We May See ‘Calmer’ Kurt Busch If Competitive Runs Are Routine

Kurt Busch may have a volatile personality but this season with Furniture Row Racing he has given signs that he, and his team, can indeed become routinely competitive.

OK, we all know how Kurt Busch can be.

Petulant, arrogant, crass, rude – take your pick. We’ve seen ‘em all.

But there is also this: The older Busch brother may have something of an erratic personality, but there is doubt whatsoever that he can flat-out drive a race car.

He has 24 career wins and, while driving for Roush Fenway racing, he won the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

After a rather rancorous split with Roush – “We are through being Kurt Busch’s apologists” – Busch joined Penske Racing, where he won 10 races over six seasons.

When Busch’s tenure with Penske ended, for whatever reasons, the driver from Las Vegas found work with team owner James Finch in 2012.

Finch, a veteran team owner who has always had to deal with lesser funding, felt Busch had enough experience and savvy to give his organization a competitive jolt.

For his part Busch said he was pleased to be with Finch because he was working hand-in-hand, and alongside, Finch’s team members.

But in 29 races Busch compiled just three finishes among the top 10 and had a whopping six DNFs.

And Busch, not accustomed to such mediocre performances became, well, the same ol’ Busch.

Late in the season it all boiled over. Finch and Busch split. Let’s say it ended badly.

Busch won the pole position for the Bojangle’s Southern 500 at Darlington, his first pole of the season and the first for Front Row Racing since 2008.

For the last six races of the 2012 season, Busch raced with Barney Visser and his Furniture Row Racing team, again an under-financed operation.

But the organization had one glowing accomplishment: With driver Regan Smith it won the 2011 Bojangle’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, one of NASCAR most prestigious races and one every driver wants to win.

Busch’s fortunes changed for the better with Furniture Row. He finished among the top 10 three times in six races.

Perhaps that was a sign that he could be competitive again, even with a one-car operation.

This season we’ve seen more evidence of that. No, Busch hasn’t emerged as a victory contender from week to week, but he has enjoyed marked improvement.

And people have taken notice.

In12 starts, Busch has had four finishes among the top 10 – three of them in the top five. The last time Busch had three or more top-five finishes was in 2010.

Furniture Row Racing has had only three top-five finishes in its nine-year existence.

So it appears obvious that something is clicking in 2013.

“It’s been a nice combination of really working hard and then testing a lot,” Busch said. “We tested every other week in the month of May so the month of June will be nice to not have to go to the other tracks during the week.

“That way we can get caught up with things and really review and get more intense with the debriefs.

“It was great though, the month of May at Charlotte, with a couple top-fives and now we jump into the summer stretch.”

Perhaps it was in grueling Coca-Cola 600 that Busch and Furniture Row were at their best.

Busch ran constantly in the top five until a battery problem forced him to be pushed onto pit road and seemingly out of contention.

But he wasn’t. He came roaring back and finished third, his best showing of the year.

“We bounced back, not dropping off the lead lap, changing a battery and came back to finish third,” Busch said. “That’s how you soldier back from it.

“We had a cable plug issue. It wasn’t necessarily a dead battery, it was a plug and a wiring snafu.

“It was something that shouldn’t have bit any team out here at the Cup level and it wasn’t like it fell through our system, it was just one in a million type chance.

“It was kind of like the regulator at Texas for us where we had it crack and we had a fuel leak.”

Busch finished 37th at Texas, his season low which matched his Martinsville run, where he was involved in an accident.

While Busch feels optimism at this point in the season, he said it’s what lies ahead that will test his team’s mettle.

“I read that it’s only 14 races until the Chase cutoff, which is hard to believe,” said Busch, who is 18th in points. “It’s like, wait a minute the season was just getting started, but at the same time here we are, it’s June 1 and away we go.

“The next few races will be tough for us. Where we struggled was the tracks with fresh asphalt like Kansas and Vegas and that’s what we have with Pocono and Michigan coming up after Dover. We’ll see how that shakes out.”

Certainly a decent run at Dover will mean a good start to the imposing summer stretch. However, last season Busch finished 24th and 23rd in the speedway’s two races.

He has fared much better. He was a Dover winner in the fall of 2011 while with Penske.

Busch qualified 13th for this weekend’s FedEx 400 at the one-mile track.

“The toughest part about racing Dover is just when the track rubbers in and you’re out there for 350 laps and that last 50 you haven’t simulated that in practice whatsoever,” Busch said. “And that is when the track gets rubbered in.

“You’re out there slip-sliding around and you have to be dialed in for that last 50 laps.

“It’s hard to predict what setup you need exactly for that and I’ve only found it one time. I’ve only got one win here.”

Even though it’s only slight, Busch and Furniture Row have offered evidence that they can win. But what will that take?

“Just those last 50 laps,” Busch said. “It’s like football in the fourth quarter or like basketball in the fourth quarter, baseball right after the seventh inning stretch and everybody changes the way they run.

“I’m a guy that runs intense every lap and so I was just trying to carry that banner of keeping it real, racing hard, racing every lap and giving it my 100 percent every lap.”

If things go wrong when Busch gives it his all, well, he can be expected to be upset and have his temper tested. He may get a little provoked – and we’ll know it.

But if he and Furniture Row continue to be competitive through what will be a tough summer season for them, things could be a whole more sedate.

Success does have a way of calming the savage beast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monster Bites – Fantasy Insight Dover

Clint Bowyer

Racing at the “Monster Mile” can try a driver’s patience. You can be cruising along with a five-second lead but then a wreck in lapped traffic can end your day. Ask Mark Martin all about that sort of scenario. So handicapping a race at the “Monster Mile” is tough because bad things can happen to high rated drivers. Sometimes you have to go beyond the numbers to see who might have a golden horseshoe in their possession for good luck.

One part of the ratings equation that does come in handy here is the Consistency Factor. As weird as it sounds, guys seldom have two bad races in a row unless they are in a downtrend of performance. So analyzing the Consistency factor gives us an idea of the guys that are not at the top of their game and quite often those are the guys the “Monster” bites.

Good luck with your fantasy racing picks this week and don’t forget to send in your pick for “Whiteboard Fantasy Racing” this week for Dover.

Send in your pick to win this week’s Cup race to dennis@racetalkradio.com for a chance to win a copy of the National Speedway Directory from SpeedwaysOnline.com.

Help Kris Martin Become NASCAR’s First Deaf Racer

Kris Martin was born to race!

