Patience Pays Off for Haley

Late Pass At Greenville Nets First K&N Pro East Victory

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Justin Haley was patient all night at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway. Until it was go-time.

The 16-year-old from Winamac, Indiana, cleared the dominant car of Kyle Benjamin with seven laps to go and sailed to his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory.

It was Haley’s 23rd career NASCAR K&N Pro Series start. He nearly picked up the win in Phoenix last fall in the K&N Pro West, but late contact while leading cut a tire and ended his night six laps short of the win.

Saturday on the flat half-mile in Greenville, Haley ran second most of the night before making his late move.

Benjamin settled for second, followed by Ronnie Bassett Jr., championship points leader Spencer Davis and Dillon Bassett.

Benjamin, from nearby Easley, South Carolina, was fastest in practice and winner of the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Company. He led a race-high 122 laps. Haley used lapped traffic to wrestle the lead away early in the race. But Benjamin took it back just before halfway and led until the closing laps when Haley edged by him to claim the checkered flag.

Reid Wilson finished sixth, followed by Noah Gragson, Tyler Dippel, Kaz Grala and Hunter Baize. The race was slowed just twice by cautions, including the halfway break.

Davis maintained a three-point lead over Benjamin, while Haley moved into third. Haley is one point behind Benjamin and one ahead of teammate Dippel. Ronnie Bassett rounds out the top five in points.

The Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 will air on NBCSN on Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be back in action on April 16 with the PittLite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Benjamin is the defending race winner.

RESULTS | RACE CENTRAL LIVE REPLAY

nknps-east_haley-benjamin-action-greenville_032616

Justin Haley (outside) and Kyle Benjamin battle for the lead during Saturday’s Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway. Grant Halverson/NASCAR via Getty Images

NKNPS East Greenville 3/26/16 Results
K&N Pro Series East
Race: NKNPS East Greenville 3/26/16
PRINTABLE FORMAT (PDF)

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 2 5 Justin Haley Braun Auto Chevrolet 150 47 4 Running
2 1 40 Kyle Benjamin FEVR Chevrolet 150 44 2 Running
3 3 4 Ronnie Bassett, Jr. Bassett Gutters Ford 150 41 Running
4 5 41 Spencer Davis * Circle Track Warehouse Chevrolet 150 40 Running
5 6 44 Dillon Bassett Bassett Gutters Ford 150 39 Running
6 10 66 Reid Wilson * TruNorth Warranty Programs Chevrolet 150 38 Running
7 11 55 Noah Gragson AlertID/Speed Vegas/Colliers Int’l Ford 150 37 Running
8 7 38 Tyler Dippel * East West Marine/TyCar Chevrolet 150 36 Running
9 4 3 Kaz Grala NETTTS Toyota 150 35 Running
10 19 13 Hunter Baize * Bicycle Playing Cards/Pine Mountain Firewood 150 34 Running
11 8 2 Collin Cabre UTI/NTI Toyota 150 33 Running
12 9 42 J.A. Junior Avila * Braille Batteries Toyota 149 32 Running
13 18 2 Sarah Cornett-Ching * Dickies Ford 149 31 Running
14 17 1 Austin Theriault NTI/Lucas Oil Toyota 149 30 Running
15 15 12 Harrison Burton * DEX Imaging/Konica Minolta Ford 148 29 Running
16 12 30 Dominique Van Wieringen * Durobyte Ford 148 28 Running
17 13 49 John Holleman, IV * Midway Mobile EStorage Ford 148 27 Running
18 16 4 Ali Kern * Max Siegel, Inc. Toyota 148 26 Running
19 14 6 Ruben Garcia Jr. * Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Toyota 148 25 Running
20 20 14 Trey Hutchens Hutchens Motorsports Chevrolet 147 24 Running
21 21 9 Christian Celaya Alle Health Chevrolet 146 23 Running
RACE STATISTICS
Fastest Qualifier: Kyle Benjamin, Time: 20.705 Seconds, Speed: 86.936 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 2 mins, 52 secs Average Speed: 71.580 mph Margin of Victory: .515 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 76-80 (Halfway Break – FP #42); 87-90 (#30 Turn 2 – FP #02). 2 for 9 laps.
Lap Leaders: Kyle Benjamin 1-54, Justin Haley 55-73, Kyle Benjamin 74-80, Justin Haley 81, Kyle Benjamin 82-142, Justin Haley 143-150.
Total Laps Led: Kyle Benjamin 122, Justin Haley 28. 5 changes involving 2 drivers.

Top 10 Driver Points: Spencer Davis * 125, Kyle Benjamin 122, Justin Haley 121, Tyler Dippel * 120, Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 116, Noah Gragson 107, Kaz Grala 104, Harrison Burton * 97, Austin Theriault 90, Collin Cabre 88

CONTINGENCY AWARDS
21 MEANS 21 POLE AWARD PRESENTED BY COORS BREWING CO.: #40 Kyle Benjamin
COCA-COLA MOVE OF THE RACE: #13 Hunter Baize
AUTOLITE IRIDIUM XP LAP LEADER: #40 Kyle Benjamin
SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE: #41 Spencer Davis

Next Race: April 16 @ Bristol Motor Speedway

* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender

Sources: Brooke Franceschini, NASCAR

March 2016
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