Sergio Pena is our guest on Fan4Racing Fan2Fan NASCAR & Race Talk on Monday, August 31, 2015 at 9 pm ET. Call 929-477-1790 or tweet @Fan4RacingSite @Sal_Sigala or @beberly18 with any questions or comments during our LIVE broadcast.
Winning in your home state in front of family and friends is a big deal and that’s exactly what Westminster, VA native, Sergio Pena did this weekend with Rev Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Biscuitville 125 at VIRginia International Raceway. It was a thrilling finish and in the end he had to battle his way to victory.
Behind the wheel of the No. 42 – for Rev Racing’s Jay Beasley, who is out for medical reasons – Pena was able to take advantage of the misfortunes of a couple of his competitors and was in the right place at the right time, giving him his chance to cross the finish line first.
“It was an unbelievable run,” said Pena in a post race interview. “First of all, I want to wish the best, thoughts and prayers for Jay Beasley who deserves to be the car…I hope you get better soon and get back in that car where you belong…I want to dedicate this one for him, he works super hard at it.
“Thankful to Rev Racing, NASCAR, and the Drive for Diversity program to give me a shot. They could’ve picked a lot of people and I’m really thankful they picked me. My opportunities this year have been really limited so I’m really glad to take advantage of this one, it’s awesome.”
On the last restart with 58 laps logged, Pena was in fifth-place and moved up to third as the leader, Austin Hill spun out in turn one. Dalton Sargeant moved from second to take the lead, but he too spun out in turn seven, leaving Kaz Grala and Pena battling for the lead.
Bumping and banging with Grala, Pena maintained his inside line to stay out front and win in just his third start of the season. The 22-year-old, Pena has given Rev Racing one victory every season in the K&N East for six consecutive years since 2010.
After the race, Pena talked about the last laps and what was running through his mind.
“The last few laps are very intense with any race, no matter what,” said Pena. “At a road course, (with) two red flags, two green-white-checkers, your heart rate is racing through the sky.
“Started fifth after that first red flag, my plan was to just keep it on the inside, trying to see if they were going to make any mistakes out front and try to take advantage, which I was able to do. Made it up to second and within that lap we got a red flag, so back to fifth, back to square one again. I was like man! Actually, was I was pretty excited to be on the inside lane there, that’s really important.
“Took advantage of it once again, they were beating and banging really hard up there and whew, I can’t even remember exactly who it was, all the numbers were mixed and matched. But pretty much all of them went out wide, getting contact and I was able to stay tight on the inside and drive up through. And then, a couple of cars out in front of me also drove it off the track. I went hard and was able to take advantage, man…this is just unbelievable!”
Finishing behind Grala was rookie of the year contender David Garbo Jr with his highest finish of third. Another rookie, Collin Cabre finished fourth and JJ Haley, who led six laps finished in fifth-place.
After spinning in turn one, Hill rebounded to finish sixth, with Nick Drake, Dale Quarterly, Sargeant and series leader William Byron rounding out the top-ten.
Pole sitter, Scott Heckert, also the defending race winner led three times, but a broken rear end on lap 46 stunted his effort for a back-to-back victory. Heckert finished 15th, allowing points leader Byron to extend his lead to 15 points, with just two more races for the season..
Watch the broadcast of the K&N East in the Biscuitville 150 on NBC Sports Network on Thursday, September 3rd at 7 pm ET.
Next up for the K&N East is the UNOH 100 at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday, September 10th.