ALTON, Va. – Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) came into the second and final road course event of the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) season at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), looking to end the day in victory lane. TSM started the day by qualifying all five cars inside the top 12, with Scott Heckert capturing the pole award, the third for the 20-year-old of the season. Heckert would end the evening where he began, capturing his second-career NKNPSE victory and second win in a row in a caution-filled Biscuitville 125. Hayley followed suit, bringing home a runner-up finish. Kaz Grala was able to finish in the top five, with Brandon Jones and Ben Rhodes bringing home top 10s. The victory for Heckert marked the eighth win overall for TSM in 2014 through 14 events
Heckert came into the Biscuitville 125 looking to bring home his second-straight victory of the season in the No. 34 Project Lifesaver Chevrolet. The day got headed in the right direction as Heckert won the 21 Means 21 pole award, his third of 2014. Heckert held steady, running inside the top five through the halfway portion of the race and withstood some late-race restarts, ultimately passing teammate Hayley on lap 52 to capture his second-career NKNPSE victory of 2014, the second in two consecutive weeks, following his win at Watkins Glen one week ago. The victory moved Heckert up to eighth in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings.
Scott Heckert on his victory at VIR:
“What an amazing race at VIR. I knew we had to conserve the car for a long time so it was good at the end. The plan worked perfectly and the car was fantastic at the end. This crew is amazing and they deserved the road course sweep. A big thanks to everyone at TSM and Project Lifesaver for their continued support.”
Hayley entered the Biscuitville 125 looking to capture the first victory of 2014 for the No. 98 Cabinets by Hayley team. The day got started in the right way, as Hayley was able to run inside the top five in the early portion of the event. The 18-year-old moved into the race lead on lap 25, looking to hold strong through the halfway portion of the race. Hayley would surrender the lead until lap 32, when we moved back into the point position and stayed out front for the next 20 laps. A rash of late-race restarts put Hayley into the second position where he would eventually finish. Hayley led 25 laps in the race, the most of the day, and the top five kept the young driver in the second position in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings, now 65 points out of the championship lead.
Cameron Hayley on his run at VIR:
“We had such a fast No. 98 Cabinets by Hayley Chevrolet this weekend at VIR. We were able to lead laps and challenge for the victory late in the race. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to end the evening in victory lane where we wanted to be. I know we’ve had fast racecars the past few weeks and I know we will have another one when we get to Greenville. Hopefully we can put everything together and end the night in victory lane.”
Grala came into the Biscuitville 125 on the heels of five straight top-10 finishes, looking to extend the streak to six. The 15-year-old started the race in the 12th position and used poise and patience to work towards the front of the field, moving into the top 10 prior to the halfway break. One of the late-race restarts resulted in the No. 31 OzLINK Chevrolet recieving some damage that proved to be a game changer in the race. But, the TSM team never blinked, overcoming the damage with repairs, as the youngest full-time driver in the NKNPSE used a string of cautions to work back into the top five and bring home his sixth-straight top 10 and second-straight top five of 2014. Grala leaves VIR sitting sixth in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings.
Kaz Grala on six-straight top 10s and the run at VIR:
“To say that VIR was an eventful race for us would be an understatement. We started 12th, battled up to as high as second, pitted for damage after getting hit, restarted 14th with about five laps to go, and raced back up to our third top-five finish this season. I can’t thank my Turner Scott Motorsports crew enough for giving me a great car this weekend and fixing the damage as quickly as they did.”
Jones came into this weekend’s Biscuitville 125 looking to build from a strong top-10 finish one week ago at Watkins Glen. The 17-year-old used that momentum to qualify for the race in the eighth position. Jones held his own, running inside the top 10 and gaining valuable experience as every lap ticked away. Jones remained in the top 10 in the late stages of the race, when the No. 33 Wolf Pack Energy Services Chevrolet was caught up in an incident on the track. Under caution, the TSM team went to work fixing the damage and getting the Chevy back on track. Jones used the late-race restarts to his advantage, gaining positions in the race’s closing laps and bringing home a solid seventh-place finish. Jones leaves VIR remaining third in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings.
Brandon Jones on his top 10:
“Another solid top 10 for this No. 33 team. We didn’t let the damage we suffered in the race affect our overall finish, and that’s a testament to this whole Turner Scott Motorsports team. When we were caught up in an incident, the team went to work getting me back on track and able to finish the race strong with a solid finish. I’m looking forward to the final two races of our season in the next few weeks.”
Rhodes came into the Biscuitville 125 looking to extend his NKNPSE Driver Point Standings championship lead and capture his sixth victory of the 2014 season. The NASCAR Next driver started the day on a high note, beginning the race in the second position. As the race began, Rhodes settled into the top five, looking to stay on the conservative side of things as laps clicked off. Rhodes ran inside the top 10 for the majority of the race and looked to be in position for the win following the halfway mark of the event. A late-race incident levied severe damage to the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet in the race’s closing laps. Rhodes was able to keep the Chevrolet on track and survive more late-race restarts to bring home another top 10, finishing 10th. This marked the 12th top 10 for Rhodes this season, and the 17-year-old leads the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings by 65 points over TSM teammate Hayley.
Ben Rhodes on his run at VIR:
“Our goal was to make sure we protected our points lead and race for the win. The track changed a lot during the race, though, and my Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet wasn’t handling the way I wanted for the first half. My crew chief Mark McFarland and my TSM team made adjustments for the second half, but we ended up getting damage that blocked off the airflow to the radiator, and the engine started to overheat so we had to pit to fix it. The caution came out at the right time and during the red flag, it cooled down. At that point, we were in survival mode and, fortunately, managed to get the 10th spot.”
The NKNPSE has two weeks off until the 15th race of the 2014 season at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on September 6.