DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Austin Hill hopes to keep his momentum going and add a fourth win to his current streak Saturday at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.
Hill continued his success from last season at the season opener in Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway, adding another win onto his back-to-back victories in the final two races of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The 20-year-old Winston, Georgia, native won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Co. at New Smyrna and then led all 150 laps.
Hill ended the 2014 season with consecutive wins at Greenville and Dover International Speedway. He led the last 58 laps en route to his Greenville win and then rebounded from a flat tire at Dover.
He’s not the only driver coming to Greenville on a win streak. Dalton Sargeant won the K&N Pro Series West season opener as well as the 21 Means 21 Pole Award at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California this past weekend. The 17-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate from Boca Raton, Florida, was second to Hill at New Smyrna.
The Race: The Kevin Whitaker 150 is the second race of the 2015 K&N Pro Series East. It is the second of 12 oval track events and 14 races overall on the schedule. This is the series 14th visit to the South Carolina oval.
The Procedure: Starting positions for the first 26 cars will be determined from qualifying, and three provisional starting positions will be assigned by the final 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship car owner points standings. The race will be 150 laps, spanning 75-miles, and will run in two segments with a five minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75.
The Track: Greenville is a half-mile asphalt oval with five degrees banking in the turns. It opened in 1946 with a dirt racing surface and was paved in 1970. It hosted 29 Sprint Cup Series races from 1951-71. It also hosted two NASCAR XFINITY Series, four NASCAR Convertible Series and two NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events.
GREENVILLE RACE NOTES
Rookie Success At Greenville
Greenville has seen great success from rookies since its first K&N Pro Series East race in 2006. Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr. Ben Rhodes and Hill all earned victories at Greenville as rookies. With eight rookies set to take the track on Saturday, history has the chance to repeat itself.
First-Time Winner On Deck?
Hill and Sergio Pena (2011) are the only former Greenville winners in the field. Wallace (2010 and 2012) is the only driver to win twice there.
Gaulding To Debut With New Team
Gray Gaulding will be making his debut with his new team Precision Performance Motorsports. Gaulding will be driving the No. 12 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Toyota for owner Rick Gdovic. Daniel Hemric will be replacing Gaulding in the No. 20 Chevrolet for NTS Motorsports.
Benjamin and Burns Return Home
Kyle Benjamin, a native of Easley South Carolina, is returning home for his sixth K&N Pro Series East start and his racing debut at Greenville. Simpsonville, South Carolina, native Jeremy Burns, will make his season debut at his hometown track. It will be his third start at Greenville, with his second-place run on April 6, 2013 being his career best.
NASCAR Hits The Ice
The K&N Pro Series East will visit the Greenville Road Warriors on Thursday, April 2. The Road Warriors are the minor-league affiliate of the New York Rangers. Benjamin, William Byron, David Garbo Jr., Scott Heckert and Sargeant will be dropping the puck at 7 p.m. and signing autographs during the first intermission. The drivers will be hanging out during the pre-game festivities to meet fans and provide giveaways.
– Brooke Franceschini, NASCAR
Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR