Third K&N win for Rhodes, extends points lead
Ben Rhodes turned in a dominating victory in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 Saturday night, just getting by Daniel Suarez (in photo from a previous race) in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East action at historic Bowman Gray Stadium.
Rhodes, a NASCAR Next driver from Louisville, Kentucky, became the first driver in four all-time races at The Stadium to win from the pole. He led all but one of the 152 circuits to emerge with his third victory of the season and extend his lead in the K&N Pro Series East championship standings.
Rhodes’ triumph was not without challenges, however. He had to keep his No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet out in front through 12 caution restarts on the tight quarter-mile for the hard-earned win.
The final caution set up a green-white-checkered flag finish where Daniel Suarez beat Rhodes to the line to lead restart Lap 150, but Rhodes regained the advantage and held on for the checkers.
Suarez, who rallied from back in the pack after starting from the rear after making contact with the outside retaining wall during his qualifying run, finished as the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 runner-up and Austin Hill joined him on the Bowman Gray podium in third. Brandon Jones and Ronnie Bassett Jr. brought home the top five.
The rest of the top 10 finishers Saturday night at The Stadium included: Gray Gaulding, Ryan Gifford, Kenzie Ruston, Jay Beasley and Nick Drake.
Rhodes’ points lead grew to 49 over Gaulding with Suarez and Cameron Hayley in third and fourth, respectively.
Earlier in the evening Rhodes set the series’ track qualifying record at Bowman Gray in recording his fourth 21 Means 21 Pole Award by Coors Brewing Company.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action on Friday, June 13 with the Pensacola 150 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, June 7 at 10:30 a.m.
NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST-NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 Results
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Ben Rhodes, Louisville, Ky., Chevrolet, 152 laps, 37.853 mph.
2. (20) Daniel Suarez, Monterrey, Mexico, Toyota, 152.
3. (12) Austin Hill, Winston, Ga., Ford, 152.
4. (11) Brandon Jones, Atlanta, Ga., Chevrolet, 152.
5. (4) Ronnie Bassett, Jr., Winston-Salem, N.C., Toyota, 152.
6. (3) Gray Gaulding, Colonial Heights, Va., Chevrolet, 152.
7. (14) Ryan Gifford, Winchester, Tenn., Toyota, 152.
8. (9) Kenzie Ruston, El Reno, Okla., Chevrolet, 152.
9. (5) Jay Beasley, Las Vegas, Nev., Toyota, 152.
10. (6) Nick Drake, Mooresville, N.C., Toyota, 152.
11. (7) Kaz Grala, Westborough, Mass., Chevrolet, 151.
12. (2) Scott Heckert, Ridgefield, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
13. (18) Mackena Bell, Carson City, Nev., Toyota, 149.
14. (16) Sam Hunt, Midlothian, Va., Toyota, 147.
15. (10) Brennan Newberry, Bakersfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 146.
16. (13) Jesse Little, Sherrills Ford, N.C., Chevrolet, 145.
17. (19) Trey Hutchens, Lexington, N.C., Chevrolet, 145.
18. (15) Cameron Hayley, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Chevrolet, 122.
19. (17) John Holleman, IV, Winston-Salem, N.C., Toyota, 76, overheating.
20. (8) Sergio Pena, Winchester, Va., Toyota, 68, accident.
Time of Race: 1 hour 0 minutes 14 seconds
Margin of Victory: .614 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: B. Rhodes * (62.578 mph, 14.382 seconds)
Caution Flags: 12 for 57 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: B. Rhodes 1-149; D. Suarez 150; B. Rhodes 151-152.
Standings: 1. B. Rhodes, 298; 2. G. Gaulding, 249; 3. D. Suarez, 245; 4. C. Hayley, 238; 5. A. Hill, 236; 6. B. Jones, 235; 7. N. Drake, 230; 8. R. Bassett, Jr., 223; 9. J. Little, 219; 10. K. Grala, 215.