Kris is following in his grandfather’s footsteps and is trying to race his way all the way to NASCAR. But Kris was born profoundly Deaf. Technology helps Kris hear his Crew Chief and Spotter so he can race safely but sponsors are not willing to take a chance on him…yet. Your help in funding his racing this season can help Kris show sponsors he will be an excellent representative for them all the way to NASCAR. I am working with Kris Martin Racing and his family to help them make this dream come true.

http://igg.me/at/krismartinracing/x/2900200

Weather Report

Partly cloudy, warm and humid with a high near 87F

If you have a question about Fantasy Racing send it to dennis@racetalkradio.com and get it answered next week. 

NASCAR by the Numbers

Using a proprietary race analysis technique we take the fans inside the numbers every week. DMIC’s rating system has been in use since 2002 and has proven to pick the contenders from the pretenders.

Consistency is King (Last Five Races)

Denny Hamlin

 

Driver

Last 5

M Kenseth

94

C Bowyer

91

C Edwards

91

J Johnson

91

K Harvick

90

M Truex

90

J Gordon

86

D Hamlin

86

Ku Busch

86

K Kahne

86 

Horses for Courses (Track Rating)

Driver

Course

J Johnson

95

C Edwards

91

K Harvick

91

J Gordon

90

Ky Busch

90

M Martin

90

D Hamlin

89

M Kenseth

88

J Logano

88

C Bowyer

87 

Type Casting (Track Type Factor)

Driver

Type

C Bowyer

94

J Johnson

92

M Truex

92

B Keselowski

91

D Earnhardt Jr

90

K Harvick

89

J Logano

88

K Kahne

87

M Martin

87

P Menard

86

Power Rating (240 Minimum to Qualify as Contender)

Driver

Power

J Johnson

278

C Bowyer

272

K Harvick

270

M Truex

265

M Kenseth

264

C Edwards

262

J Gordon

261

D Hamlin

261

J Logano

258

K Kahne

258

D Earnhardt Jr

256

M Martin

255

B Keselowski

254

P Menard

254

Ku Busch

252

R Newman

252

Ky Busch

251

A Almirola

249

J Burton

247

J McMurray

246

G Biffle

246

M Ambrose

245

R Smith

243

T Stewart

239

JP Montoya

239

B Labonte

233

D Ragan

229

D Gilliland

226

C Mears

220

T Kvapil

218

D Blaney

216

Kyle Busch

DMIC’s Fantasy Picks presented by Speedwaysonline.com

Each week we will take you beyond the numbers to handicap the field from top to bottom to help your Fantasy Racing team succeed. You are also invited to join Lori Munro and I on “White Board Fantasy Racing” every Monday night on “Doin’ Donuts” at 8pm ET on RaceTalkRadio.com. Win fun prizes by picking just the race winners in our unique format. Send your picks to info@racetalkradio.com to enter. 

Top Pick (Last Week Finished 22nd)

Denny Hamlin- Sure seems healthy enough to battle the Monster 

Best Long Shot (Odds of 20-1 or More) (Last Week Finished 5th)    

Joey Logano- 35 to 1 is a great price for the kid

Top Dogs (Group A in Yahoo) (Last Week Finished 15th)    

Matt Kenseth- As Lori Munro said on RTR this week he is the new Jimmie Johnson

Second Class (Group B in Yahoo) (Last Week Won Pole and Finished 31st)        

Kyle Busch- Seems to attack this type of track but can he keep from getting bitten?

Middle Packer (Group C in Yahoo) (Last Week Finished 14th)  

Austin Dillon- Good week to use a part timer

Crazy 8s for Dover

Each week Lori Munro and Dennis Michelsen battle in the most unique racing game around! We pick one driver each from each 8 driver group using the current points’ standings. Our picks can help you round out your fantasy racing lineup!

Dennis won 3-2 in week 12 and Lori leads the game 8-4 for the year

Group 1: Dennis picks Jimmie Johnson and Lori picks Clint Bowyer

Group 2: Lori picks Kyle Busch and Dennis picks Brad Keselowski

Group 3: Dennis picks Denny Hamlin and Lori picks Joey Logano

Group 4: Lori picks Mark Martin and Dennis picks Casey Mears

Group 5: Dennis picks David Reutimann and Lori picks Austin Dillon

Do you have what it takes to handicap the races? Join Lori and Dennis every week and play in the Whiteboard Fantasy Racing Series! Send your pick for the Cup race to info@racetalkradio.com to enter. Weekly prize given away! 

Kemmit Leads At Colorado National

Kemmit Leads At Colorado National

NASCAR Finalist Division II Driver Defends Track Titles

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Lee Kemmit can be responsible for up to 1,400 vehicles, often trucking hundreds of them from venue to venue in loads of 150.

His favorite vehicle, however, is the 2013 Chevy Camaro SS NASCAR Late Model he races on Saturday nights at Colorado National Speedway in Dacono, Colo. Kemmit is the division’s reining two-time track champion.

The speedway’s Par A Dice Interior Finishes Late Models were formerly known as the Sportsman, and are designated as NASCAR Finalist Division II. Kemmit placed as high as fifth in final Division II standings in 2011. He leads the current track point standings with a win and top-five finishes in three starts. He’s 75th in NASCAR Finalist Division II Top 100 this week.

ASPHALT STANDINGS | DIRT STANDINGS

All those other vehicles scatted all over the western United States are golf cars. Kemmit operates GTI Golf Cars. The company was founded by Kemmit’s father Russ, who passed away in April. Today the company is one of America’s largest golf car rental companies. GTI provides fleet rentals for major sporting events throughout the western U.S., including venues that host major league NASCAR racing. GTI can rent up to 700 cars for a single event and provides an on-site service department. The company’s two bases of operations include golf car dealerships and service centers. GTI headquarters are located in Commerce City, Colo., and Phoenix, Ariz.

Operating a business at the pace GTI requires to be successful can be all consuming. That’s why Kemmit, 43, of Thornton, Colo., enjoys the respite he gets at Colorado National each week.

“Racing can keep you sane,” he said of the relief he gets at the race track. “For 30 or 50 laps you’re thinking about just one thing and that’s driving the race car. That’s the only time I’m not thinking about work.”

Kemmit is on site and manages operations when CTI has hundreds of golf cars deployed at major events. He may fly in to Colorado National on a Saturday afternoon, and return the event the next morning.

“I couldn’t race without our crew chief Tony Dugan, Barry Bellon and Jim Sweet,” Kemmit said. “They maintain the car and keep it ready to race.”

“We concentrate on handling,” Kemmit said of his car’s characteristics. “We want it to get through the center of the corners. We’ve tried different things, but we always ending up keeping the set-up we’ve got. “We don’t mess with the shocks or springs.”

