NASCAR sees historic streak end at Las Vegas

John Hunter Nemechek, Kyle Busch Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
John Hunter Nemechek, Kyle Busch Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Ben Rhodes failed to win his third race in a row to start the 2021 NASCAR Truck Series season, ending his chance to make history.

ThorSport Racing switched back from Ford to Toyota for the 2021 NASCAR Truck Series season, and no driver within the team had taken advantage of that change through the 22-race campaign’s first two races than Ben Rhodes.

Rhodes, who entered the season with three career victories in 119 starts, won the season’s first two races, the first at the Daytona International Speedway oval and the second at the track’s road course.

In doing so, the 24-year-old Louisville, Kentucky native became just the third driver in Truck Series history to start a season two for two and the first since Johnny Sauter, now one of his teammates, pulled it off in 2013.

Prior to Rhodes, only nine drivers in NASCAR history across all three national series had pulled off this feat. Sauter was the most recent to do so.

But none of them had ever gone three for three to start a season at any level.

Here’s a quick rundown for each national series (Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Truck Series) and the drivers who had pulled this off.

Cup Series

  • Marvin Panch – 1957
  • Bob Welborn – 1959
  • Jeff Gordon – 1997
  • Matt Kenseth – 2009

Xfinity Series

  • Dale Earnhardt – 1986
  • Chad Little – 1995
  • Tony Stewart – 2008

Truck Series

  • Mark Martin – 2006
  • Johnny Sauter – 2013
  • Ben Rhodes – 2021

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Rhodes ultimately saw his streak end at the track where he secured his first career victory in the 2017 season, that being Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Rhodes finished in 10th place in Friday night’s 134-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval in Las Vegas, Nevada, as John Hunter Nemechek secured his first win of the season for Kyle Busch Motorsports ahead of the boss man himself, Kyle Busch, in second. Rhodes finished the first stage in eighth and the second stage in fifth.

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The next race on the Truck Series schedule is not scheduled to take place for another two weeks. That race, the Fr8Auctions 200, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 20 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and it is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.