Haley Puts Finishing Touches On Title Run

Earns K&N Pro East Trophy Over Dover 125 Winner Benjamin

DOVER, Del. – Justin Haley and Kyle Benjamin led the way as NASCAR’s youth movement conquered the “Monster Mile.”

It was Haley who lifted the big championship trophy at Dover International Speedway, while Benjamin took the final NASCAR K&N Pro Series East checkered flag of 2016.

Haley brought home the No. 5 Off Axis Chevrolet with a fourth-place finish in the Dover 125 to put the finishing touches on his first championship season.

The 17-year-old from Winamac, Indiana, put together a title-winning run with remarkable consistency. His Dover finish was his 13th top five in 14 races. He collected two wins along the way, with a worst finish of eighth-place, to claim the crown over Benjamin by 22 points.

Haley also became the fourth consecutive driver for HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title. He followed Dylan Kwasniewski (2013), Ben Rhodes (2014) and William Byron (2015). He is also the eighth straight teenager to win the K&N Pro East crown, and joins 16-year-old Cayden Lapcevich as a NASCAR champion this season. Lapcevich won the NASCAR Pinty’s Series title in Canada earlier this year.

Benjamin did everything he could in his No. 40 Ranier Racing with MDM Chevrolet. The 19-year-old NASCAR Next alum from Easley, South Carolina, led the most laps (84) and won for the third time on the season. A late caution pushed the race to 126 laps, but Benjamin was able to pull away from the field on the green-white-checkered finish to secure the victory.

Rain washed out qualifying and Haley started on the pole. He led 42 laps before Benjamin took over.

Fellow NASCAR Next alum Jesse Little came home second, followed by Dominique Van Wieringen with her third straight top five finish. Rev Racing and NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Ruben Garcia Jr., also a NASCAR Next alum, was fifth. With Van Wieringen, from Ontario, Canada, and Mexico native Garcia, three countries were represented in the top five.

NASCAR Next drivers Harrison Burton and Tyler Dippel finished sixth and seventh respectively, followed by Riley Herbst, Chad Finley and Trey Hutchens III.

The top eight drivers were under 21.

Garcia’s Rev Racing teammate Collin Cabre, the defending race winner, finished 21st after being sidelined with a flat tire on Lap 102 while running second.

The Dover 125 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m.

Behind Haley and Benjamin, Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates Tyler Dippel and Hunter Baize finished third and fourth, respectively, in the championship standings. Noah Gragson rounded out the top five.

Haley, Benjamin and other top performers from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be honored on Saturday, Dec. 10 in Charlotte for the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards celebration. The event will be held at the NASCAR Hall of Fame at the Charlotte Convention Center for the seventh consecutive year.

RESULTS | RACE CENTRAL LIVE REPLAY

NKNPS East Dover 9/30/16 Results
K&N Pro Series East
Race: NKNPS East Dover 9/30/16
PRINTABLE FORMAT (PDF)
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 2 40 Kyle Benjamin Ranier Racing with MDM Chevrolet 126 48 5 Running
2 19 29 Jesse Little NASCAR Technical Institute Toyota 126 42 Running
3 10 30 Dominique Van Wieringen * Durobyte Ford 126 41 Running
4 1 5 Justin Haley Off Axis Paint Chevrolet 126 41 1 Running
5 11 6 Ruben Garcia Jr. * Sunoco Toyota 126 39 Running
6 8 12 Harrison Burton * DEX Imaging/Konica Minolta Toyota 126 38 Running
7 5 38 Tyler Dippel * East West Marine/TyCar Chevrolet 126 37 Running
8 18 16 Riley Herbst * NOS Energy Drink Toyota 126 36 Running
9 21 31 Chase Dowling * S&S Painting/Whelen Engineering Chevrolet 126 35 Running
10 22 43 Chad Finley Auto Value/AirLift/Northside Service Ford 126 34 Running
11 20 14 Trey Hutchens Wix Filters Chevrolet 126 33 Running
12 24 71 Eddie MacDonald Grimm Construction Chevrolet 126 32 Running
13 13 4 Ali Kern * Max Siegel, Inc. Toyota 125 31 Accident
14 14 39 Chad Finchum Reynolds Wrap Toyota 125 30 Accident
15 6 13 Hunter Baize * Bicycle Playing Cards/Pine Mountain Firelogs 122 29 Running
16 27 28 Clair Zimmerman * Huntilar Corp. Ford 120 28 Running
17 23 8 Tyler Hughes * Pink Cares Ford 119 27 Accident
18 12 42 Enrique Baca * Honda Generators Toyota 119 26 Running
19 26 21 Brandon McReynolds Kent Construction Co. Chevrolet 116 25 Electrical
20 9 49 John Holleman IV * Midway Mobile Storage Ford 111 24 Running
21 7 2 Collin Cabre UTI/NTI Toyota 102 23 Accident
22 25 7 Codie Rohrbaugh Grant County Mulch Chevrolet 81 22 Accident
23 15 44 Dillon Bassett Bassett Gutters Ford 73 21 Sway bar
24 3 55 Noah Gragson SPEEDVEGAS/AlertID/Colliers Int’l Ford 61 20 Accident
25 4 1 Spencer Davis * Gunma Toyopet Toyota 54 19 Accident
26 16 4 Ronnie Bassett, Jr. Bassett Gutters Ford 46 18 Transmission
27 17 9 Christian Celaya Clinica La Familia Ford 5 17 Exhaust

RACE STATISTICS
Fastest Qualifier: Cancelled Due to Weather,

Time of Race: 1 hrs., 20 mins, 36 secs Average Speed: 93.797 mph Margin of Victory: Under Caution

Caution Flags: Laps 33-38 (Debris on the Backstretch – FP #14); 53-56 (#2 Turn 2 – FP #43); 62-64 (#55  Frontstretch + Break- FP#4); 87-89 (#7 Backstretch – FP #4); 103-107 (#2 Turn 2 – FP #21); 120-123 (#08 Turn 4 – No FP); 126 (#4 & #39 – Frontstretch).  7 for 26 laps.

Lap Leaders: Justin Haley 1-42, Kyle Benjamin 43-126.

Total Laps Led: Kyle Benjamin 84, Justin Haley 42.  1 changes involving 2 drivers.

Top 10 Driver Points: Justin Haley 580, Kyle Benjamin 558, Tyler Dippel * 475, Hunter Baize * 463, Noah Gragson 454, Collin Cabre 447, Harrison Burton * 444, Spencer Davis * 440, Dominique Van Wieringen * 429, Ruben Garcia Jr. * 425

* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender

Sources: Brooke Franceschini, NASCAR


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