Their race car is based on a self-built chassis and powered by a five-year-old crate engine that has never been disassembled and freshened. Despite the low maintenance, Kemmit won the biggest race of his career in 2012 when he topped the 50-lap Late Model portion of the track’s season-ending Challenge Cup.

A fringe benefit of working on Kemmit’s car is the chance to drive. Dugan is running a Super Stock this year, and Sweet is working on a Modified for next year.

Kemmit has been around Colorado National his whole life.

“I grew up at the track,” Kemmit said. “I was a year old the first time I was there. Dad raced there on dirt from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. He won a lot of Sportsman races. His best points finish was second.”

Kemmit’s black and orange 2014 Chevy Camaro-bodied race car is a head-turner for fans.

“It’s had a great response from fans,” Kemmit said. “They love the muscle-car bodies. Nick Brinlee has a Dodge Challenger, and they love that one too.”

Kemmit and his wife Misty have two daughters, Ashlee, 22 and Allonna, 14, and a granddaughter Callee, 4 months.

The NASCAR Finalist Division program recognizes drivers who compete in support divisions at NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tracks. With “Division I” being each track’s top division, the NASCAR Finalist Division line-up at each track highlights drivers competing in their second, third, fourth and fifth tier divisions. Through Sept. 15 a NASCAR-licensed driver’s best 14 finishes are counted toward their final point total for the year. Points are kept separately for dirt and asphalt tracks.

Paved track NASCAR Finalist Division leaders this week include Division II Brandon Johnson, New Smyrna Speedway in Samsula, Fla.; Division III John Ketron, Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway; Division IV Jeremy Menninger, Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway and Division V Buck Simmons, Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway.

NASCAR Finalist Division leaders on dirt tracks include Division II Chuck Schutz Jr., Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa.; Division III Jared Umbenhauer, Grandview; Division IV Alex Heimer, Salina (Okla.) Highbanks Speedway and Division V Art Reed, Salina Highbanks.

JUNIOR JOHNSON: Victory In Final Race Of 1992 Not Enough To Earn Championship

Driving for Junior Johnson, Bill Elliott came into the last race of the 1992 season third in points. His only hope for a championship was to run as hard as he could – and win if possible.

Bill Elliott’s chances to win the NASCAR Winston Cup championship in 1992 took a hit with an unfortunate performance at Phoenix, just a week before the season’s final race at Atlanta.

He wasn’t out of contention, it was just going to be harder. He came to Atlanta third in points, 40 behind leader Davey Allison and 10 behind Alan Kulwicki.

There was no doubt about Elliott’s strategy. He had to race as hard as he could and hope Allison, and even Kulwicki, experienced misfortune.

Elliott did exactly what he had to do. And, as fate would have it, Allison was caught up in a wreck that eliminated him from championship consideration.

Elliott won at Atlanta to earn his fifth victory of the season. Under most circumstances he would have been the champion.

But on Nov. 15, 1992, there existed the most unusual circumstances at Atlanta.

And they helped contribute to NASCAR lore.

Junior’s contributions to www.motorsportsunplugged.com will appear every other Friday for most of the season.

Going into the final race of the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup season – the Hooters 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway – I would have felt a lot better about our chances for a championship if we hadn’t fallen on our face a week before at Phoenix.

Bill’s Ford began smoking early. He didn’t lead a lap. He made numerous pit stops but we couldn’t fix the problem.

Bill finished 31st and Davey won the race. As a result of all of that, Bill fell out of the lead in points and gave way to Davey.

Going into Atlanta, Davey was in first place, 40 points ahead of Bill. Alan finished fourth at Phoenix and moved into second place, 30 points behind Davey and 10 points ahead of Bill.

That meant that all Davey had to do was finish fifth or better and the championship was his.

Bill and Alan had no choice. Each of them had to run as hard as they could and hope that Davey faltered.

It was not the best situation for Junior Johnson & Associates. But I will say this – the team had run all out in several races and, many times, it paid off handsomely.

Being able to lead one more lap than Elliott in the Hooters 500 at Atlanta meant that Alan Kulwicki was able to claim the 1992 Winston Cup championship by the closest margin in NASCAR history.

It had to do it one more time.

I’ve already talked about how the Hooters 500 was going to be the last race of Richard Petty’s glorious career. That was going to prompt many fans to come to the Hooters 500, no doubt about that.

But I think more scrutiny was going to be paid to the championship battle. Three drivers had a shot at the title and what they did – or what happened to them – in the Atlanta race was clearly going to determine the outcome.

Qualifying wasn’t spectacular for any of the three drivers. Bill took the 11th position, Alan the 14th and Davey, well, he was 17th.

Maybe we held a small edge at the start of the race but when you have to cover 500 miles, where you start really doesn’t matter much.

Bill did exactly what he had to do. He sped into the lead on lap 62, swapped it with Alan a few times and then ran off a long string of laps led.

I was feeling pretty good about our chances, but not overly so.

See, while Bill pressed to the front, Davey kept hanging around in fifth place. If he kept that up he would be the 1992 champion no matter what Bill, or Alan, did.

Then, late in the race, it happened.

Davey was comfortably in fifth place when he was caught up in an accident when Ernie Irvan spun coming out of turn four on lap 254 of 328.

After extensive repairs Davey came back into the race but finished in 27th place and out of championship contention.

Before Davey’s accident, on lap 210, Bill pitted. When he did, Alan inherited the lead. Now, I figured, as did everyone else, that Alan was going to hold that lead as long as he could.

He was smart enough to realize that to lead the most laps would give him a five-point bonus and enhance his chances to win the title.

Alan led laps 210-310. Bill went back in the lead on lap 311 and then pitted on lap 314.

I could hardly believe it. He pitted too early. We needed to lead more laps.

For some reason, we were having trouble with our radio communication. Bill got on the radio and kept asking, “When do we pit? When do we pit?”

When we talked back to him Bill didn’t seem to understand. He’d come back and say, “Did you say to pit? When do you want me to pit?”

It was all very confusing. I think Bill decided he was to come in on lap 314, which he did.

But if he had stayed out just two more laps, things would have been different.

When I saw him pit early I knew we had lost the title unless something happened to Alan.

Bill did retake the lead on lap 316 and he led the rest of the way to earn his fifth victory of the season. He did all he could do.

Alan finished second. He led 103 laps. Bill led 102.

Both of them earned 180 points but Alan got the five-point bonus for leading the most laps. Had Bill led the most laps he would have gotten 185 points to 175 for Alan and they would have tied for the title.

But the championship would go to Bill on the tiebreaker, which was the number of victories. He had five to Alan’s two.

That, however, is not how it turned out. Alan won the title with 4,078 points to Bill’s 4,068. That 10-point separation was the closest in NASCAR history.

