KNPSE: Rhodes Zeroes In On Championship Glory

RaceChaser Staff NASCAR, Southeast 0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – By John Tejada, NASCAR — Jonathan Moore/Getty Images for NASCAR photo — Twenty-three drivers are currently entered for the Greenville 140 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Greenville (South Carolina) Pickens Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 6, but 17-year-old Ben Rhodes only needs to beat one.

The Louisville, Kentucky, native enters the 15th event of a 16-race season with a 65-point lead over Cameron Hayley in the championship points standings. If Rhodes finishes ahead of Hayley, a feat he’s accomplished in nine times in 14 attempts this year, he will secure his first series title and the second-consecutive championship for Turner Scott Motorsports.

The NASCAR Next driver hope to clinch his first title at the track where he won his first series victory. Back in March, Rhodes led the final 26 laps en route to a victory in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150. The event was also the first of a six-race stretch that saw Rhodes earn five wins and two poles. He was the runner-up finisher in the only race he didn’t win during the stretch.

“Winning at Greenville Pickens is really cool,” said Rhodes after the spring race. “It’s a place known for saving tires and our strategy worked out.”

Through the first 14 events of the season, Rhodes has five wins, five poles, 10 top fives and 12 top 10s. He’s led 757 of 1,822 laps (41.5%) of the total laps run this season.


The Race: The Greenville 140 is the 15th event of the season for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. It’s the 13th of 14 oval track events and 16 races, overall, on the 2014 schedule. This is the series’ 13th visit to the historic South Carolina oval.

The Procedure: The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining four starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 140 laps covering 70 miles with a break at or near the conclusion of Lap 70.

The Track: Greenville Pickens Speedway is a half-mile asphalt oval with five degrees of banking in the turns. The facility opened in 1946 with a dirt racing surface and was paved in 1970. There were 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races held there from 1951-71. The track has also hosted two NASCAR Nationwide Series, four NASCAR Convertible Series and two NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events.

The Records: The one-lap qualifying record for the series at Greenville of 20.534 seconds (87.659 mph) is held by Brett Moffitt and established on April 2, 2011. The 150-lap race record of 1 hour, 2 minutes, 27 seconds (72.058 mph) was set on April 6, 2013 by Brandon Gdovic.


Double ‘Em Up: The Greenville 140 is the second of two visits to Greenville Pickens for the K&N East this season. The first event, held on March 22, was won by Ben Rhodes from the pole, the first of his five wins on the season. It’s one of two tracks on the 2014 schedule that hosts two events with the other being Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.

Talent To Win: Wins at Greenville don’t come easy. Four of the previous 10 overall K&N East winners at the South Carolina half-mile have graduated to success in NASCAR’s national series. Darrell Wallace Jr. is the only two-time series winner. The other three prominent winners to win at Greenville are Austin Dillon, Dylan Kwasniewski and Joey Logano.

Series Debut: Quin Houff, a 16-year-old High School junior from Weyers Cave, Virginia, will make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut in the Greenville 140. Houff will team up with Ken Schrader Racing for the event. In April, he drove in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston Speedway.

Chance At Three-For-Three: Scott Heckert enters the Greenville 140 as the hottest driver in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The 20-year-old Ridgefield, Connecticut, won the last two series events at Watkins Glen (New York) International and at Virginia International Raceway. Heckert hopes his recent success translates to a victory on the half-mile-oval. Heckert finished 17th at the track earlier this season. Both of his series wins have come on road courses.

Home Tracks Update: Anthony Anders of Easley, S.C., leads the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings by 10 points over two-time defending champion Lee Pulliam. Anders has 27 wins, 40 top fives and 44 top 10s in 47 starts. He is also the Greenville Pickens defending late model champion.

LAST TIME OUT: Biscuitville 125 at Virginia International Raceway

Scott Heckert took the lead late from teammate Cameron Hayley and held on for his second consecutive victory.

•  Earlier in the day, Heckert captured his third 21 Means 21 presented by Coors Brewing Co. Pole Award. Turner Scott Motorsport teammate Ben Rhodes leads all drivers with five pole awards on the season.
•  The runner-up finish by Cameron Hayley was his fourth of the season. No other driver in the series has more than one second-place finish this season.

NEXT TIME OUT: Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway

After a brief three-week break, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East travels to Dover (Delaware) International Speedway on Friday, Sept. 26 for the Driver Sober 150 in companion with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. A year ago, Austin Hill picked up his first series win in his seventh career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start. Justin Boston finished second and Kyle Benjamin third. Boston, 24, was making his second series start while Benjamin, 15, was making his debut.

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