Worth The Wait For Davis At Dominion
Earns First Career K&N Pro East Win In Photo Finish
THORNBURG, Va. — Spencer Davis sat in his car on the front stretch, nose facing the car of Justin Haley, as the drivers waited for NASCAR officials to review the finish.
It was only a minute or so, but it seemed like eternity for Davis.
And then he got the word. By .005 seconds, the 17-year-old from Dawsonville, Georgia, had his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory. Davis edged Haley in a photo finish to claim the checkered flag in the ComServe Wireless 150 Monday at Dominion Raceway.
“Just the amount of emotion right there going on between the whole team,” said Davis of sitting in his No. 41 Davis Poultry/Ruud.com Chevrolet. “That long dramatic pause was about to push me over the edge. When I heard my name over the intercom, everyone started screaming over the radio. And it was the best burnout I’ve ever done.”
Behind Davis and Haley, Noah Gragson, Kaz Grala and Austin Theriault rounded out the top five. It was the series’ first race at the .400-mile oval in northern Virginia, which opened earlier this year.
Davis has seen his career accelerate in the last 12 months. While winning the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Sunoco Rookie of the Year last year, Davis recorded four top-six finishes in four K&N Pro East starts. Davis finished runner-up in the first two races of 2016, and was recently selected to the NASCAR Next program — an industry initative that spotlights the sport’s rising young stars.
Monday’s victory came in his 10th career K&N Pro start.
It was a bittersweet win for Ranier Racing with MDM as Davis’ teammate Kyle Benjamin was fastest in practice, won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award and led the first 137 laps before an incident on a late-race restart ended his day in last place.
Haley and Benjamin entered the race tied in points. Haley qualified 11th and worked his way up to the runner-up spot. A restart on Lap 145, following the wreck that collected Benjamin and third-place Ronnie Bassett, gave Haley one last shot at Davis. Davis and Haley made contact off Turn 4 coming to the checkered, and went across the finish line side-by-side.
“He shoved me off into the corner, just like I would do it I were in that position,” Davis said. “Everyone is going for the win. That was old style short track racing right there, beating and banging coming to the checkered. I don’t think you could have scripted something better.”
Rev Racing and NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Ruben Garcia Jr. finished sixth, followed by Christian Eckes, Hunter Baize, John Holleman IV.
Benjamin’s 23rd-place finish knocked him 19 points behind Haley, while Davis moved to within four of his teammate.
The ComServe Wireless 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, June 2 at 6 p.m. ET. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action on Friday, June 17, at historic Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut.
Spencer Davis adds the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East winner’s sticker to his car Monday at Dominion Raceway. Matt Hazlett/NASCAR via Getty Images