Justin Haley Earns First Career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Win At Greenville-Pickens Speedwayby Hunter Thomas March 29, 2016 0 comments
EASLEY, S.C. – With only seven laps to go in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Saturday, Justin Haley passed hometown favorite, Kyle Benjamin to earn his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win.
Haley started second in the HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks No.5 Braun Auto Chevrolet and led 28 laps en route to the victory. The win came during the16-year old’s 23rd career start in the series.
“My friends, team, and family have supported me so much and to finally get a win in NASCAR means so much to me,” Haley said. “We had a great car. The key all race long was conserving tires so that we had enough left for that last part of the run. I felt like I used too much in that first run and knew that I couldn’t do that in the second half of the race.
“This sport is humbling and I’ve had a lot of heartbreaks the last several months. This one means so much to not only me but everyone involved. I can’t thank my guys at HSMJM enough for everything they’ve done to get me here.”
Kyle Benjamin, who is from Easley, South Carolina started on the pole for the 150-lap race. He and Haley were the only two leaders throughout the night, and they exchanged the lead on five occasions. In the end, Benjamin crossed the finish line in second. Benjamin now has three finishes inside the top-10 this season, and three of those finishes were solid top-fives.
“I wanted it a lot, especially at this place,” Benjamin said. “We’ve never had a good run here in anything that I’ve been in. This is the first time that I’ve had a really good car and a chance to win, and I really wanted it, especially it being my home track. I grew up about five minutes from here. There are a lot of people out here watching, so it would’ve been really cool.”
Finishing second was Kyle Benjamin. Ronnie Bassett Jr. finished third, and Spenver Davis finished fourth. Dillon Bassett rounded out the top-five. Reid Wilson, Noah Gragson, Tyler Dippel, Kaz Grala and Hunter Baize completed the top-10.
The Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 only saw two cautions throughout the night. The first was the halfway break on lap 76, and the second caution came out on lap 87 when Dominique Van Wieringen had issues in Turn 2.
Spencer Davis leads Kyle Benjamin in the championship point standings by a mere three points. With the win, Indiana native, Justin Haley now sits third in the championship point standings, just one point back from Benjamin.
Up next for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is the PittLite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 16.
Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 Results:
1.) #5 Justin Haley
2.) #40 Kyle Benjamin
3.) #4 Ronnie Bassett Jr.
4.) #41 Spencer Davis
5.) #44 Dillon Bassett
6.) #66 Reid Wilson
7.) #55 Noah Gragson
8.) #38 Tyler Dippel
9.) #3 Kaz Grala
10.) #13 Hunter Baize
11.) #2 Collin Cabre
12.) #42 J.A. Junior Avila
13.) #2 Sarah Cornett-Ching
14.) #1 Austin Theriault
15.) #12 Harrison Burton
16.) #30 Dominique Van Wieringen
17.) #49 John Holleman IV
18.) #4 Ali Kern
19.) #6 Ruben Garcia Jr.
20.) #14 Trey Hutchens
21.) #21 Christian Celaya
Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/NASCAR via Getty Images