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Austin Hill Claims the Win & Rhodes Clinches the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship

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Austin Hill drove his A&D Welding/Don Rich Ford race car to a decisive victory 1.023 seconds ahead of second place in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 race in Greenville, South Carolina

Austin Hill drove his A&D Welding/Don Rich Ford race car to a decisive victory 1.023 seconds ahead of second place in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 race in Greenville, South Carolina

Austin Hill number 22, Cameron Hayley number 98, and Gray Gaulding in the number 20 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet represent the top three finishers at Greenville Pickens Speedway

Austin Hill number 22, Cameron Hayley number 98, and Gray Gaulding in the number 20 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet represent the top three finishers at Greenville Pickens Speedway

Ben Rhodes came into the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 race at Greenville Pickens Speedway knowing he must finish at least thirteenth in order to secure his first ever NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship. Rhodes had the fastest car in qualifying; winning his sixth 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented ty Coors Light, and started the race from the pole position.

With so much pressure riding on this race, Rhodes anticipated the start and was consequently black flagged for jumping the race’s initial start. NASCAR officials instructed Rhodes to serve a pass through penalty. Luckily Rhodes was able to stay on the lead lap and would spend the remainder of the race working his way back toward the front of the pack. Rhodes would finish the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 well ahead of thirteenth place with a solid fourth place finish. “I put myself in a really bad position early on, made a mistake and went to the back, and had to focus a little big on points racing and get myself up there,” said Rhodes.

Ben Rhodes fought his way up to fourth place after a violation on the initial race start and secured the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship title with one race still remaining in 2014

Ben Rhodes fought his way up to fourth place after a violation on the initial race start and secured the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship title with one race still remaining in 2014

Austin Hill, a NASCAR Next driver, celebrates his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win of the 2014 season at Greenville Pickens Speedway giving Hill two NKNPSE career victories

Austin Hill, a NASCAR Next driver, celebrates his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win of the 2014 season at Greenville Pickens Speedway giving Hill two NKNPSE career victories

NASCAR Next Driver Austin Hill earned his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory of the 2014 season and the second win of his career. Hill led 58 laps in the number 22 A&D Welding/Don Rich Ford car and did all he could to make it out front. Austin Hill, who qualified fifth, was running in third at the 70 lap halfway break point. “I told the guys, this 20 (Gaulding) and this 98 (Hayley) have a real good Hot Rod. They’re able to get off the corner a lot better than I am, and they’re beating me down the straighaway,” said Hill. During that break point the A&D Welding/Don Rich Ford crew made some adjustments to the number 22 car. “During that that halfway break, I came in and said, ‘guys we’re going to have to take a real big swing at it if we’re going to have a shot at winning.’ And they did. They had a really big swing at it, and once they did I took off,” recalled Hill.

Austin Hill powered to the lead on lap 83 but a caution on lap 124 bunched the field again. “When we had that caution, I was a little bit worried,” said Hill. Hill managed to pull away on the restart beating second place finisher Cameron Hayley to the checkers by 1.023 seconds. Afterward Hill said “When we went back to green, and I saw (Hayley) getting smaller and smaller in my window, I knew we had a really good car.” Cameron Hayley brought the number 98 Cabinets by Hayley Chevrolet across the line in second place and Gray Gaulding drove the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chevrolet home to round out the podium finishers.

Ben Rhodes has clinched the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship with an overwhelming points lead over Cameron Hayley. Hayley leads Brandon Jones by just twenty points. Jones is just two points ahead of Gray Gaulding who is only four points ahead of Jesse Little. While Rhodes may have clenched the championship, second and third places could still be decided in the season finale NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at the famous Dover International Speedway.

Austin Hill hoists the massive Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 race winner trophy over his head in victory lane at the ½ mile semi-banked oval of Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina

Austin Hill hoists the massive Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 140 race winner trophy over his head in victory lane at the ½ mile semi-banked oval of Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina

Ben Rhodes won his sixth 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented ty Coors Light for having the fastest lap time during qualifying but a race start violation had him battling back toward the front

Ben Rhodes won his sixth 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented ty Coors Light for having the fastest lap time during qualifying but a race start violation had him battling back toward the front


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