I blame myself. I could have gotten on the radio and taken control of the situation. But Bill pitted before I could do that.

After the victory lane ceremonies, which were dampened for me because we lost the title, I went back to my motel room.

And I got out of Atlanta as quickly as I could.

 

Rookie Newell Leads New Generation At I-44

Rookie Newell Leads New Generation At I-44

McCaskill Closes In On Pulliam In Whelen All-American Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — J.C. Newell’s steady climb up the racing ladder achieved new height this year. Newell, 17, of Stoutland, Mo., is a rookie in NASCAR pavement Late Models at historic Lebanon (Mo.) I-44 Speedway.

Winning in one of short track racing’s most competitive divisions is the biggest challenge yet in his 13-year career. He won the track’s 2012 Sportsman division championship with five wins. The accomplishments opened a car owner’s door to Late Model racing this year.

“I think I’m making progress the more I adjust to the car,” Newell said of his early season efforts. “We’re running for more than a win. We’re running to be consistent lap after lap. Then the wins will come. I have to prove myself as a Late Model driver.”

Newell posted a second-place to Matt Wallace on opening night May 11. He placed fifth on Saturday behind winner Cole Williams, Wallace, Austin Fullerton and Kenny Dickinson. Newell is fourth in track points behind Williams, Wallace and Jake Griffin. He’s third in state points behind Wallace and Williams.

TOP 500 STANDINGS | STATE/PROVINCIAL TOP 20

Deac McCaskill cut Lee Pulliam’s national point lead in half over the holiday weekend. Southern pavement Late Model drivers occupy the top-five positions in national points this week.

McCaskill won two 75-lap features at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C., on Saturday. With starting fields in excess of 20 cars (21 in each event), McCaskill, of Raleigh, N.C., collected the maximum 45 points per win. Pulliam won Saturday’s 150-lap feature at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, but with less than 20 cars (18) the win netted 41 points. Pulliam’s point lead of 99 over McCaskill last week shrank to 50 this week, 627-577. Pulliam, of Semora, N.C., is the series’ defending national champion. He leads the Virginia state point race over C.E. Falk III, 394-361.

Pulliam’s season record to date stands at 11 wins, 16 top-fives and 16 top-10s in 18 starts. McCaskill’s 16-race record is seven wins, 12 top-fives and 15 top-10s.

Finishes of second and third at Southern National helped Tommy Lemons Jr. of Troy, N.C., hold onto third place in national points with 527, although he lost 16 to McCaskill. Lemons holds a narrow lead over McCaskill in North Carolina state standings, 457-454.

Anthony Anders of Easley, S.C., maintains fourth place in national points. He posted finishes of second to Trey Gibson and first over Gibson in a pair of 40-lap features at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., on Saturday. Anders has 478 points. He also leads the South Carolina state standings over Marty Ward, 306-203.

Falk, of Virginia Beach, Va., climbed from sixth to fifth in national points with a fourth-place finish in his only start of the weekend at South Boston. Finishes of fifth and sixth at Southern National helped Brandon Dean of Huntersville, N.C., to sixth in national points with 356, only five behind Falk who has 361 points.

Last week’s fifth-place driver Keith Rocco of Wallingford, Conn., fell to seventh in points with 334. The 2010 national champion made no SK Modified starts over the weekend due to rain at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl and Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn. Rocco continues to lead the state point race over Ted Christopher, 334-248.

Newell knows the history of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model racing at Lebanon’s .375-mile banked paved oval. It was a home track to the late Larry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., the series’ only five-time national champion. Phillips won five Lebanon titles while the track was NASCAR sanctioned 1989-2001. Newell was born in 1996, the same year Phillips won his final national championship.

“I’ve watched videos of Larry and Jamie McMurray racing here,” Newell said. “Jamie usually ran on the bottom. It’s amazing to watch Larry race. He could go anywhere on the track to make a move.”

“I respect the veteran drivers at Lebanon. I look up to Kenny Dickinson. He was here back in the 1990s racing with Larry and Jamie, and knows how to get around this track.”

Dickinson won Lebanon’s 1999 NASCAR Late Model championship by 12 points over Phillips.

Newell began racing dirt go-karts at age four and won a Missouri state championship on 2002. He moved up to full size dirt Modifieds in 2010. He won 17 races and the championship at the old Midway Speedway and placed second in points at Springfield (Mo.) Raceway. He won the Midway championship again in 2011, while starting his pavement racing career in the Sportsman division at Lebanon I-44. He didn’t win a feature at Lebanon, but placed second in points and won the rookie-of-the-year award. His 2012 Sportsman championship set the stage for the move to Willard’s Late Model in 2013.

Newell’s dad James continues to race in the Sportsman division. His grandfather, Ben, began the family racing tradition on area dirt tracks beginning in the 1970s.

Before becoming car owner Willard sponsored Newell from the beginning of his career in go-karts. Larry Magnessum is crew chief. Crewmen include James Newell, John Gideon and Billy Willard. The Chevrolet is sponsored by Pathfinder Chassis, B&B Racing Engines, Lebanon Ready Mix and Willard Quarries.

Newell will be a senior at Stoutland (Mo.) High School this fall.

Now in its 32nd season, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. There are 55 sanctioned tracks throughout the United States and Canada that participate.

A NASCAR Division I driver’s best 18 results through the Sept. 15 closing date count toward their state and national point totals and the champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their point total increases incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.

Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, a race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.

Track operators also designate support classes as NASCAR Divisions II-V and drivers in those divisions compete for points in the NASCAR Finalist program. The program brings added recognition to support division drivers. Points are kept separately for asphalt and dirt tracks.

More information on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is available at www.nascarhometracks.com.

K&N East Statistical Advance: Bowman Gray

K&N East Statistical Advance: Bowman Gray

Analyzing The NASCAR Hall Of Fame 150

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action with the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday, June 1 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the series and selected drivers:

Bowman Gray Race Setup:
• Each of the first four races of the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season have produced different winners, all of which were first-time victors.
• Just eight drivers on the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 entry list have previous series experience at Bowman Gray Stadium, including five that have participated in both events.
• Points leader Brett Moffitt will look to break a career-long winless streak of 10 races. Should Moffitt end his drought at Bowman Gray, the tight quarter-mile would be the ninth-different track he’s earned a checkered flag at.

AT BOWMAN GRAY STADIUM:
History

• NASCAR’s first weekly track, racing was started at Bowman Gray Stadium in 1949 by Bill France Sr. and Alvin Hawkins
• Bowman Gray is one of nine tracks that has been a sanctioned member in each of the 32 years of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
• Bowman Gray played host to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 29 times from 1958-71.
• Other NASCAR national or regional touring series that have competed at BGS include: Convertible Series (1956-59), Grand American (1970-72), Grand National East (1972), Goody’s Dash Series (1989-96), Whelen Southern Modified Tour (2005-pr.).

