K&N Pro East Stat Advance: New Smyrna

Analyzing The Jet Tools 150 At New Smyrna Speedway

By Brooke Franceschini, NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East opens its 2016 season on Sunday, Feb. 14 with the Jets Tools 150 at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the series and selected drivers.

Jet Tools 150 Race Setup:
• Of the 31 cars entered, only two of the top-10 finishers from last year will be competing in Sunday’s Jet Tools 150, Kyle Benjamin (fifth) and Dillon Bassett (sixth).
• Of the entered drivers, six have taken a K&N car to Victory Lane, including three from the East and three from the West. They include: Dillon Bassett (East), Kyle Benjamin (East), Collin Cabre (East), Todd Gilliland (West), Noah Gragson (West) and Gracin Raz (West).
• All three K&N Pro Series East winners entered in the season opener have each earned one win a piece.
• Sixteen drivers entered in the Jet Tools 150 are Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders. Of those rookies, nine will attempt to make their series debut.

At New Smyrna Speedway:
History
• Opened its doors in 1964 and was repaved in January 2007.
• The .480-mile banked oval has 600-foot straightaways, 720-foot turns with 23 degrees of banking.
• Has a grandstand capacity of 8,000,
• Held its first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Feb. 16, 2014, a race won by Daniel Suarez.
• This is the series’ 14th race in Florida – eight of those came between 1988 and 1997 at Daytona which were combination races with the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
• New Smyrna Speedway is one of five half-mile tracks on the series schedule this season with Mobile (Ala.) Speedway, Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and Stafford (Conn). Motor Speedway.

Notebook
• New Smyrna has played host to two K&N East races.
• There have been two different winners at New Smyrna, Daniel Suarez and Austin Hill.
• The have been two different pole winners at New Smyrna, Cameron Hayley and Austin Hill.
• Ronnie Bassett Jr. and Kaz Grala are the only drivers entered to have competed in both K&N East races at New Smyrna.
• Austin Hill is the youngest race winner at 20 years, 6 months, 9 days in 2015.
• Daniel Suarez is the oldest race winner at 22 years, 1 month, 9 days in 2014.
• Since the inaugural race at New Smyrna, the eventual series champion has scored a top 10 in each of the last two races, Ben Rhodes finished fourth in 2014 and William Byron finished seventh last season.

New Smyrna Data
Race: #1 of 14 overall
Track Layout: .480-mile paved oval
Banking/Turns: 23 degrees
Race Length: 150 Laps (72 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data
2015 Race Winner: Austin Hill
2014 Pole Winner: Austin Hill
Qualifying Record: Cameron Hayley, Chevrolet, 18.477 seconds (93.522 mph), Feb. 12, 2014

Leaders at New Smyrna:
Wins
1. Austin Hill … 1
Daniel Suarez … 1

Poles
1. Cameron Hayley … 1
Austin Hill … 1

Top Fives
1. 10 drivers … 1

Top 10s
1. Gray Gaulding … 2
Kenzie Ruston … 2

Laps Led
1. Austin Hill … 151
2. Daniel Suarez … 103
3. Brandon Jones … 35
4. Gray Gaulding … 5
5. Kenzie Ruston… 4
6. Cameron Hayley … 3

Laps Completed
1. Nick Drake … 301
David Garbo Jr. … 301
Gray Gaulding … 301
Scott Heckert … 301
Kenzie Ruston … 301
2. Ronnie Bassett Jr. … 300
Sergio Pena … 300

Starts
1. 10 drivers … 2

Select Driver Highlights:
Dillon Bassett (No. 44 Bassett Gutters Ford)
• Finished sixth in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at New Smyrna(Fla.) Speedway.
• Finished 13th in the series standings last season with one win, two top fives and four top 10s.
• Collected his first series win at Pennsylvania’s Motordrome Speedway.

Kyle Benjamin (No. 40 Ranier Racing with MDM Chevrolet)
• Finished fifth at New Smyrna last season.
• Finished ranked ninth in the series standings last season with one win, three top-five and six top-10 finishes.
• Earned his first K&N East win at one of the fellow half-mile ovals, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
• Is a member of the 2015-16 NASCAR Next class.

Harrison Burton (No. 12 DEX Imaging/Konica Minolta Toyota)
• Will be making his K&N East debut at New Smyrna.
• Became the youngest starter in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West history at 15 years, eight days at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.
• Made two K&N West starts in 2015: All American (11th) and Arizona’s Phoenix International Raceway (6th).

Collin Cabre (No. 2 UTI/NTI Toyota)
• Finished 15th in his K&N East debut at New Smyrna last season.
• Finished 10th in the series standings last year with one win, two top fives and three top 10s.
• Captured his first win at Dover (Del.) International Speedway at the 2015 finale.

Sarah Cornett-Ching (No. 02 RACE 101 Chevrolet)
• Finished 37th in the K&N East standings last year after three starts.
• Collected her best finishin the series, 20th, at Bristol, another half-mile oval.

Ruben Garcia Jr. (No. 6 Special Smiles Toyota)
• Will be making his K&N East debut at New Smyrna.
• Was the 2015 NASCAR Mexico Series champion with three wins, eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
• Was the Mexico Series runner-up in 2014 with three top fives and 10 top 10s.
• Is a member of the 2015-16 NASCAR Next class.

Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Will be making his K&N East debut at New Smyrna.
• Became the youngest race winner in K&N West history in his series debut at Phoenix at 15 years, five months, 28 days.
• Will compete full-time in the K&N West with select K&N East races in 2016 with Bill McAnally Racing.

Kaz Grala (No. 3 Kiklos Olive Oil Toyota)
• In his two K&N East starts at New Smyrna, he’s finished 10th (2014) and 18th (2015).
• He finished seventh in the series standings last year with four top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
• He’s collected his best career finishes, second, at Dover and VIRginia International Raceway.

Noah Gragson (No. 55 AlertID/Colliers International Ford)
• Finished 35th in the K&N East standings last year with two top 10s in two starts.
• Finished eighth at New York’s Watkins Glen International and 10th at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
• He finished runner-up in the K&N West with two wins, seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.
• He was the 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the K&N West.

Justin Haley (No. 5 Braun Auto Chevrolet)
• Finished 21st at New Smyrna last season.
• He finished sixth in the series standings last year with six top fives and 10 top 10s.
• He won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award and led 94 of 101 laps before a flat tire took him out of contention at the K&N West finale at Phoenix.

Ryan Preece (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet)
• Made his K&N East debut at Richmond last year and finished 14th after starting 35th.
• He was the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion.
• The NASCAR Next alum will compete full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2016.

Gracin Raz (No. 27 Montana Tech/Trinity Energy Ford)
• Competed in the K&N East race at Richmond last season and finished 34th due to car issues.
• Finished fourth in the K&N West last season with one win, six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.

Austin Theriault (No. 1 Hattori Racing Toyota)
• Competed in one K&N East race in 2012 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and finished 19th.
• Competed in nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events last year and earned his best finish, fourth, at Daytona.
• Had three NASCAR XFINITY Series starts in 2014 and finished 15th at Iowa Speedway for his best series’ finish.

Other Driver Notes:
• Ronnie Bassett Jr. will be making his third start at New Smyrna. His best finish at the Florida track was 16th last year.
• Spencer Davis will be making his fifth K&N East start and his first in the series at New Smyrna. Last year, he earned three top fives and four top 10s in his four starts.
• Trey Hutchens III, the 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour, will be making his 17th K&N East start and his first at New Smyrna.
• Ali Kern, one of Rev Racing’s new drivers, will be making her fourth K&N East start. She finished 21st in her three starts at New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway, Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway and Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway in 2010 and 2011.
• The following drivers will be making their NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut: Jairo Avila Jr., Hunter Baize, David Calabrese, Ulysse Delsaux, Tyler Dippel, Clay Green, Riley Herbst, Reid Wilson and Dominique Van Wieringen.

Up To Speed:
• The 2016 season is the 30th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
• The 2016 schedule features 14 races at 13 different tracks across the United States.