Rhodes Drives To Bowman Gray Victory Lane

NASCAR Hall Of Fame 150Ben Rhodes turned in a dominating victory in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 Saturday night in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East action at historic Bowman Gray Stadium.

Rhodes, a NASCAR Next driver from Louisville, Kentucky, became the first driver in four all-time races at The Stadium to win from the pole. He led all but one of the 152 circuits to emerge with his third victory of the season and extend his lead in the K&N Pro Series East championship standings in his first Bowman Gray start.

“My Turner Scott Motorsports team just gave me a great car today,” said the 17-year-old. “(Crew chief Mark McFarland) and I communicate really well. I didn’t know what to expect here having never been here before. It’s good to have a great team to lean on.”

Rhodes’ triumph was not without challenges, however. He had to keep his No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet out in front through 12 caution restarts – most with Gray Gaulding to his outside – on the tight quarter-mile for the hard-earned win.

“I had Gray right behind me just about the whole race,” said Rhodes. “I knew it was going to be a little tricky. I didn’t know if I was going to get moved up the track or not. If it wasn’t him, then it was going to be somebody else. That’s what this track creates.”

The final caution set up a green-white-checkered flag finish where Daniel Suárez beat Rhodes to the line to lead restart Lap 150, but Rhodes regained the advantage and held on for the checkers.

Suárez rallied from back in the pack after starting from the rear after making contact with the outside retaining wall during his qualifying run and finished as the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 runner-up.

“(Starting from the back) was pretty difficult. I think we had one of the best cars in practice, but in qualifying we had a problem with the rear brakes and hit the fence,” he said. “We had to make some repairs, so that sent us to the back for the start. We had some luck to get up to the front. So, we’ll go home with a happy face and a second-place finish.”

NASCAR Next’s Austin Hill picked up his fifth top-five finish of the season with a third-place effort. Like Rhodes, it was Hill’s first taste of The Madhouse.

“It was wild that’s for sure. We had a great car at the beginning, but it started to go away as we went on,” said the driver out of Winston, Ga. “It was bumper to bumper the whole time. I ended up a lap down at one point, but was able to get that back. Finishing third is definitely exciting, but I want to win one of these.”

Brandon Jones and Ronnie Bassett Jr. brought home the top five while the rest of the top-10 finishers Saturday night at The Stadium included Gaulding, Ryan Gifford, Kenzie Ruston, Jay Beasley and Nick Drake.

Both Gaulding and Ruston scored their second straight Bowman Gray top 10. Rev Racing’s and Drive for Diversity product Jay Beasley has strung together consecutive top 10s after a fourth-place showing at Iowa Speedway in Newton on May 17.

Rhodes’ points lead grew to 49 over Gaulding with Suarez and Cameron Hayley in third and fourth, respectively.

Earlier in the evening Rhodes set the series’ track qualifying record at Bowman Gray in recording his fourth 21 Means 21 Pole Award by Coors Brewing Company.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action on Friday, June 13 with the Pensacola 150 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, June 7 at 10:30 a.m.

RACE STATISTICS
Fastest Qualifier:
Ben Rhodes *, Time: 14.382 Seconds, Speed: 62.578 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 0 mins, 14 secs
Average Speed: 37.853 mph
Margin of Victory: .614 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 2-5 (Turn 4 – No FP); 9-12 (Turn 2 Car #21 – FP #2); 18-22 (Turn 4 – FP #21); 25-28 (Spin #24 – FP #6); 66-70 (Turn 2 Car #4 – FP #14); 78-81 (Turn 2 # 46 – FP #97); 85-89 (Turn 1 # 98 – FP #33); 94-98 (Turn 3 # 18, #14, #22 – No FP); 101-106 (Turn 1 # 24 – FP #04); 113-116 (Turn 3 #04 and #24 – FP #22); 120-124 (Turn 1 #97 – FP #04); 144-149 (Turn 2 #34 – FP #31). 12 for 57 laps.
Lap Leaders: Ben Rhodes * 1-149, Daniel Suarez 150, Ben Rhodes * 151-152.
Total Laps Led: Ben Rhodes * 151, Daniel Suarez 1. 2 changes involving 2 drivers.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East NASCAR Hall of Fame 150
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Points-Bonus Points Status
1 41 Ben Rhodes * 152 48-5 Running
2 6 Daniel Suarez 152 43-1 Running
3 22 Austin Hill * 152 41 Running
4 33 Brandon Jones 152 40 Running
5 04 Ronnie Bassett, Jr. * 152 39 Running
6 20 Gray Gaulding 152 38 Running
7 2 Ryan Gifford 152 37 Running
8 96 Kenzie Ruston 152 36 Running
9 42 Jay Beasley * 152 35 Running
10 15 Nick Drake * 152 34 Running
11 31 Kaz Grala * 151 33 Running
12 34 Scott Heckert 150 32 Running
13 21 Mackena Bell 149 31 Running
14 18 Sam Hunt 147 30 Running
15 24 Brennan Newberry 146 29 Running
16 97 Jesse Little 145 28 Running
17 14 Trey Hutchens * 145 27 Running
18 98 Cameron Hayley 122 26 Running
19 46 John Holleman IV* 76 25 Overheating
20 4 Sergio Pena 68 24 Accident

