NEWS & NOTES: Greenville

NEWS & NOTES: Greenville

Hill Hopes To Make It Four In A Row

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Austin Hill hopes to keep his momentum going and add a fourth win to his current streak Saturday at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.

Hill continued his success from last season at the season opener in Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway, adding another win onto his back-to-back victories in the final two races of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The 20-year-old Winston, Georgia, native won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co. at New Smyrna and then led all 150 laps.

Hill ended the 2014 season with consecutive wins at Greenville and Dover International Speedway. He led the last 58 laps en route to his Greenville win and then rebounded from a flat tire at Dover.

He’s not the only driver coming to Greenville on a win streak. Dalton Sargeant won the K&N Pro Series West season opener as well as the 21 Means 21 Pole Award at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California this past weekend. The 17-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate from Boca Raton, Florida, was second to Hill at New Smyrna.

RACE: Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150
PLACE: Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway
DATE: Saturday, April 2
TIME: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV SCHEDULE: NBCSN, Tuesday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: Half-mile oval
2014 WINNER: Ben Rhodes
2014 POLE SITTER: Ben Rhodes
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 1:30-2:15 p.m.; Rookie Practice 2:30-2:55 p.m.; Final Practice 3-3:30 p.m.; 2-Lap Qualifying 6 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session (On Track) 7 p.m.; Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 8 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Haley Wilbanks, (864) 269-0852, greenvillepickensspeedway@yahoo.com or haleywilbanks14@gmail.com
TRACK TWITTER: @GP_Speedway
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG: #Whitaker150
NASCAR IMC CONTACT: Brooke Franceschini, (386) 631-6142 or bfranceschini@nascar.com, @BrookeFran04

RACE CENTRAL LIVE (EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST)

FAST FACTS

The Race: The Kevin Whitaker 150 is the second race of the 2015 K&N Pro Series East. It is the second of 12 oval track events and 14 races overall on the schedule. This is the series 14th visit to the South Carolina oval.

The Procedure: Starting positions for the first 26 cars will be determined from qualifying, and three provisional starting positions will be assigned by the final 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship car owner points standings. The race will be 150 laps, spanning 75-miles, and will run in two segments with a five minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75.

The Track: Greenville is a half-mile asphalt oval with five degrees banking in the turns. It opened in 1946 with a dirt racing surface and was paved in 1970. It hosted 29 Sprint Cup Series races from 1951-71. It also hosted two NASCAR XFINITY Series, four NASCAR Convertible Series and two NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events.

GREENVILLE RACE NOTES

Rookie Success At Greenville
Greenville has seen great success from rookies since its first K&N Pro Series East race in 2006. Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr. Ben Rhodes and Hill all earned victories at Greenville as rookies. With eight rookies set to take the track on Saturday, history has the chance to repeat itself.

First-Time Winner On Deck?
Hill and Sergio Pena (2011) are the only former Greenville winners in the field. Wallace (2010 and 2012) is the only driver to win twice there.

Gaulding To Debut With New Team
Gray Gaulding will be making his debut with his new team Precision Performance Motorsports. Gaulding will be driving the No. 12 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Toyota for owner Rick Gdovic. Daniel Hemric will be replacing Gaulding in the No. 20 Chevrolet for NTS Motorsports.

Benjamin and Burns Return Home
Kyle Benjamin, a native of Easley South Carolina, is returning home for his sixth K&N Pro Series East start and his racing debut at Greenville. Simpsonville, South Carolina, native Jeremy Burns, will make his season debut at his hometown track. It will be his third start at Greenville, with his second-place run on April 6, 2013 being his career best.

NASCAR Hits The Ice
The K&N Pro Series East will visit the Greenville Road Warriors on Thursday, April 2. The Road Warriors are the minor-league affiliate of the New York Rangers. Benjamin, William Byron, David Garbo Jr., Scott Heckert and Sargeant will be dropping the puck at 7 p.m. and signing autographs during the first intermission. The drivers will be hanging out during the pre-game festivities to meet fans and provide giveaways.

News & Notes: South Boston

News & Notes: South Boston

Ebersole Goes For Second Consecutive Victory At Historic Track

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After opening the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season with two races at North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway, the tour heads to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the next two races on the schedule. First up is historic South Boston Speedway, and Kyle Ebersole is ready.

Ebersole won the most recent NWSMT race held at the track last September, and both of his career wins have come in the state. Ebersole has an impressive record at South Boston with top-five finishes in all four previous starts.

“I love racing at South Boston Speedway because I think it fits my driving style,” Ebersole said. “The layout of the track reminds me a lot of Mountain Speedway back in my hometown of Hummelstown, Pennsylvania.”

