Ben Rhodes Wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150

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Ben Rhodes taking the lead in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150.

Ben Rhodes taking the lead in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150.

A pair of rookies ruled at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.

Ben Rhodes celebrating his win at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Ben Rhodes celebrating his win at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Rookie Ben Rhodes won the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150. Rookie Ronnie Bassett Jr. was second. Rhodes, a 17-year-old from Louisville, Kentucky, took over the lead in the K&N Pro Series East standings.

Rhodes dominated the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, but couldn't close the deal at the end. He led all but the final two laps of the race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 15.

"Last week at Bristol was bittersweet," Rhodes said. "We won a couple awards and qualified on the pole and had a really good race. We weren't there at the end. We saved our stuff here."

The rookie driver led the final 26 laps of the race at Greenville Pickens Speedway to win the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race of his short career.

Bassett Jr. had the best race of his short career at Greenville Pickens. He posted his first top-five finish in six NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races.

Coors Brewing Company presents Ben Rhodes with his third 21 Meals 21 Pole Award.

Coors Brewing Company presents Ben Rhodes with his third 21 Meals 21 Pole Award.

"It was my fault we come up one short," Bassett Jr. said. "We should have saved a little bit more and came up stronger at the end. We'll learn and come back next time and be a little stronger."

Rhodes was making his 11th career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start. He has a pair of third-place finishes in the K&N Pro Series East. His most recent third-place finish came at the Bristol race.

Rhodes won the pole and led the first 80 laps of the race at Greenville Pickens. Cameron Hayley took over the lead on lap 81. Kaz Garla passed Hayley for the lead on lap 85 and held it for 14 laps.

Hayley regained the lead on lap 100, but Rhodes took over on lap 125. He held the lead until the checkered flag dropped and survived a pair of caution periods. One involved seven cars on lap 138.

The drivers assume the ready position on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East field.

The drivers assume the ready position on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East field.

Hayley, making his first start at Greenville Pickens Speedway, finished in third. He started on the outside pole and led 29 laps.

"It was difficult to gauge how hard to go before and after the break," Hayley said. "The pace was really fast, so you couldn't give up too many positions. It was a good night overall and we'll head to Richmond and try to get a win there."

Jesse Little was fourth, followed by Daniel Suarez in fifth. Suarez won the first two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races of the season. But he lost his lead in the K&N Pro Series East standings after the Greenville Pickens race.

Rhodes has a seven-point lead over Suarez after four races. Grey Gaulding is third in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings, nine points behind Rhodes.

"I think we have the points lead now and I think we're all happy, happy," Rhodes said. "I can't thank these guys enough."

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


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