DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The K&N Pro Series East and West will meet Saturday at Iowa Speedway, where the track’s slogan “Stars Are Made Here” couldn’t be more appropriate for NASCAR’s top developmental series.
Iowa has featured career-defining wins in the K&N Pro East and West since the inaugural event in 2007 when then 16-year-old Joey Logano pulled off the victory. The trend has continued as Chase Elliott, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones all earned their first NASCAR career wins at the track.
Six of 11 overall race winners at the .875-mile, high-banked oval are now racing in the national series, not including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch, who won the race in 2009. In fact, Elliott and defending race winner Ben Rhodes are competing in Sunday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa.
A new star could be discovered this weekend, with a field that features no previous combination race winners. Already four of the six winners in the K&N Pro East and West this year have been Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders.
Race: Casey’s General Store 150
Date: Saturday, May 16
Time: 8 p.m. CDT
TV Schedule: Thursday, May 21 TBA on NBCSN
2014 Winner: Ben Rhodes
2014 Pole Winner: Brodie Kostecki
Event Schedule: Friday – Garage Opens/Inspection begins: 12-5 p.m. CDT Saturday – Garage Opens: 8 a.m.; Practice: 10-10:50 a.m.; Final Practice: 12:30-1:30 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 3-4 p.m.; 2-Lap Qualifying: 6 p.m.; Driver Introductions: 7:30 p.m.; Casey’s General Stores 150: 8 p.m.
Track Contact: Edward Williams, (641) 791-8038, [email protected]
Track Twitter: @iowaspeedway
* All times are in CDT and subject to change.
The Race: The Casey’s General Stores 150 marks the 12th NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway, and the first event at the track in 2015. It’s the fourth of 14 races overall on the 2015 K&N Pro East schedule, and the fourth of 13 races overall for the K&N Pro West.
The Procedure: The race will be 150 laps (131.25 miles) and will be run in two segments with a midway break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75. The starting field is 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 28 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining eight spots will be awarded through the provisional process. Note: Each driver will be credited with a finish and points respective to the series they’ve designated.
The Track: Iowa Speedway is a .875-mile paved oval with the turns banked 12-14 degrees, four degrees of banking in the backstretch and 10 degrees in the frontstretch. The track opened in 2006 and the first NASCAR-sanctioned race was a K&N Pro Series combination event on May 20, 2007 won by Joey Logano. NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events were added in 2009.
The Records: The one-lap series qualifying record at Iowa was established by Kyle Busch on May 17, 2009 at 135.484 mph (23.250 seconds). The 150-lap race record was set by Ben Rhodes on May 17, 2014 at 93.287 mph (1 hour, 24 minutes, 25 seconds).
IOWA RACE NOTES
Mayhew Leads The Way
David Mayhew has earned four wins at Iowa since his first race at the track in 2007. All four of his wins have been in the West. Three times, he has been credited with a win as the highest finishing West driver, while his win in 2009 was a standalone victory. Greg Pursley follows with two West victories. Michael Self also has two wins, including his overall win in June of 2013. Dylan Kwasniewski has one win each in the East and the West.
Rookies Dominating The Competition
Rookies in both the K&N Pro Series East and West have found early success this season. With six races completed between both series, rookies have five wins. Austin Hill is the lone veteran winner after dominating the K&N Pro East opener at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway. William Byron and Kyle Benjamin won the last two races in the East at Greenville and Bristol, respectively. Rookies have led the way in the West, with Dalton Sargeant (Kern) and Noah Gragson (Tucson) collecting wins.
Ruston Hopes To Continue Iowa Success
Kenzie Ruston hopes her on-track success at Iowa Speedway continues. Last fall at Iowa, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver finished second to become the highest finishing female in the K&N Pro Series East history.
Pole Sitter Slump
The overall pole winner has only won the race twice: Kyle Busch in 2009 and Cole Custer in August 2013.
Wins From The Outside
There have only been two winners who started from outside the top 10: Chase Elliott started 15th in May 2012 and Michael Self started 13th in June 2013.
Chevrolet Is The Car To Beat
In the eight years the K&N Pro Series have been coming to Iowa Speedway, Chevrolet has been the manufacturer to beat. Chevrolet’s have won seven of the 11 combination events, while Toyota has earned three and Ford has tallied one.
NASCAR Next Drivers Hit The Track
Iowa Speedway will feature eight drivers from the 2015-16 NASCAR Next class, recently revealed at the NASCAR Hall Of Fame in Charlotte. The 2015-16 class features: Rico Abreu, Nicole Behar, Kyle Benjamin, James Bickford, William Byron, Cole Custer, Ruben Garcia Jr., Austin Hill, Jesse Little, Dylan Lupton, John Hunter Nemechek and Dalton Sargeant. Abreu, Behar, Benjamin, Bickford, Byron, Hill, Little and Sargeant will be in the Casey’s General Store 150, while Garcia is racing Sunday in the NASCAR Mexico Series race at Queretaro.
-NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com