DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will head to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Saturday, April 18 for the PittLite 125, the season’s third of 14 events. Below is a look at the performance of the series and selected drivers at Bristol, as well as some other statistical trends.
Bristol Race Setup
• The fop four drivers are within five points of each other headed in to Bristol. Austin Hill leads with 88 points, followed closely by William Byron with 85 points. Dalton Sargeant and Gray Gaulding are two points behind Byron with 83 apiece.
• Defending race winner Eddie MacDonald will be making his season debut at Bristol this weekend.
• Thirteen out of the 31 drivers on the entry list will make their first K&N Pro Series East start at Bristol for the PittLite125.
Bristol Motor Speedway
• Bristol Motor Speedway opened in 1961 and hosted its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 30 of that year. Jack Smith picked up the win and led 243 of the 500 laps.
• To date, the track has hosted 108 Sprint Cup Series races, 65 NASCAR XFINITY Series races and 17 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. Kyle Busch leads all drivers with 16 Bristol victories and Darrell Waltrip tops the charts with 12 Sprint Cup Series triumphs.
• The .533-mile concrete oval hosted its first NASCAR K&N Pro Series event in March 2012 with Nelson Piquet Jr. collecting the win.
• This is the series’ fourth visit to the legendary Tennessee track.
• The PittLite 125 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, April 23 TBA.
• For two previous Bristol winners – Nelson Piquet Jr. (2012) and Dylan Kwasniewski (2013) – it was their first K&N East victory.
• The most cautions for a K&N East race at Bristol is eight (2013) while the fewest is six (2012). The most caution laps were 40 in 2014 and fewest were 33 in 2012.
• In three races, the lead has changed hands an average two times of with a high of four changes in 2012.
• The average starting position for the winner is 6.3 while the pole sitter has an average finish of 2.6.
• Bristol is one of three half-mile tracks on the series schedules joining South Carolina’s Greenville Pickens Speedway and Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway.
Race: #3 out of 14 (4/18/15)
Track Layout: .533-mile concrete oval
Race Length: 125 laps (66.625 miles)
Banking/Corners: Variable (24-28 degrees)
Bristol Qualifying/Race Data:
2014 Pole Winner: Ben Rhodes
2014 Race Winner: Eddie MacDonald
1-Lap Qualifying Record: Michael McGuire, Toyota, 15.898 seconds, 120.694 mph, March 16, 2013
125-Lap Race Record: Nelson Piquet Jr., Toyota, one hour, two minutes, six seconds, 65.402 mph, March 17, 2012
Dylan Kwasniewski … 1
Eddie MacDonald … 1
Nelson Piquet Jr. … 1
Michael McGuire … 1
Nelson Piquet Jr. …. 1
Ben Rhodes … 1
Eddie MacDonald … 375
Ben Kennedy … 252
Michael McGuire … 252
Ryan Gifford … 252
Bryan Ortiz … 252
Jimmy Weller … 252
Ben Rhodes … 130
Dylan Kwasniewski … 96
Nelson Piquet Jr. … 62
Chase Elliott … 40
Select Driver Information
Rico Abreu (No. 98 Accudoc Solutions/Go-Pro Motorplex/Curb Records Chevrolet)
• Had his best series career finish at Greenville, finishing ninth.
• Finished 17th at New Smyrna in his K&N Pro Series East debut.
Devon Amos (No. 6 Max Siegel Inc. Toyota)
• Finished 19th at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
• Had his series best career finish at New Smyrna finishing 15th.
Collin Cabre (No. 2 UTI/NTI Toyota)
• Finished 15th at both Greenville and in his season debut at New Smyrna.
Dillon Bassett (No. 44 Citrus Pest Management Ford)
• Finished 16th at Greenville.
• Had his best career best finish, sixth, at New Smyrna in his series debut.
Ronnie Bassett Jr. (No. 04 Bassett Gutters Ford)
• Finished eighth at Greenville Pickens.
• Was 16th at the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Finished 23rd last season in his only start at Bristol to date.
• Finished last season ranked 11th with three top fives and six top 10s.
• Made his K&N Pro Series East in 2013.
Jay Beasley (No. 42 Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Toyota)
• Finished 20th at Greenville.
• Finished 25th at the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Finished 15th at Bristol last season.
• Finished career-best, fourth, at Iowa and New Hampshire last season.
• Ranked 20th in the final standings last year.
Kyle Benjamin (No. 27 Benjamin Motorsports Ford)
• Finished 12th at Greenville.
• Finished fifth at the New Smyrna season opener.
• Earned his career best series finish in his K&N East debut at Dover in September 2013.
William Byron (No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet)
• Earned his first K&N East victory at Greenville Pickens.
• Made his series debut at the New Smyrna season opener and finished seventh.
Nick Drake (No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Finished seventh at Greenville.
• Finished eighth at the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Was 29th at Bristol last season.
• Was ranked eighth in last season’s final standings, with four top fives and eight top 10s.
• Finished a career-best second at Iowa last season on May 17.
• Collected his first series top-five finish (fourth) last February at Daytona International Speedway.
• Earned his first win at the K&N Pro Series West event at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in November 2014.
David Garbo Jr. (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet)
• Finished 13th at Greenville Pickens.
• Finished 12th at the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Had his career-best finish (seventh) at Bristol last season.
• Finished last season with one top 10 finish in seven starts.
Gray Gaulding (No. 12 Krispy Kreme Donuts Toyota)
• Finished second at Greenville Pickens.
• Placed third at the season opener at New Smyrna.
• In two starts at Bristol, he has finished sixth (2013) and second (2014).
• His average finish at Bristol is four and his average start is nine.
• Recorded season-best last season with a second place finish at Bristol on March 15.
• Became the youngest pole winner in NKNPS East history (15 years, 2 months, 15 days) on April 13 at Richmond.
• Became the youngest race winner in NKNPS West history (15 years, 8 months 30 days) in November 2013 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway.
• Became the youngest pole winner in NKNPS West history (15 years, 8 months, 16 days) in October 2013 at Kern (Calif.) County Raceway Park.
• Made NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on March 30 at Martinsville Speedway.
Kaz Grala (No. 3 Kiklos Toyota)
• Finished sixth at Greenville and 18th at the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Finished 20th at Bristol last season, his first appearance at the track.
• Had four top fives and 10 top 10s in 14 K&N East starts last season.
• Finished last season ranked seventh in the final standings.
• Had a career-best second at Dover on September 26, 2014.
JJ Haley (No. 5 Braun Auto Chevrolet)
• This will be his first K&N Pro Series East appearance at Bristol.
• Finished 21st at the season opener at New Smyrna and 18th at Greenville.
• Raced at Columbus, Iowa and Dover last season and had a career-best finish at Dover with a seventh place finish.
Scott Heckert (No. 34 Project Lifesaver Chevrolet)
• Finished fourth at the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Has made two appearances at Bristol and finished 20th (2013) and 27th (2014).
• Finished last season ranked 8th in the standings with two wins, six top fives, eight top 10s and three poles.
• Finished his rookie season in 2013 ranked 17th after earning two top 10 finishes.
Daniel Hemric (No. 20 California Clean Power Chevrolet)
• Made his K&N East debut at Greenville and earned the pole award and a fifth place finish.
• Has competed in six NASCAR Camping World Truck races, finished sixth at Martinsville and Phoenix in 2013 for his best career finish.
• Has competed in three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events earning his best finish at Stafford Springs, Connecticut with an 11th place finish.
• He competed in nine NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour events and recorded, three top fives and six top 10s, his best finish was a third place finish at Caraway in 2012.
Austin Hill (No. 22 A&D Welding Ford)
• Leads the point standings with 88 points after winning the season opener at New Smyrna and finishing fourth at Greenville.
• In two Bristol appearances, he has finished 16th (2013) and fifth (2014).
• Has an average finish of 10.5 and an average start of 13 at Bristol.
• Earned his first career pole award at New Smyrna on February 15, 2015.
• Finished last season fifth in the final standings after earning two wins, seven top fives and ten top 10s.
• Earned his first career win in September 2013 at Dover International Speedway.
Brandon Jones (No. 33 MasterForce Tool Storage Chevrolet)
• Making his season debut and 24th K&N East race this weekend at Bristol.
• In his two appearances at Bristol, he finished 31st (2013) and 8th (2014).
• Earned his first K&N East win last season at Iowa in August.
• Has competed in nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races tallying a fourth place finish at Dover last season.
Jesse Little (No. 97 NASCAR Technical Institute/Performance Friction Brakes Toyota)
• Will be making his season debut and 38th K&N East start this weekend.
• In two starts at Bristol, has finished 14th (2013) and 13th (2014)
• Has an average finish of 13.5 and an average start of seven at Bristol.
• Has earned first K&N Pro Series East victory at New Hampshire last season.
• Won two poles last season at Iowa and Dover.
• Finished last season ranked sixth after tallying one win, four top fives and 10 top 10s.
• In 37 K&N East starts has earned one win, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s and two poles.
Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Contracting Chevrolet)
• Will be making his season debut and 183rd K&N East start this weekend.
• In three starts at Bristol, has finished 28th (2012), seventh (2013) and first (2014).
• Has an average finish of 12 and an average start of 22 at Bristol.
• In 182 starts as earned seven wins, 24 top fives, 86 top 10s and two poles.
• Has competed in one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and finished 30th.
• In two NASCAR XFINITY starts, he finished 41st (2007) and 22nd (2009).
• Competed in one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire and finished 35th.
• In two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races he finished 37th (2005) and 39th (2009).
Kenzie Ruston (No. 4 Rev Racing Toyota)
• Finished 14th at Greenville and 10th at the season opener in New Smyrna.
• In two starts at Bristol, she has finished 11th (2013) and 22nd (2014).
• Has an average finish of 16.5 and an average start of 17.5 at Bristol.
• Finished last season ninth in the standings with three top fives and seven top 10s.
• Her runner-up finish at Iowa in August 2014, was her best career finish and the highest finish by a female in series history.
Dalton Sargeant (No. 51 GALT Chevrolet)
• Finished third at Greenville and second at the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Leads the K&N Pro Series West point standings, after earning one win, two top fives, two top 10s and two poles.
• This will be his first K&N East start at Bristol.
Up To Speed In The East
• The 2015 season is the 29th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• The 2015 season features 14 races at 12 different tracks across 10 states.
• William Byron earned his first career win at Greenville Pickens after leading 152-laps with Gray Gaulding and Dalton Sargeant rounding out the top three.
• Austin Hill opened the season at New Smyrna with a victory over Dalton Sargeant and Gray Gaulding after leading all 150-laps and winning his first career pole award.
-NASCAR IMC Press Release. Photo Credit: Getty Images For NASCAR