* – Rookie

K&N Pro Series East 2014 Unofficial Driver Standings after Bowman Gray (Top 10)

Pos. Driver Points Behind Starts Wins Top 5s Top 10s
1 Ben Rhodes * 298 Leaders 7 3 6 6
2 Gray Gaulding 249 -49 7 0 1 4
3 Daniel Suarez 245 -53 7 2 4 5
4 Cameron Hayley 238 -60 7 0 2 3
5 Austin Hill * 236 -62 7 0 4 5
6 Brandon Jones 235 -63 7 0 3 5
7 Nick Drake * 230 -68 7 0 3 4
8 Ronnie Bassett, Jr. * 223 -75 7 0 3 4
9 Jesse Little 219 -79 7 0 1 2
10 Kaz Grala * 215 -83 7 0 0 3

* – Rookie

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhodes wins Casey’s General Store 150 in Iowa

Bn45fA7CEAArtKKBen Rhodes turned an impressive performance Saturday night into his second NASCAR K&N Pro Series win of the season.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship points leader piloted the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet to Victory Lane at Iowa Speedway in the Casey’s General Store 150. Rhodes, 17, from Louisville, Ky., led the final 115 laps and bested the field by 2.377 seconds in the combination race between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West.

Nick Drake, 18, finished second, followed by Scott Heckert, 20. Jay Beasley and Brandon Jones were fourth and fifth, respectively. Drake, Heckert and Beasley — a member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program — all recorded career-high finishes in the showcase event.

Brennan Newberry, Daniel Suarez, Ronnie Bassett Jr., David Mayhew and Austin Hill rounded out the top 10.

Mayhew is credited with a victory as the top finishing NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver, the third time he’s accomplished that in the combination race at Iowa. It’s Mayhew’s second straight West win.

Rhodes, who won at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway in March, collected his fifth top five in six races to extend his points lead.

Brodie Kostecki, who won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award earlier in the day, wound up 33rd after being involved in an accident after losing the lead to Rhodes in traffic on Lap 36.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races next in the Armed Forces 150 at Kern County in Bakersfield, Calif., on Saturday, May 17. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to the track Saturday, May 31 with the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Casey’s General Store 150 Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Behind
1 41 Ben Rhodes* 150 Leader
2 15 Nick Drake* 150 2.377
3 34 Scott Heckert 150 4.620
4 44 Jay Beasley* 150 6.944
5 33 Brandon Jones 150 9.090
6 24 Brennan Newberry 150 11.446
7 6 Daniel Suarez 150 11.746
8 04 Ronnie Bassett Jr.* 150 13.607
9 17 David Mayhew 150 14.014
10 22 Austin Hill* 150 14.160
11 4 Sergio Peña 150 14.680
12 26 Greg Pursley 150 14.983
13 00 Cole Custer 150 15.490
14 98 Cameron Hayley 150 16.526
15 99 Patrick Staropoli* 150 17.022
16 96 Kenzie Ruston 150 21.973
17 66 James Bickford* 150 22.253
18 23 Trey Hutchens* 150 22.572
19 2 Ryan Gifford 150 23.998
20 9 Dylan Lupton 150 24.423
21 97 Jesse Little 149 1 Lap
22 11 Thomas Martin 149 1 Lap
23 54 Anthony Giannone 148 2 Laps
24 30 Luis Tyrrell* 148 2 Laps
25 20 Gray Gaulding 147 3 Laps
26 42 Taylor Cuzick 147 3 Laps
27 1 David Garbo Jr.* 145 5 Laps
28 5 Jack Sellers 145 5 Laps
29 12 Giles Thornton 144 6 Laps
30 36 John Wood 144 6 Laps
31 38 Phyl Zubizareta* 122 28 Laps
32 21 MacKenna Bell 82 68 Laps
33 43 Brodie Kostecki* 78 72 Laps
34 16 Brandon McReynolds 68 82 Laps
35 71 Eddie MacDonald 57 93 Laps
36 31 Kaz Grala* 38 112 Laps
37 84 Rich Delong III* 8 142 Laps

 * – Rookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kostecki wins his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series pole

Bn378wQCIAAIn1uThe teenage rookie from Down Under claimed the 21 Means 21 Pole Award in the Heartland.

Brodie Kostecki, 16, from Perth, Australia, won his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series pole in Saturday’s qualifying for Casey’s General Store 150 at Iowa Speedway.

Kostecki posted a lap of 23.666 seconds in his No. 43 Acroplate Toyota around the .875-mile oval for an average speed of 133.102 mph. His previous best qualifying run in eight previous series starts was fourth in the season opener at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.

It will be an all-rookie front row for the Casey’s General Store 150, which is scheduled to go green at 8 p.m. CT Saturday night.

Ben Rhodes, who had three poles in the first five NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races, qualified second at 23.812 (132.286).

Scott Heckert qualified third at 23.831 (132.181), followed by rookie Austin Hill and Cameron Hayley.

Rookie Kaz Grala was sixth in qualifying, followed by Brandon Jones, Kenzie Ruston, rookie Jay Beasley and Cole Custer. Custer, winner of last August’s race, posted the fastest lap in Saturday afternoon’s practice.

It is the 10th meeting at Iowa between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West. Rookie Patrick Staropoli was the fastest West qualifier in 15th overall.

Casey’s General Store 150 Qualifying Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Speed Best Time Behind
1 43 Brodie Kostecki* 133.102 23.666 Leader
2 41 Ben Rhodes* 132.286 23.812 -0.146
3 34 Scott Heckert 132.181 23.831 -0.165
4 22 Austin Hill* 131.954 23.872 -0.206
5 98 Cameron Hayley 131.788 23.902 -0.236
6 31 Kaz Grala* 131.595 23.937 -0.271
7 33 Brandon Jones 131.590 23.938 -0.272
8 96 Kenzie Ruston 131.475 23.959 -0.293
9 44 Jay Beasley* 131.255 23.999 -0.333
10 00 Cole Custer 131.234 24.003 -0.337
11 15 Nick Drake* 131.097 24.028 -0.362
12 97 Jesse Little 131.021 24.042 -0.376
13 04 Ronnie Bassett Jr.* 131.004 24.045 -0.379
14 6 Daniel Suarez 131.004 24.045 -0.379
15 99 Patrick Staropoli* 130.825 24.078 -0.412
16 20 Gray Gaulding 130.789 24.083 -0.417
17 21 MacKenna Bell 130.613 24.117 -0.451
18 16 Brandon McReynolds 130.554 24.128 -0.462
19 24 Brennan Newberry 130.289 24.177 -0.511
20 66 James Bickford* 129.913 24.247 -0.581
21 12 Giles Thornton 129.897 24.250 -0.584
22 9 Dylan Lupton 129.870 24.255 -0.589
23 17 David Mayhew 129.731 24.281 -0.615
24 71 Eddie MacDonald 129.720 24.283 -0.617
25 23 Trey Hutchens* 129.651 24.296 -0.630
26 1 David Garbo Jr.* 129.608 24.304 -0.638
27 26 Greg Pursley 129.411 24.341 -0.675
28 42 Taylor Cuzick 129.411 24.341 -0.675
29 4 Sergio Peña 128.419 24.529 -0.863
30 11 Thomas Martin 126.598 24.882 -1.216
31 54 Anthony Giannone 125.799 25.040 -1.374
32 38 Phyl Zubizareta* 125.553 25.089 -1.423
33 30 Luis Tyrrell* 125.553 25.089 -1.423
34 5 Jack Sellers 124.153 25.372 -1.706
35 36 John Wood 120.810 26.074 -2.408
36 84 Rich Delong III* 115.579 27.254 -3.588

* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate