Greenville 140 Preview: Rhodes Ready to Clinch K&N East Title

Greenville 140 Preview: Rhodes Ready to Clinch K&N East Title

by September 6, 2014 0 comments

Photo credit: Getty Images for NASCAR

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Ben Rhodes heads into tonight’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway with an opportunity to clinch his very first NASCAR championship. Rhodes only needs to finish 13th-or-better in tonight’s Greenville 140 to clinch the Pro Series East title in his first year in the series. However, a 13th-place finish is likely not his objective for tonight, he’ll be looking to win.

Today marks the second visit for the Pro Series East to Greenville this season. In the first trip to the half-mile oval, Rhodes dominated March’s Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 by leading 106 of 150 laps to earn his very first series victory. Rhodes has been red-hot on the short tracks this season, winning not only just at Greenville, but at Iowa, Winston-Salem, Pensacola, and Hampton as well.

Rhodes believes that he has a car that is plenty capable of not only clinching his first series title tonight, but to win his sixth race of the season as well.

“Going back to a track we’ve won at gives our whole Turner Scott Motorsports Alpha team a lot of confidence going into this weekend’s race,” Rhodes said in an online statement. “[Crew chief] Mark McFarland and my guys gave me a great Chevrolet that day and we were able to keep it up front most of the race. Last week, we went back there to test prior to racing again and to try out a few new things, and we think we have a great car. If everything works out, hopefully we can get our sixth win of the year in addition to clinching the title.”

Second-place driver in the standings and fellow Turner Scott Motorsports driver Cameron Hayley is hoping to not let his teammate get too far away tonight so he can keep his championship hopes alive. Hayley, driver of the No. 98 Cabinets by Hayley Chevrolet, has only one start at Greenville-Pickens to two by Rhodes. In his debut at the track earlier in the year, Hayley finished third after leading 29 laps from a second-place starting position. Hayley and his No. 98 team have yet to go to victory lane in the K&N Pro Series East in their time together and are looking to put a winning drive into place in tonight’s race.

“There are two races left on the schedule, and I am definitely hungry for a win,” Hayley stated. “The No. 98 Cabinets by Hayley team has been so close this year and I truly believe we can get it done this weekend at Greenville.”

Fourth-place driver in the standings, Jesse Little, returns to Greenville in search of his second victory of the season.  Little has four previous starts at Greenville with two top-five finishes and three top-10 finishes under his belt. In March, Little would start from the third position but would fall back slightly to finish fourth at the checkered flag. Little and his No. 97 Mac’s Speed Shop Restaurant team are coming off of a solid third-place finish in the K&N Pro Series West at Kern County Raceway Park and are hoping to carry that momentum into Greenville tonight.

“Greenville-Pickens has always been a good track for our team and we’re coming off of a strong run last week with our short track package finishing third,” Little said. “There are some differences in how we’ll approach this race from last Saturday, but our car has shown it’s a front runner whenever we’re running on the bullrings of the series. It takes patience to be successful at Greenville-Pickens. You have to work each lap to keep the tires underneath the car so there’s something to rely on when making a late race charge to the checkered flag.”

The last two races at Greenville-Pickens Speedway have shown that the pole position is the spot to have for this race. Rhodes won March’s race from the pole while Dylan Kwasniewski won last year’s Greenville 140 from P1.

Passing may prove to be difficult at the track today as there have been a lack of passes for the lead at this course. In 12 K&N East races at Greenville, the average number of lead changes has been 3.5.

The Greenville 140 is scheduled to take place at 8:00 p.m EST today. The Fourth Turn’s Hunter Thomas is currently on location at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, follow @TheFourthTurn and @HunterThomas08 on Twitter for the latest from Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

Entry List for the Greenville 140

  1. 04 – Ronnie Bassett Jr.# – Chevrolet – Bassett Racing
  2. 1 – Trey Hutchens# – Toyota – Hattori Racing Enterprises
  3. 2 – Ryan Gifford – Toyota – Rev Racing
  4. 4 – Sergio Pena – Toyota – Rev Racing
  5. 6 – Bryan Ortiz – Toyota – Rev Racing
  6. 15 – Nick Drake# – Toyota – Bill McAnally Racing
  7. 18 – Sam Hunt – Toyota – Precision Performance Motorsports
  8. 20 – Gray Gaulding – Chevrolet – NTS Motorsports
  9. 21 – Mackena Bell – Toyota – Rev Racing
  10. 22 – Austin Hill# – Ford – Bryan Hill
  11. 24 – Brennan Newberry – Chevrolet – NTS Motorsports
  12. 31 – Kaz Grala# – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports
  13. 33 – Brandon Jones – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports
  14. 34 – Scott Heckert – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports
  15. 41 – Ben Rhodes# – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports
  16. 42 – Jay Beasley# – Toyota – Rev Racing
  17. 43 – Brodie Kostecki# – Toyota – Team Arcoplate Racing
  18. 52 – Quin Houff# – Chevrolet – Ken Schrader Racing
  19. 81 – Jeremy Burns# – Chevrolet – Michael Burns
  20. 96 – Kenzie Ruston – Chevrolet – Ben Kennedy Racing
  21. 97 – Jesse Little – Chevrolet – Jason Little
  22. 98 – Cameron Hayley – Chevrolet – Turner Scott Motorsports

# = Rookie.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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