Notebook
• The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East made its debut at Bowman Gray on June 4, 2011. Coleman Pressley was the inaugural polesitter and Matt DiBenedetto the race winner.
• The 2012 edition saw Kyle Larson capture his first career pole followed by the first career win for Corey LaJoie.

Bowman Gray Stadium Data
Season Race #:  5 of 15 (6-1-13)
Track Size:  .25-mile flat asphalt oval
Race Length:  150 laps / 37.5 miles

Qualifying/Race Data
2012 pole winner/track qualifying record:  Kyle Larson, Toyota, 61.241 mph, 14.696 secs., 6-2-12
2012 race winner/Track race record:  Corey LaJoie, Ford, 38.346 mph, (:59:51), 6-2-12

ACTIVE SERIES CAREER LEADERS:
Wins

1. Brett Moffitt … 9
2. Eddie MacDonald … 6
3. Dale Quarterley … 6

Poles
1. Brett Moffitt … 9
2. Dale Quarterley … 4
3. Cale Conley … 2
    Ben Kennedy … 2
    Eddie MacDonald … 2

Top Fives
1. Brett Moffitt … 31
    Dale Quarterley … 31
3. Eddie MacDonald … 29

Top 10s
1. Eddie MacDonald … 78
2. Dale Quarterley … 67
3. Brett Moffitt … 35

Laps Completed
1. Eddie MacDonald … 20,864
2. Dale Quarterley … 18,816
3. John Salemi … 8,182

Laps Led
1. Brett Moffitt … 1,593
2. Dale Quarterley … 706
3. Eddie MacDonald … 668

SELECT DRIVER HIGHLIGHTS:
Mackena Bell (No. 21 Rev Racing Toyota)

• Has one top-10 finish in 10 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks 10th in points this season, highlighted by a career-best finish of fifth last time out at Richmond International Raceway. She became just the second female in series history to post a top-five finish with that performance.
• This will be her first NKNPS East race at Bowman Gray Stadium.

CJ Faison (No. 39 Sherwin-Williams Chevrolet)
• Has a pole and three top 10s in 16 career NKNPS East starts.
• Ranks ninth in points this season, highlighted by a career-best finish of fifth in the opener at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• This will be his first NKNPS East appearance at Bowman Gray.

Gray Gaulding (No. 20 Krispy Kreme Toyota)
• Recorded top-10 finishes in each of his first five combined NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts before finishing 24th last time out at Richmond following a mid-race accident while in the lead.
• Was runner-up in the non-points UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track at Daytona International Speedway and finished sixth in the NKNPS West opener at Phoenix International Raceway. In his first three official NKNPS East outings he was sixth (Bristol), 10th (Greenville Pickens Speedway) and second (Five Flags Speedway).
• Became the youngest pole winner in NKNPS East history at Richmond (15 years, two months, 15 days).
• This will be his first NKNPS East appearance at Bowman Gray.

Brandon Gdovic (No. 46 Aquis Communications/WindStax.com Toyota)
• Has a win and 16 top 10s in 29 career NKNPS East starts. Earned that first career victory this year at Greenville.
• Ranks third in points this season with three top 10s through four events.
• Has finishes of 17th and seventh in the two previous races at Bowman Gray.

Ryan Gifford (No. 2 Universal Technical Institute/NTI Toyota)
• Has a win, a pole and 13 top 10s in 44 career NKNPS East starts. The win came last time out at Richmond.
• Ranks second in points this season with three top 10s in four races.
• Has finishes of 10th and 18th in the two previous races at Bowman Gray.

Ben Kennedy (No. 96 Emco Gears/Mac Tools/Mechanix Wear Chevrolet)
• Has a win, two poles and 12 top 10s in 31 career NKNPS East starts.
• Earned his first win and second career pole earlier this season at Five Flags.
• Ranks sixth in points with two top 10s through four races.
• Has finishes of third and eighth in the two previous races at Bowman Gray. The third-place effort was his best career finish prior to this year’s win at Five Flags.

Dylan Kwasniewski (No. 98 Royal Purple/Rockstar Energy Drink Chevrolet)
• Has an win and four top 10s in seven career NKNPS East races. Earned that first win in the 2013 opener at Bristol.
• Currently ranks fourth in points with a pair of top 10s through four events.
• The 2011 NKNPS West Sunoco Rookie of the Year and 2012 series champion, he recorded five wins, seven poles, 20 top fives and 24 top 10s in 28 career starts in that series.
• This will be his first appearance at Bowman Gray.

Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, two poles and 78 top 10s in 162 career starts.
• Ranks fifth in points entering Bowman Gray on the strength of three top 10s in four races.
• Has finished in the top 10 in 20 of his last 23 starts dating back to the 2011 season.
• Has finishes of 13th and 10th in his two career starts at Bowman Gray.
• This week will mark his 163rd career start, which will put him in 10th on the series’ all-time list.

Brett Moffitt (No. 11 Aisin AW Toyota)
• Has nine wins, nine poles, 22 podiums and 38 total top-10 finishes in 51 career starts. Is tied for 12th in NKNPS East history in wins and is tied for 11th in poles.
• The points leader after four races this season, he has finished in the top three in the final standings in each of his previous four seasons in the series, and has earned multiple wins each year.
• Is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in each of the four races this year, and although he is winless through the first four races of a season for the first time in his career, he’s posted an average finish of fourth.
• Has finishes of 16th and ninth in the two previous races at Bowman Gray.

Bryan Ortiz (No. 4 Rev Racing Toyota)
• Has 10 top 10s in 18 NKNPS East races with a best result of third last year at Bowman Gray. Also finished third in the non-points event at Daytona’s short track in February.
• Currently ranks 12th in points with a best season result of sixth at Five Flags.
• That third-place effort last year at Bowman Gray is his only previous series event at the track.

Kenzie Ruston (No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet)
• Made NKNPS East debut with an 11th-place finish at Bristol, crossed the line third at Greenville and was fifth at Five Flags. Last time out at Richmond she finished 19th after being involved in a late-race accident.
• The third-place finish at Greenville was the best by a female driver in NKNPS East history, surpassing Danica Patrick’s sixth-place effort at Dover International Speedway in 2010.
• The back-to-back top-five finishes at Greenville and Five Flags were a first for a female driver in series history.

Daniel Suárez (No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota)
• Has seven top 10s in 20 career NKNPS East races with a best result of fifth, twice.
• Finished 22nd last year at Bowman Gray in his only previous race at the track.
• Has three wins, eight poles and 26 top 10s in 52 career NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series races.

