Watkins Glen International…The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) heads to Watkins Glen International this weekend for the 13th race of the 2014 season. This is the first time since 2009 that the NKNPSE will visit the New York road course and the first time all five Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) drivers will race on the track in the NKNPSE. A week ago, the NKNPSE was in action at the Iowa Speedway, with TSM ending the evening in victory lane as Brandon Jones claimed his first-career NKNPSE victory. Scott Heckert, Ben Rhodes and Kaz Grala all brought home top-10 finishes, with Cameron Hayley fighting the handling on his racecar throughout the event, finishing 15th. TSM looks to continue their winning tradition on road couses, as the organization visited victory lane in both NKNPSE road course events in 2013 with eventual series champion Dylan Kwasniewski.
Kaz Grala…Grala heads into this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen with a streak of four straight top 10s. The youngest full-time driver in the NKNPSE looks to take that number to five this weekend as he heads into the first of two road course races this season. Grala has previous experience on road courses in Karting events, Legends Cars, and the Continental Tire Series back at Daytona in January setting the fastest lap of his group, but this will mark the 15-year-old’s first start in the NKNPSE on a road course. Grala sits seventh in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings heading into this weekend’s race.
Kaz Grala on racing at Watkins Glen International:
“This weekend is the race I’ve been waiting for all season, Watkins Glen. Not only is it the first road course on the K&N schedule, but it’s also a historic track with high speeds. I have more road course experience than most oval racers, so hopefully that’ll work to my advantage this weekend. The No. 31 OzLINK Chevy was quick in our road course test, so I can’t wait to see what this weekend has in store for us.”
Brandon Jones…Jones heads into his first-career NKNPSE road course start with a heap of momentum on his side. Jones captured his first-career NKNPSE victory a week ago at Iowa Speedway and looks to build upon that heading into the rights and lefts of Watkins Glen. Jones sits third in the NKNPSE Driver Points Standings heading into Watkins Glen.
Brandon Jones on racing at Watkins Glen:
“We’ve been on quite the hot streak lately. We’ve done some road course testing leading up to this weekend and I think we’ve got a good base to work off of. I’m looking forward to getting on track and seeing how we run. My entire Turner Scott Motorsports team has been working hard to get me a sporty No. 33 Wolfpack Energy Services Chevrolet and hopefully we can stay out of trouble and run in the top 10 throughout the entire race.”
Scott Heckert…Heckert enters this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen looking to head to victory lane for the first time in his NKNPSE career. Heckert has extensive experience with road racing and scored top 10s in both NKNPSE road course races one year ago. Heckert is coming off of a top-five run last weekend at Iowa Speedway, and the 20-year-old looks to utilize that momentum this weekend at Watkins Glen. Heckert sits 11th in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings.
Scott Heckert on getting back to road racing:
“Since I was a little kid, I’ve always dreamed of racing at Watkins Glen International. My dad and I used to take weekend trips to The Glen when I was growing up, so being able to race there this weekend is going to be pretty special. These cars are a lot of fun to wheel around road courses, and after the success that we enjoyed last season on those tracks, I’m looking for more of the same this weekend. I know the entire No. 34 Project Lifesaver team has been working hard getting this car prepared. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble all day and be in a position to win in the end.”
Ben Rhodes…Rhodes gets set to make his first-career NKNPSE start on a road course this weekend at Watkins Glen. The NASCAR Next driver looks to rebound from the previous race at Iowa Speedway. Rhodes faced some mid-race setbacks that relegated him to the back of the pack at Iowa. However, the 17-year-old was ultimately able to rebound for a solid top-10 finish. Rhodes enters this weekend’s race as the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings leader, with a 71-point lead over TSM teammate Cameron Hayley.
Ben Rhodes on going road course racing this weekend at Watkins Glen:
“I really do not have much experience in road course racing. I ran road courses back in my Legends Car days, but I haven’t been in a full-size car on a road course race yet. I did go to the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving earlier this year and we tested my Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet at Virginia International Raceway recently, so that has helped get me prepared for Watkins Glen. I am pretty excited for this weekend, so we will see how it goes.”
Cameron Hayley…Hayley heads into this weekend’s race at Watkins Glen looking to rebound from Iowa. Hayley has previous experience on road courses from running in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The 17-year-old looks to take advantage of prior experience heading into The Glen this weekend, as Hayley sits second in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings, 71 points out of the lead.
Cameron Hayley on Watkins Glen: