Harrison Burton sat on pole for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opening Jet Tools 150 at New Smyrna Speedway, but it was Ronnie Bassett Jr that came out victorious, notching his first laps led and his first win in a crazy race.
Spencer Davis started alongside Burton but took a penalty on the start. After jumping the start Davis was forced to come down pit road, resulting in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Super Late Model opening night winner trailing the field in last place.
Burton led much of the way in the early going of the 150-lap race until a bad restart on lap 50. A push from Todd Gilliland helped Dillon Bassett to take the lead, which Gilliland would later take before blowing a right front tire. This allowed Dillon Bassett to lead until he and Tyler Dippel collided in turn one, as a result of a blown tire on Dillon Bassett’s car.
The collision between Dillon Bassett and Tyler Dippel allowed Ronnie Bassett Jr to take the lead, the first time in his career he had led a lap in K&N Pro Series East competition, despite having the most starts of anyone in the field.
Ronnie Bassett Jr walked away from there, capturing his first win.
“We had a really good race car today,” Bassett told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after the win. “We came and tested last week and we had a fast car then and we did again today. We have a great group behind us. It means a lot to finally win. We have gotten great finishes but never a win and I guess tonight was our night.”
After a fire destroyed the Bassett brothers’ shop last season, Ronnie thought of the win as a watermark of how far the team has come since the fire.
“We spent all winter building this race car,” Bassett continued. “We knew we would be competitive again. These guys do a great job of making this organization better and making this win possible.”
Zane Smith rebounded from a penalty that erased his qualifying effort which sent him to the back of the field to finish second.
“Hats off to everyone who is involved here, who turns a wrench or anything,” Smith, who was the fastest in the first practice said. “I am so mad at myself for the qualifying penalty. If we hadn’t had that penalty it could have been a different story because you burn up your tires so much here trying to come through the field. If I hadn’t made that mistake in qualifying I think we could have won.”
For a replay of Speed51.com‘s Trackside Now coverage presented by Performance Friction Brakes and FK Rod Ends visit http://speed51.com/trackside-now-kn-east-season-opener-new-smyrna-fl/
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent – Twitter: @RNoblesSpeed51
Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East JET Tools 150
New Smyrna Speedway, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
|1||04||Ronnie Bassett, Jr.|
|16||6||Ruben Garcia Jr.|
|25||49||John Holleman, IV|
|27||5||Luis Rodriguez, Jr.|