UP TO SPEED:
• The 2013 season is the 27th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• The 2013 schedule features 15 races at 13 different tracks across 10 states.
• The competition season opened with the non-points UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 19 on the short track at Daytona International Speedway. Cameron Hayley won the K&N Pro Series feature.
• Dylan Kwasniewski took the checkered flag in the first points race of the season on March 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway. He assumed the lead when polesitter Michael McGuire was spun out under caution on Lap 30 and held it the rest of the way.
• Brandon Gdovic captured his first career victory on April 6 at Greenville Pickens Speedway. Brett Moffitt earned his ninth career pole prior to the race, which was originally scheduled to run on March 23 but was postponed due to rain.
• In the first points race in series history in the state of Florida, the Sunshine State’s own Ben Kennedy earned his second career pole and went on to lead all 150 laps in the inaugural event at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola on April 13.
• Last time out on April 25 at Richmond International Raceway, Gray Gaulding became the youngest pole winner in series history and Ryan Gifford captured his first career checkered flag.

K&N East News & Notes: Bowman Gray

K&N East News & Notes: Bowman Gray

Points Leader Moffitt Looking For Redemption, First 2013 Win

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season resumes with the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 on Saturday, June 1, Brett Moffitt will have a score to settle with the legendary Bowman Gray Stadium.

The fifth-year driver from Grimes, Iowa has found success nearly everywhere the series has gone during his career. Moffitt’s nine wins have come at eight different tracks. But in the two previous events at “The Stadium” in Winston-Salem, N.C., it’s been nothing but heartache.

Two-thirds of the way through the inaugural Bowman Gray event in 2011, Moffitt was running third before a mechanical issue on a restart resulted in a wreck. The damage and lost track position was more than he could overcome as he finished 16th.

The Bowman Gray misfortune continued for Moffitt last year when he was running second at the white flag with a chance to challenge Corey LaJoie for the win, but was spun out by Darrell Wallace Jr. coming off Turn 2 and wound up relegated to a ninth-place finish.

In his remarkable – yet still relatively brief – career, Gresham Motorsports Park is only one track that Moffitt has raced at three or more times without earning a victory. This week’s NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will be Moffitt’s third appearance at Bowman Gray, a place where he hopes to add to his wins list.

A Bowman Gray win would also end another drought for Moffitt, who for the first time in his career, has yet to reach Victory Lane through the first four races of a season. His overall winless streak is currently at a career-long 10 races with the last triumph a wire-to-wire win in Clearfield, Pa., last July.

Despite the lack of a win through the first quarter of the season, Moffitt has posted an average finish of fourth and brings a seven-point lead into the season standings to Bowman Gray.

EVENT SCHEDULE  |  ENTRY LIST

FAST FACTS:
The Race:
  The fifth of 15 races on the 2013 schedule, the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will mark the third year in a row the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has contested an event historic Bowman Gray Stadium.

The Procedure:  The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (37.5 miles).

The Track:  Nicknamed “The Stadium” and “The Madhouse,” Bowman Gray is a flat quarter-mile asphalt oval. The track opened in 1946 and held 29 races from 1958-71 for what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Race Winners:   Matt DiBenedetto won the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 on June 4, 2011 while Corey LaJoie earned his first career victory in the event a year ago.

Pole Winners:  Coleman Pressley took the first series pole at Bowman Gray in 2011 while Kyle Larson established the track record last year with a fast lap of 14.696 seconds (61.241 mph).

BOWMAN GRAY RACE NOTES:
Ingram to Serve as Grand Marshal:
  For the second year in a row the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will have a recent selectee serve as grand marshal. Jack Ingram, one of five selected on May 22 for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s fifth induction class, will be in attendance Saturday for the festivities at Bowman Gray Stadium. In last year’s event NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2012 inductee Glen Wood served as grand marshal.

Getting Back in the Groove:  The last NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race took place on April 25 at Richmond International Raceway, which will result in a span of 37 days before the return to action on June 1 at Bowman Gray. That will be the longest drought of inactivity for the series during its 15-race 2013 schedule.

Four Races, Four First-Time Winners:  The first four races of the K&N Pro Series season have produced four-different winners, with each of them recording their first series victory. A previous winner in K&N Pro Series West action, Dylan Kwasniewski got his first East win in the opener at Bristol Motor Speedway and he has since been joined by Brandon Gdovic (Greenville Pickens Speedway), Ben Kennedy (Five Flags Speedway) and Ryan Gifford (Richmond International Raceway). The streak of first-time winners actually dates back to 2012 where Tyler Reddick was victorious in the finale at Rockingham Speedway in his series debut.

VIR Media Day:  Bowman Gray race week will also see some additional media activities for a few drivers. Virginia International Raceway will have a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Media Day at the facility on Tuesday, May 28. The track has scheduled media availability, pace car rides and karting activities. Drivers expected to be on hand for the day’s events include: Austin Dyne, Gray Gaulding, Brandon Gdovic, Jesse Little, Michael McGuire and Kenzie Ruston. The series is set to make its debut at the Alton, Va., road course on Saturday, Aug. 24.

HOME TRACKS: Burt Myers Out to Early Lead
Vying for his sixth track championship, Burt Myers is out to an early-season points lead in the famed Modified division of weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition at Bowman Gray Stadium. Myers will bring a lead of eight points on John Smith into this weekend’s twin 100-lap features while defending track titlist Tim Brown ranks third, 17 tallies behind Myers.

LAST TIME OUT: Richmond
The fourth event of the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season took place at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Here are some highlights:
• Ryan Gifford captured his first K&N Pro Series East victory when he held off the field for the final 23 laps in the Blue Ox 100.
• Brandon Gdovic recorded his second podium finish in four races this year with a runner-up effort.
• Rookie Cole Custer had his best finish yet when he crossed the line third.
• Gray Gaulding became the youngest pole winner (15 years, two months, 15 days) in series history and dominated the first half of the race before Corey LaJoie made contact with him on a restart on Lap 54 that knocked him out of the race lead.
• The race attracted 42 entries, the most since June 29, 2007 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (43).

NEXT TIME OUT: Iowa
Following the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at Bowman Gray Stadium, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will head to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa for the seventh annual Casey’s General Store 150 on Friday, June 7. It will be the first of two combination races with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Iowa in 2013.

