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Exclusive: Ben Rhodes Calls for NASCAR’s “Intervention” After Denny Hamlin & Kyle Busch Outburst to Truck Series Disgrace

Published 11/08/2023, 12:07 PM EST

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The 2023 racing season is behind us, but the heat that the final three days brought to us will take quite some time to simmer down. Though the Xfinity and Cup finales were remarkable in their own ways, the Craftsman Truck Series was in a league of its own. Albeit, not for positive reasons. With icons like Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch calling for strict actions against the undisciplined youngsters, Ben Rhodes gave his own take on it in an exclusive interview with EssentiallySports.

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The lack of racing etiquette between the Truck Series grid had resulted in multiple overtime restarts and a plethora of caution flags before a winner could be decided. Since the chaos unfolded, NASCAR’s top brass have voiced their displeasure at the image that the drivers brought to the sport.

Ben Rhodes calls for action from NASCAR putting the sport’s integrity above everything else


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The sequence of reckless racing between Carson Hocevar and Corey Heim, both championship contenders, had resulted in the race having 12 cautions and 29 added laps to decide the 2023 Champion. While ThorSport Racing star Ben Rhodes did manage to make use of the advantage for his own good, he was appalled by the actions of his fellow drivers.

Following the race, words demanding action from NASCAR had flown in from all directions. Prime amongst those voices were Denny Hamlin’s and Kyle Busch’s. While the former was frustratingly sure that NASCAR wasn’t going to take any action, he did want to see the young drivers get some sort of penalty. Kyle Busch’s reactions were on the same line.


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Talking exclusively to EssentiallySports, the champion Ben Rhodes did appear to be on their side on the matter, but not completely. Mentioning that he hadn’t watched their interviews yet, he said, “Oh, boy, I’m not sure what the penalties would look like. So I don’t really know. I didn’t see their comments on it specifically. So that’s hard for me to say, but I don’t think it’s a good look. Regardless of what’s happening.”

Continuing that actions would have to be taken to prevent such races in the future, he said, “So there probably does need to be some sort of intervention just to make sure that the championships going forward are determined properly. So, yeah, the integrity of the sport is a big thing.”

Watch Story: Dale Earnhardt Jr Speaks Out on Chaotic Trucks Series Race

How do Ben Rhodes’ thoughts align with those of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch?

The demands of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch that the NASCAR champion was unsure about

Following the events on Friday, drivers from the two top series had called for NASCAR to enforce regulations that would restrict and penalize drivers for intentional wrecking and aggression during races. JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier had expressed his surprise, saying, “I’m sorry – we were sitting at dinner, and I wanted to turn it off because it didn’t show what I know that our sport is capable of”. The words from Allgaier pretty much sum up the feeling of the community.

Louder of the voices that emerged was from the Cup Series. Denny Hamlin was upset with the lack of response that the incidents had garnered from his fellow drivers in the top tier. He said, “I hate seeing our sport look as bad as it did (Friday) night. No one even said a word about it (in the Saturday drivers’ meeting). It’s like it never even happened.”


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Continuing to propose a solution, he recommended that the promotion inflict a penalty that the drivers won’t be able to recover from. Comparing the finale to an NFL game, he said, “Just send people to the back (of the field, to a position) that they’ll never recover from. It’ll get their attention.”

Richard Childress Racing driver and former Truck Series team Kyle Busch Motorsports owner, Kyle Busch, expressed his criticism despite being glad that he had sold his team at the right time. He said, “We’re teaching kids at eight years old to go out there and run wide open and go as fast as you can and slam into the guy next to you and try to get by him. They’re all taught that way now, where there are no repercussions. The sanctioning body, I think, needs to step in more and penalize.”


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With Ben Rhodes getting behind the idea of NASCAR intervening to reduce cases of reckless driving in the EssentiallySports Exclusive Interview, hopes are that a few more pages will be added to the rule book sooner rather than later.

Read More: NASCAR Insider Solves Denny Hamlin’s Confusion Behind Ben Rhodes’ Second ‘Tipsy’ Presser

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Written by:

Gowtham Ramalingam


One take at a time

Hello, there! Though my affinity for racing originally stemmed from the European circuits of Formula 1 as a teen, I unexpectedly found myself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement growing up. This sport took hold of me and never let go, leading me to a career as a NASCAR writer. Over the last few months, I’ve had the chance to share my insights and observations through a myriad of articles on EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Ramesh