Archive for the 'NASCAR K&N Pro Series East' Category Page 2 of 12



K&N Pro Series East News & Notes: Dover

Custer Brings Momentum With Him To Dover

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Cole Custer is on cloud nine following his first win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the UNOH 175 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and the 16-year-old NASCAR Next driver will be focused on a strong showing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Drive Sober 150 event at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Sept. 26.

Custer, from Ladera Ranch, California, has four NASCAR K&N Pro Series wins, four poles, eight top fives and 10 top 10s through his first 22 career starts, including a K&N Pro West win in the Talking Sticks Resort 75 at Phoenix International Raceway on Feb. 27, and a K&N Pro East victory in the Blue Ox 150 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26.

He’ll also be looking for a little vindication at Dover. 

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LaJoie to Make Sprint Cup Debut at NHMS

Grandson of NEAR Hall of Famer Seeking Additional Opportunities 

LOUDON, NH — Richard Petty Motorsports development driver Corey LaJoie of Concord, NC will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series today at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He will drive the No. 77 Fochler Veterans Law/Valor4Vets.com Ford for Randy Humphrey Racing in the Sylvania 300.

“They were kind of looking to invest in a young driver and I guess I was at the top of their list,” LaJoie said. “I definitely have a lot to learn in this deal. This is kind of like jumping in the deep end with both feet here.”

He did not have the benefit of testing ahead of the race, just practice since Friday. LaJoie admitted that he is not used to the feel of the radial tires, including the lateral load (compared to bias ply run in other series). LaJoie called wrestling the 900 horsepower car “a task in itself.”

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Anderson Bowen to Make NASCAR K&N Start at Dover with Venturini Motorsports

Concord, NC (September 17, 2014) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) announced today that 16-year old Anderson Bowen will make his sixth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) start Friday, September 26 at Dover International Speedway – “Drive Sober 150” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety behind the wheel of the No.25 Copper Creek Hardware/VMS Toyota Camry.

“Dover is going to be big! It’s always exciting to race alongside NASCAR in a companion weekend event,” says Bowen. “My goal is to compete strong, run all the laps and get out of their with a solid qualifying and top-10 finish. Running with Venturini Motorsports gives me added confidence; they’re always prepared and have proven themselves as one of the best development deals around.”

Bowen, a native of Suwanne, Georgia has been busy over the last few seasons splitting his time between a variety of national and regional touring series including the NKNPSE, ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards (ARCA) with Cunningham Motorsports, and the ARCA/CRA Series powered by JEGS and the Southern Super Series with his own team, Anderson Bowen Racing (ABR).

Continue reading ‘Anderson Bowen to Make NASCAR K&N Start at Dover with Venturini Motorsports’

Rhodes Earns Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Captures NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Honor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Ben Rhodes can add one more piece of hardware to his impressive 2014 season.

The Louiville, Kentucky, native, has clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title by virtue of holding a 36-point lead headining into the final event of the season, the Drive Sober 150 at Dover (Delaware) International Speedway on Sept. 26. On Sept. 6 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina, Rhodes wrapped up the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship for Turner Scott Motorsports,

The 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver is now among the company of Ricky Craven, Andy Santerre, Brad Leighton, Joey Logano, Ryan Truex and Kyle Larson – all K&N Pro Series East champions – who have won the prestigious Rookie of the Year Award, which has been handed out each year since 1988.

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Rhodes Captures 1st K&N Pro East Crown

Hill Takes Kevin Whitaker 140 Checkered Flag At Greenville

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Ben Rhodes entered the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 needing to finish at least 13th to clinch his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East crown, he did nine spots better.

The 17-year-old Louisville, Kentucky, native earned his 11th top-five finish of the season, crossing the Greenville Pickens Speedway finish line fourth and clinching his first series title in the process. Fellow NASCAR Next driver Austin Hill earned his first victory of the season and second of his career.

“It means a lot to see this year to come together like it has,” said Rhodes. “This is what we set out to do in the beginning of the year.

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QUALIFYING: Rhodes Takes Sixth Pole

Looks To Repeat History At Greenville

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Ben Rhodes, looking to sweep the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races at Greenville Pickens Speedway, will start Saturday’s Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 on the pole.

Rhodes earned his sixth 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co., posting a fast lap of 20.742 seconds (86.780 mph) in afternoon qualifying.

The 17-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, also had the fastest overall time in practice. Rhodes needs only to finish 13th or better in the race to clinch the series championship.

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PRACTICE: Rhodes Posts Fastest Laps at Greenville

Sets Sight On K&N East Title

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Ben Rhodes is picking up right where he left off.

Rhodes, who won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville Pickens Speedway earlier this year, posted the fastest time in practice at the half-mile oval Saturday afternoon.

The 17-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, had a fast time of 20.900 seconds (86.124 mph) in the first 45-minute practice for the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140. Rhodes needs only to finish 13th or better in the race to clinch his first series championship. 

Austin Hill was the second fastest in the first practice with a time of 21.202 (84.898 mph) and Gray Gaulding followed in third with a time of 21.224 (84.810 mph).

Continue reading ‘PRACTICE: Rhodes Posts Fastest Laps at Greenville’

Hayley Aspires for K&N East Breakthrough, Truck Ride

Cameron Hayley of Calgary finished eleventh in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, ONT on Sunday. He qualified tenth in the No. 32 Cabinets by Hayley Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports, and ran solid throughout the day.

“I knew it was going to be tough coming in, and I think we did well,” Hayley said. “I qualified in the top 10, which was our goal, and felt that I could do a little bit better in the race. But we were up to seventh at one point I believe and just kept rallying back and the cautions never really worked out in our favor, but we were really happy with the day and just learned a ton.”

“It was crazy how fast the track was and there really was no slow section,” Hayley said of the 2.46 mile track. “Most of the time on a road course, you use all four gears and spend most of your time in second around these tighter road courses and this track you spent most of your time in third and fourth, which shows how quick the track was and it was definitely the fastest one I’ve ever been on.”

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Rhodes Scholar: Grading On A Curve

Closing On NASCAR Title, Louisville Teen Always Learning
It’s a little after 5 p.m. on a Thursday, and Ben Rhodes is on his way home from school.

He casually explains that he is mentally psyching himself up to knock out a few hours of make-up work because he missed several classes over the past week. The extra work isn’t a punishment for misbehaving in class or for extra credit. But while his peers were going over last night’s algebra homework, Rhodes was doing what he loves most – racing on the track.

In A Clinch
If Rhodes finishes P13 or better Saturday, then he clinches the title

Rhodes competed in his first race at 7 years old.

The results weren’t pretty.

“I was not good,” he admits between laughs. “My parents bought this go-kart to run. I watched my older brother drive and decided I wanted to be a part of it too. I went out (to Sportsdrome-Speedway), went several laps down and was run over by the leader. I wanted to quit but was too scared to tell my dad because he just bought this go-kart, so I gave it another week and started to like it. Ever since then it’s been what I’ve loved.”

TWITTER: @benrhodes | VIDEO: LEGENDS OF NASCAR: Who Will Be Next?

Fast forward to 2014.

The 17-year-old NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver has made a name for himself after capturing his first checkered flag at Greenville Pickens Speedway in March. He kept the winning streak going at Iowa Speedway and the famed Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in May and then carried the streak into June with wins at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, and Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia.

There’s no arguing that the Louisville, Kentucky native has had an explosive season, which he attributes to his determination to learn and improve.

“I stayed the entire summer in Mooresville, North Carolina and was in the shop every day with my team,” he said. “I was there as long as they were, from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day working on the cars. It’s definitely made me a better racer. I understand the car more and my feedback [to my team on the track] is way better than when I started the summer.”

When he isn’t studying to maintain an impressive 4.0 grade point average or building up his cardio in a cross fit session, Rhodes kicks up his feet in front of the TV like any normal teenager, catching up on episodes of Family Guy or playing video games. His favorite is Battlefield 4. He spent Labor Day weekend in-door rock climbing with friends and wants to take up cycling once he finds a buddy to ride with. He read 1984 this summer as required by school, chews gum in class and watches James Bond movies with his dad.

While he indulges all of the pleasures of your typical high school senior, this NASCAR Next competitor’s mind is fixed on racing. 

“I don’t look at the short-term,” he said when describing how he mentally prepares for a race. “I do what I can do [on the track] and try not to worry about anything else. I focus on my line and my groove. Last year, I never really qualified too well because I was so worried about getting a spot up front. I started taking the pressure off of myself. Do your best and forget the rest. Ever since then, I’ve had very good qualifying positions.”

With a lofty 65-point-lead over second-place Cameron Hayley, it’s understandable that Rhodes isn’t too worried about numbers heading into the Greenville 140.

“Midway through the year, we needed to step back and just maintain our points lead,” said Rhodes. “Now, there’s no holding back. We’ve got a nice points gap and I think Greenville Pickens is going to be a great race for us. I’ve always had a good history at that track and I feel like we’ve got a good shot to win the race and we’re going to take the chance.”

Sources: Amaris Noble, NASCAR PR

Continue reading ‘Rhodes Scholar: Grading On A Curve’

K&N East Statistical Advance: Greenville

Analyzing The The Whitaker Chevy 140

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East returns to Greenville (South Carolina) Pickens Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 6 for the Whitaker Chevy 140, the season’s 15th of 16 events. Below is a look at the performance of the series and selected drivers at Greenville, as well as some other statistical trends:

Greenville Race Setup
• Ben Rhodes can clinch the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title with a 13th-place finish or better in The Whitaker Chevy 140. Rhodes currently has a 65-point advantage over Cameron Hayley in the championship standings.

• Ben Rhodes and Sergio Peña are part of an impressive list of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East winners at Greenville that includes Austin Dillon, Dylan Kwasniewski, Joey Logano and Darrell Wallace Jr., who is the only multi-time series winner at the track.
• Scott Heckert enters the weekend with two consecutive wins in the K&N Pro Series East. He is the third driver this season to have a streak of back-to-back wins, joining Daniel Daniel Suárez and Turner Scott Motorsport teammate Ben Rhodes.
• Track position is critical in short-track racing, and Greenville is no exception. The average starting position for the 12 race winners is 2.99.

Greenville Pickens Speedway
History
• Opened on July 4, 1946 as a dirt track. The race surface was converted to asphalt in April, 1970.
• Held 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1951-71, including the first flag-to-flag televised event.
• David Pearson (1959) and Ralph Earnhardt (1965, 66) are among the famed drivers that have won championships at the track.
• Junior Miller won a pair of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races at Greenville in the 2006-07 seasons.

Continue reading ‘K&N East Statistical Advance: Greenville’

NASCAR Formalizes On-Track Incident Procedure for Competitors

Rule Enhances Sport’s Ongoing Safety Efforts

Daytona Beach, Fla. (Aug. 15, 2014) — In its continued efforts to evolve the safety of its sport, NASCAR announced Friday that it will add a rule that addresses on-track incidents as part of its race procedures. The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be an addendum to the NASCAR rule book and will apply to all of its racing series, effective immediately.

Section 9-16 On-Track Incident Procedure

During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on-track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:

  • Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
  • Do not loosen , disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
  • After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
  • At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
  • At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle

All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.

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Little Eager for Nascar K&N Pro Series Stop at Virginia International Raceway

SHERRILLS FORD, North Carolina (August 13, 2014) — After posting a top-5 finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East’s first road course race of the season, held last weekend at Watkins Glen International Raceway, reigning Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Jesse Little, heads into this weekend’s race at Virginia International Raceway with confidence on his side.

Little, who had to start at the rear of the field at Watkins Glen due to adjustments made to the car after qualifying, charged through the field to post one of the strongest runs of the race.

“We had a great NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet at Watkins Glen and showed we’re capable of chasing a win at the road courses,” Little said. “Going into this weekend’s Biscuitville 125 at Virginia International Raceway we’re planning to unload a similar set-up to last week and then take it to the front again.”
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Jones Finally Gets First Victory

11th Different K&N Pro Winner at Iowa

NEWTON, Iowa — Brandon Jones kept the trend of new winners at Iowa Speedway going.

The 17-year-old driver from Atlanta, George, picked up his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series win Friday night in the Autolite Iridium XP 150. He is the 11th different winner in 11 meetings at Iowa between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West.

Jones joins a list which includes Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Corey LaJoie of drivers who won at Iowa during their rise up the NASCAR ranks.

It was Jones’ 20th career K&N Pro start. His 2014 already included a third-place run in the K&N Pro East opener at New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway and a runner-up at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. He was also in contention for the win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when his last-lap attempt to pass for the lead also collected Nick Drake and opened the door for Jesse Little to grab the victory.

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QUALIFYING: Little Leads Pack at Iowa

Captures First Career K&N Pro Series Pole

NEWTON, Iowa — With 43 cars on the starting grid for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series combination race at Iowa Speedway, track position will be at a premium.

Jesse Little made sure he’d have no issues with traffic at the race start, capturing the 21 Means 21 Pole Award Friday evening in advance of the Autolite Iridium XP 150.

Little posted a fast lap of 23.883 seconds (131.893 mph) around the .875-mile banked oval in his No. 97 Get to Know Newton Chevrolet to win his first pole award in the K&N Pro Series. The second-generation driver scored his first K&N Pro Series win in the Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Speedway on July 11.

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PRACTICE: Kostecki Fast at Iowa

Aussie Teen and BMR Teammates Top Speed Charts

NEWTON, Iowa — Sixteen-year-old Brodie Kostecki knows the fast way around Iowa Speedway.

Two and a half months after winning the pole at the .875-mile banked oval, the Australian driver posted the fastest lap in practice for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series return Friday.

Friday night’s Autolite Iridium 150 is the second of two combination races this season at Iowa Speedway between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West.
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Berry to Make Nationwide Debut at Iowa

Josh Berry of Hendersonville, TN will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway Saturday night. He will drive the #5 Tackle Grab Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. Berry tested a Nationwide car on July 14 at Motor Mile.

The #5 team has a 6.8 average finish in 13 starts, including three wins, nine top fives and 10 top 10s. Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick have scored wins at Richmond, Kentucky and Daytona. Rookie Austin Theriault has made two of his three scheduled starts, with a best finish of fifteenth at Iowa in May.

A Late Model driver for JR Motorsports since 2010, Berry’s became eligible for Nationwide competition after  two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts. Berry drove the Speedco #45 at Greenville Pickens and Richmond for Darin Odle Motorsports.

“I’ve been very fortunate the past few years to have them supporting my career and wanting me to move up.”

“For our first showing, I felt like it went pretty well,” Berry said of his March 22 debut. “We were pretty quick, qualified fifth, and had a solid run going until getting caught up in some trouble at the end.”

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The Racing Scholar: The Next Opportunity Awaits Staropoli

Patrick Staropoli, 24, of Plantation, FL is hunting for a new ride. The inaugural Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge winner finished fifth in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut at Spokane for Bill McAnally Racing. The attention and the feel-good story should have ended there.

“It kind of eats at you, but at the same time I got a lot of confirmation this year that I belong there and that I can run there,” Staropoli said. “…  I know that if I get that right opportunity again that I can go out there and get it done.”

A third generation driver, Staropoli’s grandfather drove midgets in the 1940s and 50s at places like Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY and Wall Stadium in Belmar, NJ. The family relocated to Florida, where Staropoli’s father Nick raced Street Stocks and Late Models. His father raced “religiously” at Hialeah in the 1980s and 90s, before touring in the 90s for a few years. Patrick was at his first race at six months old, watching his dad.

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NEAR Announces 2014 Hall of Fame Class

Drivers Deke Astle, Jim Martel, Mike Rowe, Fred Schulz, Ron Wyckoff, drag racing icon Bob Tasca, historian R.A. Silvia and car builder/mechanic Dave Tourigny make up the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s class of 2014.

They, along with the still to be announced pioneer class, will be inducted at NEAR’s 16th Hall of Fame banquet  Sunday, Nov. 16th, at The Lodge at Maneeley’s  in South Windsor, CT.

Banquet ticket information will be announced shortly and will be posted on the New England’s Antique Racers’ website (NEAR1.org) in the near future.

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Pena Back in Victory Lane

Drive For Diversity Driver Scores K&N Pro East Win At Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sergio Pena found his way back to Victory Lane.

The 21-year-old from Winchester, Va., held off the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East field following a late caution at Columbus Motor Speedway to win the JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota.

It is the third win of the season for Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. It is also the third win in four years for Rev Racing at Columbus, following wins by Darrell Wallace Jr. (2011) and Daniel Suarez (2013).

It is Pena’s fourth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win and first since 2011, when he won three times.

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QUALIFYING: Heckert Earns 2nd Pole

Takes Top Spot For K&N Pro East At Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Scott Heckert won his second 21 Means 21 Pole Award in the last three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races Saturday at Columbus Motor Speedway.

He paced the historic half-mile in 14.288 seconds (83.903 mph) in hi sNo. 34 Project Lifesaver Chevrolet.

The 20-year-old from Ridgefield, Conn., also won the pole at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.

Rookie Nick Drake qualified second at 14.370 (83.424).

Ryan Gifford qualified third at 14.450 (82.962) just ahead of his Rev Racing teammate Sergio Pena. Rev Racing has won two of the three NASCAR K&N Pro East races run at Columbus.

Jesse Little, who is coming off his first NASCAR win last week at New Hampshire Motor Speeedway, rounded out the top five qualifiers.

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PRACTICE: Heckert Tops Columbus Field

Three Rookies Make Up Top Five

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scott Heckert led the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East field Saturday afternoon in practice for the JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota at Columbus Motor Speedway.

Heckert had a lap of 14.228 seconds during the second practice session around the .333-mile oval for an average speed of 84.256.

Rookie Kaz Grala was second fastest at 14.440 (83.019). Gray Gaulding was third, followed by points leader Ben Rhodes in fourth and Austin Hill in fifth. 

Rev Racing’s Sergio Pena was sixth, followed by Nick Drake, Brandon Jones, Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Brandon Oakley. 

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K&N Pro Series East Stat Advance: Columbus

Analyzing The JEGS 150 At Columbus Motor Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action with the JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota on Saturday, July 19 at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the series and selected drivers:

Columbus Race Setup:
• Ben Rhodes brings the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season points lead to Columbus Motor Speedway with five wins through the season’s first 10 events.

• Jesse Little won his first career series event in the Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway the last time out. The 16-year-old is ranked fourth in the championship standings.
• Daniel Suárez has one win and two top fives in three events at Columbus, the active leader among drivers entered in the event.

Continue reading ‘K&N Pro Series East Stat Advance: Columbus’

Car No. 2 K&N Pro Series East Team Penalized for Rules Violations at New Hampshire

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR announced today the No. 2 team that competes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has been penalized as a result of rules violations committed Friday, July 11 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

The team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4.9 (involved in an altercation with another Competitor on pit road after the conclusion of the race) of the 2014 NASCAR rule book. The violations constitute a penalty level of behavioral in the NASCAR Deterrence System.

Ryan Gifford, driver of the No. 2, has been fined $1,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the fine is paid. He has also been placed on NASCAR probation until December 31, 2014. 

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Kostecki Scores Top-10 Finish in Return to K&N East Action

Fully Recovered From Injury, 16-Year-Old Looks to Keep Up Momentum at Columbus

Mooresville, NC –Over the course of the two-month break Brodie Kostecki took while recuperating from a wrist injury, the 16-year-old envisioned putting on a strong showing with his Arcoplate No. 43 Toyota when he was able to get back behind the wheel.  When he finally did make his return to the seat on Friday, July 11 at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, those weeks of strategizing a strong run paid off with a solid ninth-place finish.

Kostecki’s practice and qualifying efforts on Thursday, July 10 were his first competitive laps since his injury following the May 17 K&N race at Iowa Speedway.  While it took some time to knock the rust off, Kostecki left New Hampshire pleased with his third top-10 finish of his rookie season.

“It was great getting back behind the wheel and bringing home a top-10 finish for the Arcoplate team,” said Kostecki.  “I was just getting back up to speed and getting the comfort back.  In that first practice, I just tried to get up to speed slowly to make sure everything was okay physically.  We had a spring failure that kept us from the qualifying run that we wanted, but we made a few pit stops in the first half of the race.

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K&N Pro Series East News & Notes: Columbus

Suárez Returns To Scene Of First Series Victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season has been one of mixed results for Daniel Suárez.

The Monterrey, Mexico, native began the season the same way he ended 2013, hot. His wins in the first two events of 2014 marked his sixth and seventh top-three finishes in nine NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races dating back to last year.  In Suárez’s subsequent eight events, the driver has recorded two top fives and four top 10s, but has also registered four DNFs. He hopes a trip to Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway is what he needs to get back on the right track for the remainder of the season.

He entered this event weekend in 2013 in a similar state, a first half with mixed results. Through his first seven races, Suárez had one top five and three top 10s, and two races outside of the top 20. Once the race started, however, all his early season struggles seemed to disappear. Suárez took the lead on lap 66 and led the final 88 laps for his first career K&N Pro Series East victory.

Continue reading ‘K&N Pro Series East News & Notes: Columbus’

Eddie MacDonald Finishes Second at NHMS

LOUDON, NH — Eddie MacDonald almost won his fourth career K&N Pro Series East race in the Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday night securing second place in a spectacular last lap duel that had the fans on their feet. The 100 lap event had three and four wide racing in turn one on the “Magic Mile” that most would agree is nearly impossible to achieve.

“That was a crazy race over the second half of the race right to the last lap,” said the Rowley, Mass. veteran. “I think the fans saw an exciting race with the winner not decided until the last turn of the last lap. On the last restart my spotter Logger (Dave Ricker) said I was on the bottom of four wide going into turn one and they were three wide behind us. The incredible thing is, no one wrecked. We are very happy with the second place finish since it looked like we were headed for a fourth place finish.”

The Exit Realty/Grimm Construction Chevy qualified ninth on Thursday afternoon with Eddie Mac saying, “We were happy starting ninth because we just finished rebuilding the car with the finishing touches completed on Wednesday night. Last Thursday the bare chassis sat on the shop floor so everyone worked very hard to get the car done on time and I am very thankful for everyone’s fantastic effort. We also had Exit Realty come aboard for this race and I thank Derek Beatrice for helping us out. A lot of Exit Realty folks were there to support us and I think they all left happy.”

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Little in Perfect Position for First Win

Avoids Wreck To Take K&N Pro East Checkers At New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. — Third-place was the perfect position for Jesse Little on the white flag lap at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday. The end result was him standing in Victory Lane with his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win.

The 17-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, drove around the two wrecking leaders in Turn 3 en route to winning the Granite State 100. The NASCAR Next driver and 2013 K&N Pro East Sunoco Rookie of the Year was making his 33rd K&N Pro start.

“The celebration was one I will never forget,” said Little. “It was truly amazing. And to do it on my mom’s birthday, too – it’s an amazing birthday present that I can hand her that trophy.

“It’s one I’ll never forget.”

Continue reading ‘Little in Perfect Position for First Win’

QUALIFYING: Rhodes Nets 5th Pole

Record Run At New Hampshire For K&N Pro East Leader

LOUDON, N.H. – Ben Rhodes has repeatedly been asked if the opportunity to tie the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East record for consecutive wins this week is becoming a distraction.

Based on his track-record performance in capturing the pole for Friday’s Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, it’s clear the 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver isn’t suffering from the attention.

“I just do my best and forget the rest,” Rhodes said after posting a fast lap of 128.580 mph (29.622 second) around the 1.058-mile oval. A victory in Friday’s race would let Rhodes tie Ricky Craven’s 23-year-old record of five straight series wins.

Continue reading ‘QUALIFYING: Rhodes Nets 5th Pole’

PRACTICE: Rhodes Still Leads Way

K&N Pro East Points Leader Tops Charts At New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H. — Ben Rhodes began his quest for a record-tying fifth consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series  East win with a dominant performance in the final practice session Thursda in adavnce of Friday’s Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The 17-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, had a lap of 29.489 seconds (129.160 mph) in his No. 41 Alpha Engery Solutions Chevrolet around the 1.058-mile oval.

Matt Tifft was second fastest at 29.811 (127.765), followed by Rhodes’ Turner Scott Motorsports teammate Cameron Hayley at 29.848 (127.607).

Jesse Little and Scott Heckert rounded out the top five.

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Grala Has Momentum Heading into NHMS

Seat Time Paying Off For 15-Year-Old TSM Driver

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Kaz Grala is hoping that his recent on-track success will give him momentum heading into Friday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Grala, 15, is in his first year competing in the K&N Pro Series East, running the No. 31 NETTTS Chevrolet Impala for Turner Scott Motorsports in the upcoming Granite State 100. After opening the season with a pair of top-10 finishes in New Smyrna (Florida) and Daytona Beach, the youngest driver on the circuit had only one top 10 in his next six events.  Grala’s season might be turning around after recording his first top-five finish with the series on June 21 in the Visit Hampton VA 175 from Langley (Virginia) Speedway.

“It was my best career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East finish,” said Grala about his fifth place effort at Langley. “With five laps to go, I was in the eighth position for a restart. I fought my way past three more cars on the outside with a photo finish for fifth place.”

Continue reading ‘Grala Has Momentum Heading into NHMS’