Ebersole also used an uncommon pit strategy in his win by pitting earlier than a lot of the earlier leaders and was able to keep his tires under him to hold off Andy Seuss and pick up the win.

“The competition on the tour now is so close and you have seven to nine cars capable of winning any night so sometimes you have to try something different to get an advantage, and that’s what we did at South Boston,” Ebersole said. “I expect another bunch of good cars this weekend and people will try things as well to get an advantage.”

Seuss, who has a pair of wins at South Boston, in 2009 and this race last spring, took the checkered flag last week at Caraway.

RACE CENTRAL LIVE (EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST)

Fast Facts

The Race: The South Boston 150 will be the third of 11 races of the 2015 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship season. This is the tour’s eighth visit to the historic oval, and the first of two this year.

The Procedure: The starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining three starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (68.25 miles) and teams have an opportunity to pit and change one tire during the event.

The Track: South Boston is a .4-mile high-banked asphalt oval located in South Boston, Virginia. The facility features NASCAR Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned events on Saturday nights throughout the racing season, headlined by the late model division.

The Records: L.W. Miller holds the NWSMT track qualifying record at 14.466 seconds and 99.544 mph, set on April 14, 2012.

South Boston 150 Notes

Parity Rules At South Boston: There have been six different race winners in the previous seven events at South Boston Speedway. Andy Seuss is the only driver to win multiple races there while George Brunnhoelzl III is the only active driver to have started from the pole twice.

Northern Drivers Continue To Impress: After winning the season opener at Caraway Speedway, Whelen Modified Tour regular Eric Goodale finished second to Seuss last week and enters South Boston leading the point standings by eight points over Jason Myers (89-81).

Rough Start for Brunnhoelzl III Continues: The early season struggle for four-time champion Brunnhoelzl continued at Caraway last week as he was involved in a couple of spins in the race and finished 11th for his second consecutive finish outside the top 10. He broke a belt in the rear end while contending for the win in the season opener. This was just the fourth time in 95 career starts that he has recorded back-to-back finishes outside the top 10, and the last time this happened was the first races of the 2008 season.

Home Tracks: Pulliam Honored At South Boston While Morris, Peters Pick Up Wins

Former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Phillip Morris and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular Timothy Peters picked up wins in twin late model features during the most recent night of racing at South Boston Speedway on March 21. Also that night a former two-time NWAAS national champ received a special honor as Lee Pulliam had a section of the grandstand named after him, joining the likes of Morris and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and South Boston natives Ward and Jeff Burton.

Race Central Live Powered By Speed51: South Boston

The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will makes it first stop in the Commonwealth of Virginia in its 2015 season with the running of the South Boston 150 this Saturday, April 4 at South Boston Speedway. This will be the first of two races this season at the track this year.

EVENT SCHEDULE | ENTRY LIST | PRACTICE RESULTS | QUALIFYING RESULTS | RACE RESULTS

PIT BOX: Back In Action

PIT BOX: Back In Action

Hill Rides Momentum As K&N Pro East Returns To Greenville

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

• The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is back in action Saturday at the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. Austin Hill will look to push his win streak to four races after he won the season opener at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway. Hill closed 2014 with wins at Greenville and Dover. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Dalton Sargeant, who was second to Hill at New Smyrna, won the K&N Pro Series West opener at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, this past Saturday.

• The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will compete at South Boston Speedway for the South Boston 150. Defending series champion Andy Seuss and Eric Goodale split the first two races of the season at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, North Carolina, with Seuss holding off Goodale in a green-white-checkered finish this past weekend. Seuss is the defending race winner, while Kyle Ebersole also picked up a win at South Boston last year.

On Track
NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST

Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Speedway, Greenville, South Carolina
Race Time:
Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m. ET
TV Schedule: Tuesday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Twitter: #Whitaker150, #KNEast, @GP_Speedway

RACE CENTRAL LIVE | ENTRY LIST

All times ET 

NASCAR WHELEN SOUTHERN MODIFIED TOUR

South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway, South Boston, Virginia
Race Time: Saturday, April 4 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Twitter: #SouthBoston150, #NWSMT, @SoBoSpeedway57

RACE CENTRAL LIVE | ENTRY LIST

All times ET
Schedule is subject to change

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

• The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will start its season at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington, Saturday night. The season opener will feature: Super Late Model 75-lap event, Minis, SS F8, Stinger 8, Bump to Pass, Mr. Dizzy and post-race fireworks. Fan Fest will begin at 5 p.m. and opening ceremonies will start at 5:55 p.m. The main events are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Hamlin, Not Harvick Made Martinsville Worth The Watch (Clock)

Hamlin watched the clock long enough he deserved to win it.

Hamlin watched the clock long enough he deserved to win it.

It looked for all the world as if Kevin Harvick was going to hold court again at Martinsville this past weekend, but Denny Hamlin and an ever changing racetrack denied him that. Denny Hamlin fought like hell and deserved the win for himself and JGR.

During the early stages of the race Kevin Harvick kept moving in and out of place within the top ten and, mostly, top five to position himself for that last 20 laps of mayhem. He is “The Closer” after all. However the race track temperatures changed throughout the day and so did the strategies of the teams.Early in the race the top groove on the famous half-mile track refused to cooperate and ‘come-in’. In other words be drivable. It was too cool and not enough rubber had been laid down. As a result it was a dogfight to hold position until that set of circumstances presented itself.

Early in the race the top groove on the famous half-mile track refused to cooperate and ‘come-in’. In other words be drivable. It was too cool and not enough rubber had been laid down. As a result it was a dogfight to hold position until that set of circumstances presented itself.

Martinsville: Not the track of brotherly love.

Martinsville: Not the track of brotherly love.

Midway through the swirling event the rubber finally had come into play and the passing began, but it wasn’t going to last.

For a solid third, if not more,  the top groove of the track submitted to the rubber and was a perfect passing zone where Harvick, Gordon and Hamlin could move around with impunity. However, after what seemed like a million neck twisting turns the track turned on them. 

The cool temperature had taken the rubber and balled it up into little chunks as opposed to setting it into the track. On a warmer day the rubber would have ‘married’ the track and given it grip, instead it did just the opposite causing the drivers to slowly move back down into the lower groove.

What happened then? You guessed it, the “Rubbin is Racin, the Chrome Horn or Bump and Run” came into play, so did tire strategy that helped those towards the rear such as Tony Stewart.

Hamlin almost didn’t get a shot at it due to a pit road speeding penalty he received, if it had come any later it would have played out very differently. A similar penalty later on ruined Jeff Gordon’s day.

On the last tire change everyone set up for the final 20 laps and Harvick made an uncharacteristic mistake, he moved to the outside to affect a pass and got shuffled to the middle of the field. When you try to drive in the marbles you simply can’t steer the car. No one was dumb enough to let him back in.

In the meantime at the front Brad Keselowski had methodically moved up into position and began to work on Hamlin. It didn’t look as if he would catch him, but you wouldn’t know that from watching Hamlin’s in-car camera. He was looking in the rear view mirror more than Paris Hilton before a date.

Once Keselowski sets his sights on you he’s going to get there come hell or high water and he did, on the last lap. It was actually epic thinking that Brad was going to put the bumper to him, wreck him and win, but he didn’t, wreck him that is.

He did manage to get to Hamlin’s right rear quarter panel coming to the flag and move the Toyota around a bit, but Hamlin went to take the checkered flag and gurantee himself a spot in the chase. 

He has Brad Keselowski to thank for that and he did. He knew BK could have crashed him, but Keselowski knew his chase berth is all but set and decided the points were worth more.

It was a great race and a good call by Keselowski and a deserved win for Denny Hamlin who fought for it right up to the last corner of the last lap.

Sargeant Finishes What He Started

Sargeant Finishes What He Started

Rookie Earns K&N Pro West Victory At Kern

See video

Bakersfield, Calif. – Rookie Dalton Sargeant earned his first NASCAR victory and he held off a series veteran to do it.

Sargeant out-lasted David Mayhew to win the K&N Pro Series West season opener Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park, as a pair of late cautions pushed the NAPA Auto Parts 150 to 160 laps.

The 17-year-old Boca Raton, Florida, native picked up right where he left off in February at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway where he finished second in the K&N Pro Series East opener.

Sargeant won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Light earlier in the day and the No. 55 GALT Ford led the final 58 laps. Sargeant, who drives for HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks in the K&N Pro East, is racing the K&N Pro West for the first-year Jefferson Pitts Racing team.

Sargeant’s Jefferson Pitts’ teammates, Noah Gragson and Gracin Raz, finished third and sixth respectively.

Mayhew led 85 laps before Sargeant took control on Lap 102. Despite challenging Sargeant on every lap, the 33-year-old Atascadero, California native was unable to get past the rookie and settled for second.

Last year’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner, James Bickford finished fourth, and Chris Eggleston rounded out the top five.

Jonathan White, Brett Thompson, Christian McGhee and Alex Schutte completed the top 10.

The NAPA Auto Parts 150 will air on NBCSN on Friday, April 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

The K&N Pro Series West will return to the track at Irwindale on April 11.

