Kyle Benjamin used a late restart that resulted in a mad dash to the checkered flag to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville Pickens Speedway, in South Carolina.
Kyle Benjamin wins the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville Pickens Speedway
Benjamin was in the lead on a lap 144 when the final caution of the race came out. He held on for the final two laps of the race to win the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150.
“We didn’t have a winning car at the beginning,” Benjamin said. “To come back like we did at the end says a lot about the team. They made the right adjustments and kept our heads on straight.”
Benjamin is running a part-time schedule in the K&N Pro Series East. He won pole with a track record 19.144 second lap at 94.024 mph around the half-mile, newly paved oval.
“We’re not running the full season,” Benjamin said. “I wish I could run some more K&N races but it’s all I have so far.”
The race was split into two halves. Benjamin was running third at the break. He took the lead for good on lap 108 and was out front for 46 laps in the race. He won for the second time in a row at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
Ronnie Bassett Jr. was second. He won the K&N Pro Series East season opener at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida in February.
Kyle Benjamin won the pole and led for 46 laps in the K&N Pro Series East race in South Carolina
“We were probably a fifth place car tonight,” Bassett said after the race. “Everybody got jumbled up there on the last restart. That second place finish was like a win to us.”
Bassett qualified in 10th but moved up quickly. It was his third top-five finish at Greenville Pickens Speedway in his past three races.
“We didn’t have the best race car,” Bassett said. “We managed to keep it in one piece throughout the race and I was there at the end.”
Todd Gilliland, who won three races in a row in the K&N Pro Series West, was third at Greenville Pickens Speedway. He is running full time in the K&N Pro Series West and East.
“Fortunately we had a good enough car that we could drive up to the front there,” Gilliland said. “We were second at the halfway break and then came home third here. It’s tough. This place is really physical, hard on brakes, that was the biggest thing, the story of the night here throughout the pits, just brakes going away in that long green flag run at the end.”
Dillon Bassett led a race-high 104 laps, but finished in eighth place.
Kyle Benjamin celebrates after winning the K&N Pro Series East race at Greenville Pickens Speedway
Harrison Burton was fourth at Greenville Pickens Speedway, followed by Tyler Dippel in fifth.
Ronnie Bassett Jr. leads the K&N Pro Series East standings after two races. Burton is eight points behind in second place. Gilliland is third, 12 points behind Bassett.
“I wish we could have had something a little bit more for them but we’ll get ‘em next time,” Gilliland said.
The next K&N Pro Series East race is the Zombie Auto 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.