Thursday, January 9, 2014

K&N Pro Series East - 2013 Top Races

Ben Kennedy's win over Dylan Kwasniewski at Bowman Gray Stadium
Ben Kennedy's win over Dylan Kwasniewski at Bowman Gray Stadium
was one of the best races of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season.
(Getty Images for NASCAR)

Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway
April 25: 

It was an event full of twists and turns that saw Ryan Gifford come out on top with a popular victory in the season’s fourth event. Gaulding set the K&N Pro Series East mark for the youngest pole winner prior to the event, and led the first 53 circuits before fellow 15-year-old Custer took point after Gaulding was clipped by Corey LaJoie battling for the lead on a restart. Custer held the lead until 23 to go when Gifford – a veteran of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity initiative – made the decisive pass. It got interesting with five laps to go as an 11-car pile-up brought out the red flag, but Gifford held off Brandon Gdovic and Custer for his first career victory.

Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway
Sept. 27 (Honorable Mention): 

The series’ annual trip to the “Monster Mile” proved to be a showcase event for some of the sport’s top emerging talent. Twenty-year-old CJ Faison, from nearby Felton, led the first half of the event before giving way to 19-year-old part-timer Austin Hill. With a pair of 15-year-olds Gaulding and Kyle Benjamin also in the mix down the stretch, it was Hill that emerged from a three-wide battle for the lead with four laps to go following a caution to reach Victory Lane in just his seventh series start.

NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at Bowman Gray
June 1 (Honorable Mention): 

In general, a 150-lap race with 13 cautions would likely not make a list of the season’s best events, but we’re talking about Bowman Gray here. The compact quarter-mile produces fender-rubbing action each and every lap and a lack of real estate makes it hard to pass, but every now and then a driver can put on a show coming up through the field, and that’s what Kwasniewski did. 

After getting involved in an accident on Lap 108, Kwasniewski deftly maneuvered back up to the front in an attempt to track down Kennedy, who had assumed the lead on Lap 124 when Brett Moffitt lost power. Kennedy was ultimately able to hold the top position over Kwasniewski and the field through three late restarts to secure the victory. It was a popular and historic win for Kennedy, the great grandson of the late NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., who is also credited with starting auto racing at the famed Bowman Gray grounds.

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