RESULTS | RACE CENTRAL LIVE REPLAY

Dalton Sargeant Action Shot At Kern

Sargeant took control on Lap 102 and did not relinquish the lead to Mayhew. Jonathan Moore/Getty Images for NASCAR

Seuss Seals Whelen Southern Modified Win Late

Seuss Seals Whelen Southern Modified Win Late

Defending Champ Holds Off Goodale on GWC Finish

SOPHIA, N.C. – What a difference one race can make.

After finishing last in the season opener two weeks ago at Caraway Speedway, Seuss held off Eric Goodale on a green-white-checkered finish to win the Charles Kepley Memorial 150 Saturday in a return to Caraway.  

When Andy Seuss looks back on his 11th career NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour win at the track he will probably think of his crew first.

Seuss’ pit crew got him out of the pits first just in front of Eric Goodale on Lap 131, after a spin by Kyle Ebersole brought out the fifth caution flag of the race.

Ryan Preece rebounded from contact with JR Bertuccio on the final restart on Lap 146 to finish third, with Bertuccio and Burt Myers completing the top five.

For most of the race it appeared Bertuccio was on his way to his third career tour win as he took the lead from Preece on Lap 8 and remained out front until the leaders came in for the decisive pit stop. 

It was the most laps the Centereach, New York, native had led in competition since he led 145 in his win last April at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, North Carolina.

Jason Myers finished sixth, and Ebersole able to work back through the field after his late spin to finish seventh. Frank Fleming, Gary Putnam and John Smith completed the top 10.

Seuss and the rest of the Southern Modified competitors will be in action next Saturday at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway for the South Boston 150.

QUALIFYING: Sargeant Wins First Pole Award

QUALIFYING: Sargeant Wins First Pole Award

Will Start On Point For K&N Pro West Opener At Kern

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Dalton Sargeant is looking to make the tow west worth it, and he’s off to the right start Saturday.

The 17-year-old rookie from Boca Raton, Florida, won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co. in qualifying for the NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Kern County Raceway Park. Sargeant posted a lap of 18.013 seconds (99.928 mph) in his No. 55 GALT Ford around the banked half-mile for the opener of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

Sargeant finished second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East opener at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway in February.

Brandon McReynolds, who was fastest in practice earlier in the day, qualified second at 18.046 (99.745) and his Bill McAnally Racing teammate Chris Eggleston qualified third at 18.077 (99.574).

David Mayhew and James Bickford rounded out the top five.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates Gracin Raz, Ryan Partridge and Noah Gragson were sixth through eighth, followed by Brett Thompson and rookie Jonathan White.

The NAPA Auto Parts 150 is scheduled to take the green flag at 8:30 p.m. PT.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

PRACTICE: McReynolds Sets Fast Pace Early

PRACTICE: McReynolds Sets Fast Pace Early

Leads Way In K&N Pro West Opener At Kern

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Brandon McReynolds was fast out of the gate as the NASCAR Next driver paced practice Saturday for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season-opener at Kern County Raceway Park.

McReynolds put down a lap of 18.164 seconds (99.097 mph) in the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota around the banked half-mile in preparation for Saturday night’s NAPA Auto Parts 150.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie Dalton Sargeant was second fastest at 18.165 (99.092), and McReynolds’ Bill McAnally Racing teammate Chris Eggleston was third quick at 18.211 (98.841).

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates Ryan Partridge and Gracin Raz were fourth and fifth, respectively. The first six laps were posted in the second 45-minute practice, while Patridge’s lap of 18.340 (98.146) led the first 45-minute session.

David Mayhew was seventh overall, followed by rookie Nicole Behar, James Bickford and David Mayhew.

Qualifying is set for 4:45 p.m. PT, while the NAPA Auto Parts 150 is schedule to take the green flag at 8:30 p.m.

PRACTICE RESULTS

PRACTICE: Seuss Back To The Top

PRACTICE: Seuss Back To The Top

Champ Posts Fast Time In Whelen Southern Mod Practice

SOPHIA, N.C. – After a rough start to his 2015 campaign Andy Seuss is back to normal at Caraway Speedway.

The defending NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion paced the field during practice for the Charles Kepley Memorial 150 Saturday with a fast lap at 15.748 seconds (104.013 mph). Seuss is looking to rebound from an early-race accident in the season opener two weeks ago at Caraway.

Ryan Preece followed closely in second at the .455-banked oval with a time of 15.769 (103.723).

Kyle Ebersole (15.823/102.993) was third, followed by George Brunnhoelzl III and Spencer Davis.

Eric Goodale, who won the season opener two weeks ago at Caraway, was sixth with Frank Fleming, Burt Myers, John Smith and JR Bertuccio completed the top 10.

Qualifying for the Charles Kepley Memorial 150 is at 5:20 p.m. with the green flag scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m.

PRACTICE TIMES

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