NASCAR Dover race weekend entries and schedule


SPRINT CUP

Friday, May 31

11 a.m – 12:30 p.m. – First practice

3:15 p.m. – Qualifying

Saturday, June 1

10 – 10:55 a.m. – Second practice

12:50 – 1:50 p.m. – Final practice

Sunday, June 2

1:15 p.m. – Green flag for Sprint Cup race (400 laps/400 miles)

NATIONWIDE SERIES

Friday, May 31

12:40 – 3 p.m. – Final practice

Saturday, June 1

11:05 a.m. – Qualifying

2:30 p.m. – Green flag for Nationwide race (300 laps/300 miles)

CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

Thursday, May 30

2:30 – 3:45 p.m. – First practice

4:15 – 5:30 p.m. – Final practice

Friday, May 31

10:05 a.m. – Qualifying

5 p.m. – Green flag for the Truck Series race (200 laps, 200 miles)

Note: all times ET

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NASCAR Dover race weekend entries and schedule
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Which Driver Will Get The Best Of Dover’s “Miles The Monster” This Time?

Brad Keselowski won the fall race at Dover in 2012 on his way to the Sprint Cup championship. He would certainly like to win this weekend, since he’s winless on the year.

The “Monster Mile” looms this weekend, and it entices the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to enter and leave a part of themselves, and their cars, behind at Dover International Speedway.

Notorious for wreaking havoc, Dover boasts “Miles The Monster” as its concrete mascot. Driving here may be fun for some, but it takes miles of concentration, monstrous control and even more good luck.

For many at this juncture a win here could change the face of their season.

Reigning series champion Brad Keselowski won at Dover last fall and could definitely use a victory. He’s coming off of two frustrating weeks in Charlotte and a winless first part of the season.

A switch from Dodge to Ford may be part of the problem, but sometimes it’s just a case of things not gelling. Keselowski is sitting 10th in points coming into Dover.

Jimmie Johnson, the leader in the points race as the action comes to Dover, is thought to be a shoe-in for the win this weekend, as last year he simply dominated the race.

Johnson can claim seven victories at Dover and most likely feels confident returning. He may have figured some way to charm the beast that is “Miles The Monster.”

Meanwhile, Kurt Busch is gearing up for his first win this season with Furniture Row Racing. He has come so close to victory all year long but has been unable to seal the deal.

Jimmie Johnson, the current points leader, will be considered a favorite at Dover after he dominated last year’s race.

Having won at Dover in the fall of 2011 may give Busch the memory muscle needed to capture his first victory and not look back. Busch is hot and aching to climb back to the top. He is 18th in points coming into Dover.

Matt Kenseth, of course, is experiencing a banner year with his new team, Joe Gibbs Racing. Although it experienced a rough patch earlier with penalties, that is behind them.

Kenseth’s three wins show how potent he is at JGR. The two DNFs have me worried. Kenseth won the spring race at Dover in 2011 so he knows how to trick ol’ “Miles The Monster,” but will his equipment hold up? Kenseth is third in points.

Kyle Busch, Kurt’s younger brother and Kenseth’s teammate at JGR, has also won at Dover, most recently in spring 2010.

The younger Busch has the same problem as Kenseth, wondering if his equipment will hold for the entire grueling race. He may win the Nationwide race, but the win on Sunday is not guaranteed. Kyle Busch occupies 11th in points.

Greg Biffle currently sits 13th in points coming into Dover. Last year he was atop the leader board. This is a good time to strike for Biffle, who won at this track in the fall of 2008.

Carl Edwards, Biffle’s teammate at Roush Fenway Racing, is currently second in points.  He can claim one win at Dover in the fall of 2007, but that doesn’t sound as good when you consider Johnson’s four victories at the track since then.

Edwards has quietly positioned himself in striking distance of the Chase so a good finish at Dover would keep him afloat in comfortable waters. A win would possibly seal his fate to get in the Chase.

Martin Truex Jr. looks to the past to find his last victory at Dover back in June of 2007. Extraordinarily talented, consistent enough to find himself in the Chase last year with no victories, and currently ninth in points with two second-place finishes recorded this season, Truex Jr. is hungry and desperate.

He needs the win. He craves it. But he has to get past the likes of Johnson, Edwards, Kenseth, and the Busch brothers to get it.

With no wins to date this season and one victory at Dover back in the fall of 2001 (directly after the events of 9/11) Dale Earnhardt Jr. is looking to find victory lane. He is sixth place in points but would like to get back comfortably into the top five.

Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard are all vying for the win, as well as the rest of the Sprint Cup drivers competing at Dover.

As with any of the races on the Sprint Cup schedule Dover is anybody’s to win.

Statistics, history, and credibility coming into the race have nothing to do with the outcome. You’ll have to tune into the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks this Sunday on Fox to see who wins.

It’s reality television at its best!

K&N East Statistical Advance: Bowman Gray

K&N East Statistical Advance: Bowman Gray

Analyzing The NASCAR Hall Of Fame 150

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action with the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday, June 1 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the series and selected drivers:

Bowman Gray Race Setup:
• Each of the first four races of the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season have produced different winners, all of which were first-time victors.
• Just eight drivers on the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 entry list have previous series experience at Bowman Gray Stadium, including five that have participated in both events.
• Points leader Brett Moffitt will look to break a career-long winless streak of 10 races. Should Moffitt end his drought at Bowman Gray, the tight quarter-mile would be the ninth-different track he’s earned a checkered flag at.

AT BOWMAN GRAY STADIUM:
History

• NASCAR’s first weekly track, racing was started at Bowman Gray Stadium in 1949 by Bill France Sr. and Alvin Hawkins
• Bowman Gray is one of nine tracks that has been a sanctioned member in each of the 32 years of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
• Bowman Gray played host to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 29 times from 1958-71.
• Other NASCAR national or regional touring series that have competed at BGS include: Convertible Series (1956-59), Grand American (1970-72), Grand National East (1972), Goody’s Dash Series (1989-96), Whelen Southern Modified Tour (2005-pr.).

Notebook
• The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East made its debut at Bowman Gray on June 4, 2011. Coleman Pressley was the inaugural polesitter and Matt DiBenedetto the race winner.
• The 2012 edition saw Kyle Larson capture his first career pole followed by the first career win for Corey LaJoie.

Bowman Gray Stadium Data
Season Race #:  5 of 15 (6-1-13)
Track Size:  .25-mile flat asphalt oval
Race Length:  150 laps / 37.5 miles

Qualifying/Race Data
2012 pole winner/track qualifying record:  Kyle Larson, Toyota, 61.241 mph, 14.696 secs., 6-2-12
2012 race winner/Track race record:  Corey LaJoie, Ford, 38.346 mph, (:59:51), 6-2-12

ACTIVE SERIES CAREER LEADERS:
Wins

1. Brett Moffitt … 9
2. Eddie MacDonald … 6
3. Dale Quarterley … 6

Poles
1. Brett Moffitt … 9
2. Dale Quarterley … 4
3. Cale Conley … 2
    Ben Kennedy … 2
    Eddie MacDonald … 2

Top Fives
1. Brett Moffitt … 31
    Dale Quarterley … 31
3. Eddie MacDonald … 29

Top 10s
1. Eddie MacDonald … 78
2. Dale Quarterley … 67
3. Brett Moffitt … 35

Laps Completed
1. Eddie MacDonald … 20,864
2. Dale Quarterley … 18,816
3. John Salemi … 8,182

Laps Led
1. Brett Moffitt … 1,593
2. Dale Quarterley … 706
3. Eddie MacDonald … 668

SELECT DRIVER HIGHLIGHTS:
Mackena Bell (No. 21 Rev Racing Toyota)

• Has one top-10 finish in 10 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks 10th in points this season, highlighted by a career-best finish of fifth last time out at Richmond International Raceway. She became just the second female in series history to post a top-five finish with that performance.
• This will be her first NKNPS East race at Bowman Gray Stadium.

CJ Faison (No. 39 Sherwin-Williams Chevrolet)
• Has a pole and three top 10s in 16 career NKNPS East starts.
• Ranks ninth in points this season, highlighted by a career-best finish of fifth in the opener at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• This will be his first NKNPS East appearance at Bowman Gray.

Gray Gaulding (No. 20 Krispy Kreme Toyota)
• Recorded top-10 finishes in each of his first five combined NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts before finishing 24th last time out at Richmond following a mid-race accident while in the lead.
• Was runner-up in the non-points UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track at Daytona International Speedway and finished sixth in the NKNPS West opener at Phoenix International Raceway. In his first three official NKNPS East outings he was sixth (Bristol), 10th (Greenville Pickens Speedway) and second (Five Flags Speedway).
• Became the youngest pole winner in NKNPS East history at Richmond (15 years, two months, 15 days).
• This will be his first NKNPS East appearance at Bowman Gray.

Brandon Gdovic (No. 46 Aquis Communications/WindStax.com Toyota)
• Has a win and 16 top 10s in 29 career NKNPS East starts. Earned that first career victory this year at Greenville.
• Ranks third in points this season with three top 10s through four events.
• Has finishes of 17th and seventh in the two previous races at Bowman Gray.

Ryan Gifford (No. 2 Universal Technical Institute/NTI Toyota)
• Has a win, a pole and 13 top 10s in 44 career NKNPS East starts. The win came last time out at Richmond.
• Ranks second in points this season with three top 10s in four races.
• Has finishes of 10th and 18th in the two previous races at Bowman Gray.

Ben Kennedy (No. 96 Emco Gears/Mac Tools/Mechanix Wear Chevrolet)
• Has a win, two poles and 12 top 10s in 31 career NKNPS East starts.
• Earned his first win and second career pole earlier this season at Five Flags.
• Ranks sixth in points with two top 10s through four races.
• Has finishes of third and eighth in the two previous races at Bowman Gray. The third-place effort was his best career finish prior to this year’s win at Five Flags.

Dylan Kwasniewski (No. 98 Royal Purple/Rockstar Energy Drink Chevrolet)
• Has an win and four top 10s in seven career NKNPS East races. Earned that first win in the 2013 opener at Bristol.
• Currently ranks fourth in points with a pair of top 10s through four events.
• The 2011 NKNPS West Sunoco Rookie of the Year and 2012 series champion, he recorded five wins, seven poles, 20 top fives and 24 top 10s in 28 career starts in that series.
• This will be his first appearance at Bowman Gray.

Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, two poles and 78 top 10s in 162 career starts.
• Ranks fifth in points entering Bowman Gray on the strength of three top 10s in four races.
• Has finished in the top 10 in 20 of his last 23 starts dating back to the 2011 season.
• Has finishes of 13th and 10th in his two career starts at Bowman Gray.
• This week will mark his 163rd career start, which will put him in 10th on the series’ all-time list.

Brett Moffitt (No. 11 Aisin AW Toyota)
• Has nine wins, nine poles, 22 podiums and 38 total top-10 finishes in 51 career starts. Is tied for 12th in NKNPS East history in wins and is tied for 11th in poles.
• The points leader after four races this season, he has finished in the top three in the final standings in each of his previous four seasons in the series, and has earned multiple wins each year.
• Is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in each of the four races this year, and although he is winless through the first four races of a season for the first time in his career, he’s posted an average finish of fourth.
• Has finishes of 16th and ninth in the two previous races at Bowman Gray.

Bryan Ortiz (No. 4 Rev Racing Toyota)
• Has 10 top 10s in 18 NKNPS East races with a best result of third last year at Bowman Gray. Also finished third in the non-points event at Daytona’s short track in February.
• Currently ranks 12th in points with a best season result of sixth at Five Flags.
• That third-place effort last year at Bowman Gray is his only previous series event at the track.

Kenzie Ruston (No. 34 AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet)
• Made NKNPS East debut with an 11th-place finish at Bristol, crossed the line third at Greenville and was fifth at Five Flags. Last time out at Richmond she finished 19th after being involved in a late-race accident.
• The third-place finish at Greenville was the best by a female driver in NKNPS East history, surpassing Danica Patrick’s sixth-place effort at Dover International Speedway in 2010.
• The back-to-back top-five finishes at Greenville and Five Flags were a first for a female driver in series history.

Daniel Suárez (No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota)
• Has seven top 10s in 20 career NKNPS East races with a best result of fifth, twice.
• Finished 22nd last year at Bowman Gray in his only previous race at the track.
• Has three wins, eight poles and 26 top 10s in 52 career NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series races.

UP TO SPEED:
• The 2013 season is the 27th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• The 2013 schedule features 15 races at 13 different tracks across 10 states.
• The competition season opened with the non-points UNOH Battle At The Beach on Feb. 19 on the short track at Daytona International Speedway. Cameron Hayley won the K&N Pro Series feature.
• Dylan Kwasniewski took the checkered flag in the first points race of the season on March 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway. He assumed the lead when polesitter Michael McGuire was spun out under caution on Lap 30 and held it the rest of the way.
• Brandon Gdovic captured his first career victory on April 6 at Greenville Pickens Speedway. Brett Moffitt earned his ninth career pole prior to the race, which was originally scheduled to run on March 23 but was postponed due to rain.
• In the first points race in series history in the state of Florida, the Sunshine State’s own Ben Kennedy earned his second career pole and went on to lead all 150 laps in the inaugural event at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola on April 13.
• Last time out on April 25 at Richmond International Raceway, Gray Gaulding became the youngest pole winner in series history and Ryan Gifford captured his first career checkered flag.

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