Ben Kennedy Wins First NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race of His Career at Five Flags Speedway

 
 
Ben Kennedy wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race NAPA 150 at Five Flags Speedway
Ben Kennedy wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race NAPA 150 at Five Flags Speedway
Ben Kennedy won the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race of his career at Five Flags Speedway in Florida with two newcomers hot on his bumper.

Kennedy won the pole and led from start to finish in the NAPA Auto Parts 150, the third race in the K&N Pro Series East schedule. Rookie Gray Gaulding, a 15-year-old from South Carolina, was second. John Van Doorn, a 25-year from Michigan making his first K&N Pro Series East start, was third.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie Gray Gaulding takes second place
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie Gray Gaulding takes second place


Kennedy, the great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., won his first NASCAR race in the Euro-Racecar Series in Tours, France, last year. His win at Five Flags Speedway was his first in the United States. Kennedy’s previous best finish in the K&N Pro Series East was third.

“I didn’t know we would be that strong,” said Kennedy, driver of the No. 96 Ben Kennedy Racing Chevrolet. “We saved our tires as much as we could on the long runs. I think Gray had something for me that last restart there. I gave 110 percent those last three laps. It’s just something really cool and I’m speechless tonight.”
Ben Kennedy won the Coors Light Pole Award at NAPA 150
Ben Kennedy won the Coors Light Pole Award at NAPA 150


Duke Whiseant spun out on lap 136 and bunched up the field for the last restart of the race. Kennedy was able to stay ahead of Gaulding over the last 14 laps of the race. “We’ve been working on our restarts,” Kennedy said. “That’s been one of the things I’ve been trying to focus on lately. That’s been hurting is in the past. We really focused on it the other day when we came out here and tested. It definitely paid off on those restarts.”
First NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win for racer Ben Kennedy
First NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win for racer Ben Kennedy


Cale Conley spun out in turn four of the last lap of the race, but it didn’t result in a caution. Gaulding said he wanted one more chance to try to pass Kennedy on a restart. “It felt just like the waiting game,” Gaulding said. “At the end of the day, I kinda wished it was a green-white-checkered. As soon as (Kennedy) get on a five, six-lap run, he’s already taken off. It worked out really well. We got a clean race car, not one ding on it.”

It was Gaulding’s third top-10 finish and first top-five finish of the season.
Ben Kennedy and Gray Gaulding lead the pack during K&N Pro Series East race at Five Flags Speedway
Ben Kennedy and Gray Gaulding lead the pack during K&N Pro Series East race at Five Flags Speedway


“This is my first time ever coming here, Pensacola, wonderful track,” Gaulding said. “Can’t thank all the fans enough. We had a really great weekend. We knew how much hard work it takes to get here. I think in a couple weeks we’ll be able to be in Victory Circle. We’re working really hard for it.” Van Doorn capped a whirlwind weekend with a third-place finish at Pensacola.

“I don’t even know what to say, this is so unexpected,” said Van Doorn. "Seven days ago, I didn't even have this ride. The biggest thing was just learning the car and learning what the feel is.”
Ben Kennedy Team in Victory Lane after NAPA 150 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida
Ben Kennedy Team in Victory Lane after NAPA 150 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida


Brett Moffitt, the leader in the K&N Pro Series East standings, was fourth, followed by another impressive finish for Kenzie Ruston in fifth. It was her second top-five finish in a row.

Moffitt has a nine-point lead over Gaulding and Dylan Kwasniewski in the K&N Pro Series East standings. Ruston is in fourth place, 10 points behind Moffitt. The NAPA Auto Parts 150 from Five Flags Speedway will be televised on Speed on May 2 at 3 p.m. EST.

The next K&N Pro Series East race is the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia on April 25.

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

K&N Filters
KNFilters.com
Related K&N News Articles about NASCAR K&N Pro Series East: Dylan Kwasniewski Wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Season Opener at Bristol Motor Speedway; NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Racer Gray Gaulding Gears up for 2013 Race Season; Corey LaJoie Wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race at Greenville Pickens Speedway; Cale Conley Wins First NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race at Columbus Motor Speedway in Ohio



See What K&N Makes for Your Car! Get the K&N Newsletter! Visit K&N on HyperLink Facebook  or  HyperLink Twitter

Printer Image    Email This Story
 
Did you like this story? Select 1 to 5 stars to rate it.
 
K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.

K&N News Home