Daytona Beach, Fla. — The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East continues its three weeks of action Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire, for the United Site Services 70.
New Hampshire has held more series races than any other track on the circuit, ushering the K&N Pro Series from the early days as a regional touring series through its current incarnation as a true development stop on the NASCAR ladder. But the 1.058-mile oval located less than an hour from Boston, has done more than simply play host to 70 races since 1990. It’s also been a testing ground of a team’s championship mettle.
Ten times, the driver that went on to win the K&N Pro Series championship won at least once during their title season at NHMS. Since 2004, seven champions have visited victory lane — including current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series point leader Kyle Larson, who won in Loudon en route to the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title. In addition, a series champions have won twice at NHMS four times, beginning with 1991 champion Ricky Craven and continuing in 2007 with the Joey Logano and in 2010 with Ryan Truex. Most recently, William Byron — who is second in the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings with two wins this season — won at New Hampshire in 2015 before securing his championship that year.
RACE: United Site Services 70
PLACE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire
DATE: Saturday, July 15
TIME: 6:45 p.m. ET
AIRDATE: NBCSN, Thursday, July 20 at 7pm ET
TRACK LAYOUT: 1.058-mile progressively banked asphalt oval
2016 WINNER: Corey LaJoie
2016 POLE WINNER: Kyle Benjamin
EVENT SCHEDULE: Friday, July 7 — Garage opens: 12:30 p.m.; Practice: 4 p.m.; Final practice: 6 p.m.; Group qualifying: 7:05 p.m. Saturday, July 8 — Driver autograph session: 1 p.m.; Garage opens: 3 p.m.; United Site Services 70: 6:45 p.m.
EVENT HASHTAG: #UnitedSS70
The Race: The United Site Services 70 will be the ninth of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 32 cars will qualify through the group qualifying process while the remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 70 laps, spanning 74.06 miles.
The Track: This is the 71st race for the K&N Pro Series East at the 1.058-mile slightly banked oval, dating back to September 1990. This is the fourth straight year the series has raced on the summer stop for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, after running on the September weekend in 2012 and 2013. It’s the largest oval on the K&N Pro Series East schedule.
Race Winners: There have been 30 different winners in the 60 all-time stand-alone races at Loudon. New Hampshire native Brad Leighton has the most series wins at the “Magic Mile” with eight, while Eddie MacDonald is the active leader with three.
Pole Winners: Of the 33 different drivers to earn a pole award at New Hampshire, Kelly Moore has the most in K&N Pro Series East history with six. Ben Rhodes set a new qualifying record in 2014 with a time of 29.622 seconds (128.580 mph).
UNITED SITE SERVICES 70 NOTES:
On A Roll: Second-generation driver Harrison Burton enters the weekend at New Hampshire with the series point lead and on the strength of his fourth win in the last six races last time out at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
After entering the season without a win, Burton has collected victories at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Virginia’s South Boston Speedway, Tennessee’s Memphis International Raceway and Thompson. The NASCAR Next driver holds a 22-point lead over Todd Gilliland in the championship standings after accumulating seven top fives in eight races this season and he and Gilliland are the only drivers to have finished inside the top-10 in every start to date.
NHMS has been good to the Burton family in the past. Jeff Burton, Harrison’s father, won four times in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the Magic Mile, including in 2000 when he became the only driver to win after leading every lap of a race at the track.
Hometown Tripleheader: Local driver Andy Seuss will be a busy man this weekend at New Hampshire.
Seuss, who grew up in nearby Hampstead, New Hampshire, will make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut in the United Site Services 70. Seuss, a two-time champion in the former NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, will also compete in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event earlier in the day on Saturday.
The weekend will begin for the driver with 22 career Modified wins on his resume on Friday in the Whelen Modified All-Star Shootout, a 35-lap non-points race.
Launching Pad: A number of drivers who have gone on to NASCAR national series success got a jumpstart on their careers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
In addition to Ricky Craven, the 1991 series champion who won three times at the track in K&N Pro Series East competition, Daytona 500 winners Joey Logano and Derrike Cope also won K&N Pro Series East races at NHMS. Mike McLaughlin won four times in the series at Loudon, while current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Matt DiBenedetto and Corey LaJoie all have wins at the track.
NHMS has been so significant to the K&N Pro Series East, that nine of the 10 drivers named to the series’ ‘Top 10 Drivers of the First 25 Years of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series’ in 2011 all won races there.
The NFL Comes To New England: Former National Football League All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman will have an influence on the United Site Services 70.
The Patriot Motorsports Group will have three entries in the field on Saturday, led by Jesse Iwuji – who drives for Merriman in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West – in the No. 36. Stafford Smith of Eagle, Idaho, will pilot the No. 38 while John Wood, also of Eagle, Idaho, will drive the No. 36 car. Iwuji is also the owner of the No. 34 this weekend.
NASCAR IMC Press Release. Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images