Five Flags Speedway…The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) heads to Five Flags Speedway for the eighth race of the 2014 season. Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) goes into the Pensacola 150 coming off the organization’s fifth 21 Means 21 pole award on the season and third victory of 2014 at Bowman Gray Stadium, both earned by Ben Rhodes. Brandon Jones brought home a solid top-five finish while Kaz Grala, Scott Heckert and Cameron Hayley were all involved in incidents, ultimately hindering their overall finish. Heckert is the only TSM driver with previous NKNPSE experience at Pensacola, while Grala, Jones, Rhodes and Hayley will all make their first-career NKNPSE starts at Five Flags Speedway.
Kaz Grala…Grala enters the Pensacola 150 looking to build upon a resilient race at Bowman Gray. Grala was caught up in early incidents on the track, but was able to rally, even with substantial damage, and bring home an 11th-place finish. The youngest driver in the NKNPSE field will look to build upon that perseverance with the No. 31 OzLINK Chevy, as Grala makes his first-career start at Five Flags Speedway. The 15-year-old enters the Pensacola 150 sitting 10th in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings.
Kaz Grala on making his first-career start at Five Flags Speedway:
“Pensacola is a track I’ve never been to, but I’ve heard plenty about it because of its famous Late Model event, the Snowball Derby. Tire wear is going to be a major factor from what I’ve heard, due to the track’s coarse asphalt, something that I hope plays towards my strengths. Even though we didn’t test at Pensacola, the No. 31 OzLINK team is ready to go and end this temporary bad-luck streak.”
Brandon Jones…Jones comes into the Pensacola 150 coming off yet another strong showing in the NKNPSE. Jones endured chaos early at Bowman Gray and was able to come from a lap down to bring home his third top-five finish of 2014, and second top-five in a row in the NKNPSE. Jones looks to utilize the momentum his No. 33 Wolfpack Energy Services team has gained over the past few races as the 17-year-old gets set to make his first-career start at Five Flags Speedway. Jones enters the Pensacola 150 sitting sixth in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings.
Brandon Jones on making his first-career start at Five Flags Speedway:
“We’ve been having a great couple of weeks in the No. 33 Chevy, and I think that will continue this weekend at Pensacola. We are gaining a lot of momentum with these strong runs we’ve been having and I think a win is right around the corner. I’m looking forward to this weekend and know my Turner Scott Motorsports team is going to give me a fast racecar.”
Scott Heckert…Heckert heads into the Pensacola 150 coming off a disappointing outing at Bowman Gray, in which the 20-year-old ran in the top five for the majority of the race, only to be thwarted by a late-race incident, relegating him to 12th-place finish. Heckert looks to get things back on track at Five Flags Speedway, where he has one-career start in 2013, starting 10th and bringing home a 17th-place finish. Heckert enters the Pensacola 150 currently sitting 13th in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings.
Scott Heckert on the upcoming race at Five Flags Speedway:
“Pensacola is a great track that I have had a good amount of laps around. I know our short-track package has come a long way, so I’m confident the car will be great. I think we are going to have another strong run in our No. 34 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevy. Hopefully we can avoid trouble and bring home the finish this team deserves.”
Ben Rhodes…Rhodes comes into Five Flags Speedway with a ton of momentum coming off his third victory of the season. Rhodes has been nothing short of outstanding in 2014, capturing four poles and three victories in the first seven races of the NKNPSE season. The NASCAR Next driver will look to continue that success as he makes his first-career NKNPSE start at Five Flags Speedway this weekend. Rhodes enters the Pensacola 150 as the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings leader with a 49-point advantage over second place.
Ben Rhodes on the upcoming race at Five Flags Speedway:
“I am actually pretty excited to race at Five Flags. I have never been there before, but I have heard a lot about the track in the media and from other drivers. I have been told the track is really abrasive, so tire conservation will be the key to being there at the end of the race. A lot of big-name people have raced and won there, and it is where the Snowball Derby Super Late Model race is held, so it is a pretty special track to visit.”
Cameron Hayley…Hayley comes into the Pensacola 150 looking to shake the bad luck the No. 98 Cabinets by Hayley team has suffered over the last few races. Hayley was involved in several incidents at Bowman Gray, ultimately resulting in the No. 98 going behind the wall for repairs, relegating him to an 18th-place finish. Hayley will look to avoid a similar fate and get his 2014 season back on track, as the 17-year-old makes his first-career start at Five Flags Speedway. Hayley currently sits fourth in the NKNPSE Driver Point Standings.
Cameron Hayley on making his first-career start at Five Flags Speedway: