content
Jayski's Silly Season SiteJayski's Silly Season Site
AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 05: Ben Rhodes, driver of the #99 Bombardier LearJet 75 Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 05, 2021 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) | Getty Images
AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 05: Ben Rhodes, driver of the #99 Bombardier LearJet 75 Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 05, 2021 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Ben Rhodes Wins First NASCAR Truck Series Championship; Earns Toyota’s Ninth Truck Series Driver’s Title

Tundra driver Ben Rhodes won his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship on Friday night with a third-place finish at Phoenix Raceway. Rhodes’ championship marks the ninth Truck Series driver title for Toyota.

TOYOTA FAST FACTS

  • Rhodes won two races, claimed eight top-five results and 16 top-10 finishes over 22 races to claim the 2021 NCWTS Driver’s Championship.
  • The title is Rhodes’ first NASCAR championship in his sixth full-time season competing in the Truck Series and the third year racing a Tundra for ThorSport Racing.
  • Rhodes won Toyota’s 200th NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the Daytona International Speedway road course on February 19, 2021
  • It is the fourth driver’s championship for ThorSport Racing (Matt Crafton – 2013, 2014, 2019).
  • The 24-year-old Louisville, Kentucky native is the seventh Tundra racer to capture a driver’s championship. In addition to Rhodes, Brett Moffitt (2018), Christopher Bell (2017), Erik Jones (2015), Matt Crafton (2013 and 2014), Todd Bodine (2006, 2010) and Johnny Benson (2008) have also captured Truck Series titles for Toyota.
  • Toyota also clinched its series-high 12th NCWTS Manufacturer’s Championship (2006-2010, 2013-2017, 2019, 2021) earlier this season at Martinsville Speedway with Tundra drivers winning 15 races during the 2021 season. Toyota has scored a total of 213 victories since joining NCWTS competition in 2004.

TOYOTA QUOTES

CHANDLER SMITH, No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 1st
The other Kyle Busch Motorsports team in Victory Lane with Chandler Smith. Second win of the year for Chandler as well as Rookie of the Year. How was your race?
“Yeah, for sure, first and foremost, All Glory to the Man Upstairs, without him, none of this would be possible. I wouldn’t have all these awesome relationships with all these guys, my racing family. This is my family. Also, he’s blessed me with a great family and being around great people and being able to come out to Phoenix Raceway in front of these fans tonight and be able to compete in high tier equipment. I’m just really blessed right now. Can’t thank Safelite, Toyota Racing, Danny (Stockman), KBM, Kyle (Busch), everybody that goes down the line to make this happen.”

BEN RHODES, No. 99 Bombardier LearJet 75 Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
You see the emotion out of Ben Rhodes. Ben, you started the season with a win at Daytona and you finish the season winning the Championship at Phoenix. You sir are the Camping World Truck Series Champion.
“That was the hardest last 40 laps I think I have ever driven in my life. I was doing things to the race car I probably shouldn’t have been doing, it was dumb, but I had everything to lose. And we brought it home and won it. I don’t even know what to say. This is crazy. Bookends for the season, I am so proud of my ThorSport Racing group. This wasn’t like a vision we had, right, everyone wants to win it, but you just don’t know, it’s so hard. I just can’t thank Duke and Rhonda (Thorson) enough. They are the reason I’m here tonight, Bombardier, Toyota, Menards, WileyX, we have so many people that help us, I can’t even talk right now I’m so excited.“

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Finishing Position: 7th
It’s amazing John Hunter Nemecheck finished seventh given everything you went through tonight. I know you were short on the championship and that’s what mattered. Can you bring me through everything you had to battle out there tonight?
“Yeah, I got run in to the first corner, got in to the fence, somebody else ran in to us on the left side and this thing is killed pretty much, but had a left front tire go flat, went down two laps, got both of our laps back, but just needed more laps I guess. After all, felt we had the best truck tonight Playoff wise for sure. Drove from pretty much last to seventh there and running down Ben (Rhodes) and Zane (Smith) for the championship, just not enough. That’s what’s frustrating. A huge shout out to all of our partners. I’m disappointed, frustrated. Thank you Pye-Barker Fire Alarm Services, Toyota, Kyle (Busch), everyone. Thankful for the opportunity. We came here to win races this year, we succeeded, came up short of the championship. I’ll be #BackForMore next year.”

 MATT CRAFTON, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra, ThorSport Racing
Finishing Position: 12th
What were you fighting tonight?
“We really fought free off all night. Really free off, center off. Never really could get ahold of it for whatever reason. I’m excited for Ben (Rhodes), Duke and Rhonda (Thorson), everybody over there. This Menards Toyota Tundra – we qualified well, I mean, decent. I was really worried about that because every time we qualify decent here, we don’t race good. All-in-all, regroup, head to Daytona – go to 2022.”

— Toyota Racing —

Championship Fast Facts
Driver Champion: Ben Rhodes
Team: No. 99 ThorSport Racing Toyota Tundra
• Ben Rhodes has won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
• Rhodes is the 19th different driver to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
• Rhodes finished third the NASCAR Camping World Truck season finale at Phoenix Raceway to win the title.
• Rhodes finished the 2021 season with 22 starts, two wins, eight top fives and 16 top 10s.
• During the Playoffs this season, Rhodes has posted three top fives and five top 10s.
• Rhodes, from Louisville, Kentucky, is the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion from the state of
Kentucky.
Owner Of Driver Champion: Duke and Rhonda Thorson, ThorSport Racing
• This is ThorSport Racing’s fourth all-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship (Matt
Crafton, 2013, 2014, 2019; Ben Rhodes, 2021) – most driver titles by an organization in the series all-time.
• This is ThorSport Racing’s first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship (2021).
• ThorSport Racing is one of 16 different organizations to win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver
championship, and the 15th different organization to win the owner championship.
• ThorSport Racing has posted 23 wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series among five different drivers –
Terry Cook, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter, Ben Rhodes and Chase Briscoe.
• Owners Duke and Rhonda Thorson fielded their first truck in the series with driver Terry Cook at the Milwaukee
Mile on July 6, 1996.
Crew Chief Champion: Rich Lushes
• This is Rich Lushes’ first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship; his previous best
championship finish was ninth with driver Myatt Snider in 2018.
• Lushes has become the 23rd different crew chief to win a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
• Lushes has two career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories – all with driver Ben Rhodes.
— NASCAR–