NASCAR K&N Pro Series East News & Notes - South Boston K&N Pro Series East Returns To South Boston For the second week in a row to start the 2010 season, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will visit a Southern auto racing landmark. The South ...
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East News & Notes - South Boston
K&N Pro Series East Returns To South Boston
For the second week in a row to start the 2010 season, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will visit a Southern auto racing landmark.
The South Boston 150 on Saturday, April 3 will mark the fourth year in-a-row that the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has visited historic South Boston (Va.) Speedway. The trip to Southern Virginia will come just one week after the season got underway at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway, one of the first NASCAR-sanctioned tracks.
With South Boston's long tradition of producing up-and-coming talent, it's only fitting that it has become an annual stop for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, which in recent seasons has become the launching pad for a host of drivers to NASCAR's three national series. In fact, three drivers that participated in the 2008 race at South Boston were among the top 16 finishers in last week's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in Brian Ickler, Ricky Carmichael and Austin Dillon.
Time will tell what the future holds for the current class of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East prospects, but they're certainly forming their own legacy within the series, and last year's race at South Boston provides a perfect example. Ryan Truex nabbed his first career pole and finished third in the race, which began a string of seven-straight podium efforts that launched his championship campaign. Fellow rookie Brett Moffitt took it a step further that day when he surpassed Joey Logano to become the youngest driver in series history to take the checkered flag at the time.
The 2009 South Boston 150 also marked the series debut for Ryan Gifford and Max Gresham, who both registered top-five finishes. Gifford was runner-up to Moffitt that day and has shown a consistent aptitude for top finishes in his limited starts since, while Gresham continues to be a driver to keep an eye on after his fifth-place debut.
In addition to the aforementioned quartet that shined last year at South Boston, there is a whole new class of young talent that was on exhibit in the season opener that should make this year's South Boston 150 even more exciting. Darrell Wallace Jr. eclipsed Moffitt's mark as the youngest race winner in series history at Greenville and also, like Moffitt had done before him, Cole Whitt went out and earned the pole in his series debut.
Action begins early on race day at South Boston as both practices are scheduled between 9-11 a.m. Qualifying is set for 1 p.m. and the green flag will drop at 3 p.m.
The Race: South Boston 150
The Place: South Boston (Va.) Speedway
The Date: Saturday, April 3
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV Schedule: SPEED, April 15, 6 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .4-mile asphalt oval
Race Purse: $107,599
2009 Winner: Brett Moffitt
2009 Polesitter: Ryan Truex
Event Schedule: Practice 9-9:45 a.m.; Final Practice 10:25-11 a.m.; Qualifying 1 p.m.
The Race ... The South Boston 150 is the second event in a 10-race schedule this year for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, and the first of trips to Virginia. This is the fourth year in a row that South Boston has played host to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
The Procedure ... The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (60 miles).
The Track ... South Boston Speedway is a .4-mile banked asphalt oval. This year marks the 53rd season that South Boston has held auto racing. The track opened in 1957 as a quarter-mile dirt oval and became a NASCAR-sanctioned venue in 1960. The track was expanded to .375 miles and paved in 1962, and was reconfigured further in 1994 to .4 miles, its current layout.
Race Winners ... The inaugural visit for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East to South Boston saw Matt Kobyluck reach Victory Lane in 2007. Brian Ickler won the second installment and in 2009 Brett Moffitt became the youngest driver in series history - at the time - to win a race when he took the checkered.
Pole Winners ... Hometown favorite Peyton Sellers laid down the fastest qualifying lap in the first two years of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series event at South Boston when he turned the circuit in 15.582 seconds (92.424 mph) in 2007. Ryan Truex captured the his first career pole in last year's event.
Wallace Makes History in Season Opener
When Revolution Racing was formed last fall, and the four Drive for Diversity competitors were selected that would compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, all signs pointed to a team that had potential to make an impact. What no one knew, however, was how immediate that impact would be.
Sergio Pena captured the pole and raced neck-and-neck with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano in January's NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, but this past Saturday at Greenville- Pickens Speedway, Revolution Racing produced a winner in its inaugural regular season race with driver Darrell Wallace Jr. in his inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start.
Wallace's triumph was far from just an addition to the series' all-time race winners list though. At 16 years, 5 months, 19 days, Wallace eclipsed the mark set by Brett Moffitt (16 years, 9 months, 27 days) when he won at South Boston Speedway last season.
The significance of the checkered flag for Wallace is more than just a team and driver getting a win in their first start, or that he became the youngest driver to win a race. Wallace became the first African-American race winner in the history of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, which is now in it's 24th year of competition.
When asked about the significance of his win during a press conference at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday morning, it still hadn't sunk in yet.
"It has yet to hit me," Wallace said . "I've read about it on the Internet, but I don't know what to say yet. Soon, I think it will really hit me."
With talent like Ryan Gifford and Mackena Bell, in addition to Pena and Wallace under the Revolution Racing banner, the Drive for Diversity initiative has received a shot in the arm. The historic day for Drive for Diversity even extended all the way across the country to Roseville, Calif., where D4D driver Paulie Harraka took the checkered flag in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season opener. It was the third win that Harraka has earned as a D4D representative.
A day after his big night, Wallace seemed less comfortable analyzing the historical perspective, and more interested in talking about the event the way a racer would.
"I started seventh, and was mainly saving tires," Wallace said. "That's what they were telling me in my ears the entire time, that's what I did and I was able to come up with the win. It was a great race with me and Ryan Truex, and with Cole Whitt."
Greenville Recap: Rookies Lead The Way
Among the 30 cars that participated in the season opener on Saturday at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway, 16 were registered to compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. In addition to race winner Darrell Wallace Jr., six of the top seven finishers were rookies, and the group as a whole had a strong showing.
Smith a Surprise Runner-Up ... Although not quite the unknown that Sergio Pena was when he starred in January's NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, Andrew Smith entered the opener with little fanfare. All the Pooler, Ga., native did was qualify fourth and run in the top 10 the entire night. With a consistent run and some good fortune at the end, Smith had a podium finish in his full-bodied stock-car debut.
Whitt Takes the Pole, Runs Up Front ... The latest driver to come from the open-wheel ranks and show an immediate aptitude for being able to pilot a stock car, decorated USAC driver Cole Whitt wasted little time in showing he will be a contender in 2010. Like Brett Moffitt a year ago, Whitt nabbed the pole in his series debut and led the race three different times before he settled for a fourth-place finish.
Gifford, Shaw, Ramstrom Record Top-10s ... Unlike Wallace, Smith and Whitt, the rookie trio of Ryan Gifford, D.J. Shaw and Derek Ramstrom did have a few NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races under their belts from last year. Maybe that extra experience helped them out at Greenville as the were able to bring their respective rides home in one piece in places 5-7 in the fender-bending Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150. In five career starts Gifford now has four top-fives, while it was the best run in the series to-date for Shaw and Ramstrom.
Rovelo, Germain, Polewarczyk Survive ... 'Survive and advance' is a familiar phrase in the sports lexicon, and perhaps one way to explain the nights that Ruben Rovelo, Zach Germain and Joey Polewarczyk had in Greenville. All three rookies either got clipped, spun or had to take evasive action at one or more points during the race, but they managed to finish in positions 10-12. It was the first career starts for Rovelo and Germain, the latter of which took home the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award.
Last Year At South Boston: Moffitt Makes History
Brett Moffitt already broke one of Joey Logano's NASCAR K&N Pro Series records. It didn't take him long to take care of another.
Moffitt became the youngest winner in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history with his win in the South Boston 150 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. His Andy Santerre Motorsports' No. 44 brettmoffitt.com Chevrolet led 81 laps - including the last 67 - and outpaced a pair of fellow teenagers in runner-up Ryan Gifford and third-place Ryan Truex.
Logano, now driving the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was 1 month, 5 days shy of turning 17 when he scored his first win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, and he set the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East mark 11 days later with his win at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway. In the 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East opener, Moffitt broke Logano's record as the series' youngest pole winner.
Moffitt and Truex traded the lead three times. Moffitt pulled away on the final Lap 103 restart and won by 3.691 seconds. Truex won his first career Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day.
Gifford, 19, started 10th and charged up through the field. He got to second when Truex got loose coming off Turn 4, but was unable to close the gap on Moffitt.
Points leader Jody Lavender finished fourth and maintained a 26-point lead on Moffitt. Joe Gibbs Racing's Max Gresham, making his first series start, finished fifth.
Alan Tardiff, Sean Caisse, Ty Dillon, Eddie MacDonald and Dustin Delaney rounded out the top 10.
Up Next: East-West Challenge At Iowa
In what has become a marquee event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedule, the East and West divisions of NASCAR's top developmental series will meet at Iowa Speedway in a combination race for the fourth year in-a-row as the 2010 edition is scheduled for Sunday, May 23.
Scheduled for the day after the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race, the East-West Showdown has attracted Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch in its first three years. It doesn't take a Sprint Cup Series driver to keep the event interesting, however, as the K&N Pro Series regulars have more than held their own. Busch won last year from the pole, but Joey Logano - then a K&N Pro Series East rookie - was victorious in the inaugural 2007 race and Brian Ickler took the checkered flag in 2008.
Did You Know? ...
* The season opener at Greenville Pickens Speedway featured 16 drivers registered for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year program, the most for any one race on record.
* With the win by Darrell Wallace Jr. at Greenville-Pickens last week, it marked four seasons in-a-row that a driver had won in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut following Joey Logano in 2007, Aric Almirola in 2008 and Kyle Busch in 2009.
* Ryan Truex won three races and the series championship in 2009, but did not lead the most laps in any race. His first career Wix Lap Leader Award came last week at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
* South Boston Speedway held NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series, K&N Pro Series East, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour races during its storied history.