Kyle Benjamin capitalized on a late-race restart to win the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Easley, South Carolina on Saturday night.
Benjamin started on the pole after running a track record lap of 19.144 seconds at 94.024 mph. The Easley, South Carolina, native ran inside the top-five nearly all night long and led 46 laps. At the halfway mark on lap 75, Benjamin was running third.
On lap 108, Benjamin passed Dillon Bassett for the race lead in turn 3. Benjamin maneuvered through lapped traffic and held off the hard charging cars of Ruben Garcia Jr., Todd Gilliland and Dillon Bassett. A lap 144 caution set the field up for a two-lap dash to the finish. Benjamin was able to stay out and front and win his second race in a row at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
Ronnie Bassett, Jr., who entered the night coming off his first-career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory at New Smyrna Speedway, finished second on Saturday. Bassett, Jr. qualified 10th, but he was able to battle back for a solid finish. He has now finished within the top-five in his last three visits to the half-mile oval and he currently leads the point standings by eight points over Harrison Burton.
In his first visit to Greenville Pickens Speedway, Todd Gilliland finished third. Gilliland entered the weekend coming off three wins in a row in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
Burton came home in fourth, with Tyler Dippel finishing in fifth.
Dylan Murry, Hunter Baize, Dillon Bassett, Garcia, Jr. and Reid Wilson rounded out the top ten.
There were four lead changes among two drivers. Throughout the night, there were eight cautions.
The caution that set the field up for a two-lap dash to the finish occurred with 11 laps remaining, when Chase Purdy spun in turns 3 and 4 after contact with Ronnie Bassett, Jr. Purdy finished 11th following the contact.
Up next on the schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be the Zombie Auto 125 at Tennessee’s Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 22.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Greenville-Pickens Speedway – Easley, SC
Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 – April 8, 2017
|1||1||40||Kyle Benjamin||MDM Motorsports Toyota||150||47||4||Running|
|2||9||4||Ronnie Bassett, Jr.||Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet||150||42||Running|
|3||6||16||Todd Gilliland||NAPA Toyota||150||41||Running|
|4||3||12||Harrison Burton||Dex Imaging Toyota||150||40||Running|
|5||5||30||Tyler Dippel||TyCar Ford||150||39||Running|
|6||15||28||Dylan Murry *||Gorsline Company Ford||150||38||Running|
|7||11||13||Hunter Baize||U S Forensic Toyota||150||37||Running|
|8||2||44||Dillon Bassett||Bassett Gutters and More Ford||150||38||2||Running|
|9||4||6||Ruben Garcia Jr.||Sunoco Toyota||150||35||Running|
|10||8||66||Reid Wilson *||TruNorth Warranty Programs Chevrolet||150||34||Running|
|11||13||17||Chase Purdy *||Bama Buggies/Textron Off-Road Toyota||149||33||Running|
|12||17||5||Luis Rodriguez, Jr. *||Next Gen/Peak Performance Chevrolet||148||32||Running|
|13||14||4||Chase Cabre *||Max Siegel, Inc. Toyota||146||31||Running|
|14||7||42||Jay Beasley||Honda Generators Toyota||144||30||Running|
|15||18||9||Enrique Baca *||Next Gen/Peak Performance Chevrolet||111||29||Brakes|
|16||16||49||John Holleman, IV||Midway Mobile Storage Ford||110||28||Electrical|
|17||12||2||Collin Cabre||UTI/NTI Toyota||94||27||Radiator|
|18||19||38||Salvatore Iovino *||Infinite Wireless Chevrolet||67||26||Transmission|
|19||10||23||J.P. Morgan||SoldByJackieMorgan.com Chevrolet||49||25||Engine|
Fastest Qualifier: Kyle Benjamin, Time: 19.144 Seconds, Speed: 94.024 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 10 mins, 27 secs Average Speed: 63.875 mph Margin of Victory: 1.555 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 11-14 (#66 Turn 2 – No FP); 17-20 (#38 – Turn 1 – FP #66); 36-40 (#4 – Spin Turn 2 – FP #28); 44-48 (#38 – Spin Turn 4 – FP #2);51-56 (#49 – Spin Turn 2 #9 Spin – FP #38); 65-70 (#49, #5, #28 – Turn 3 – No FP); 73-75 (#38 Turn 1 & Break – FP #5); 144-146 (#17 Turn 3 – FP #28). 8 for 36 laps.
Lap Leaders: Kyle Benjamin 1, Dillon Bassett 2-56, Kyle Benjamin 57-58, Dillon Bassett 59-107, Kyle Benjamin 108-150.
Total Laps Led: Dillon Bassett 104, Kyle Benjamin 46. 4 changes involving 2 drivers.
Top 10 Driver Points: Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 89, Harrison Burton 81, Todd Gilliland 77, Hunter Baize 74, Reid Wilson * 72, Chase Purdy * 69, Ruben Garcia Jr. 63, Chase Cabre * 63, Tyler Dippel 60, Dillon Bassett 60
* – Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender