NASCAR K&N East race at Watkins Glen features "stacked field"

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NASCAR K&N East race at Watkins Glen features
By: Jim Utter
Aug 2, 2018, 3:26 PM

Will Rodgers is looking for his fourth consecutive road course victory in the K&N Pro Series this weekend but he will have plenty of competition.

Rodgers, 23, won the K&N West race at Sonoma, Calif., in June – his third in a row on a road course – and he had to beat five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers who had entered the event.

Rodgers, a member of the NASCAR Next class, is running part-time in ARCA and the K&N Pro series this season.

Just two Cup drivers – Darrell Wallace Jr. and Erik Jones – are entered in Friday’s K&N East race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, both hoping to gain more road racing experience prior to Sunday’s Cup race.

Darrell Wallace Jr., Richard Petty Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Petty's Garage / Medallion Bank

Darrell Wallace Jr., Richard Petty Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Petty's Garage / Medallion Bank

Photo by: Gavin Baker / LAT Images

“It’ll be fun to get back in the K&N car and get a little bit of extra track time. I think I learned a lot at Sonoma earlier this season that helped me in the Cup race,” said Jones, who will drive an entry for DGR-Crosley.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to learn some more this time around in the K&N car and take something from it that will help me on Sunday.”

Also entered in the race are a pair of full-time Camping World Truck Series drivers – Noah Gragson and Brett Moffitt – and one part-time driver, former K&N Pro Series East champion Harrison Burton.

Harrison Burton, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Morton Buildings

Harrison Burton, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Morton Buildings

Photo by: Russell LaBounty / NKP / LAT Images

Gragson is also competing with DGR-Crosley, while Moffitt is driving an entry owned by his Truck series team owner, Shigeaki Hattori.

K&N Pro Series East leader Tyler Ankrum has won four races this season, including the last three, and looking to extend his leader of second-place Tyler Dippel, his teammate at DGR-Crosley.

Ankrum, 17, finished ninth earlier this season at New Jersey Motorsports Park in his only previous road course start.

“We’ve been on a roll lately and we are looking to carry that momentum into the race at Watkins Glen,” Ankrum said. “Road course racing is tough, but I’ve spent a lot of time prepping and feel like I learned a lot in our last road course race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

“Looks like there is going to be a stacked field – should be a lot of fun going for win number five.”

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