NASCAR K&N East Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Preview

Spencer Davis, the current points leader, looks for a strong run at Greenville Pickens Speedway to establish himself as the driver to beat. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Spencer Davis, the current points leader, looks for a strong run at Greenville Pickens Speedway to secure himself as the driver to beat. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Listen to our Fan4Racing Radio Podcast  featuring the Ladies of NASCAR K&N East

NASCAR Weekend Preview – Greenville Pickens

 

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competitors are heating up their battle for the championship title heading into their third race of the season, the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.  Competitors take to the track at 7 pm ET on Saturday, March 26th.

Spencer Davis and Tyler Dippel enter this weekend’s race with just one point difference. Davis, 17, from Dawsonville, Georgia, is at the top of the standings with 85 points after earning back-to-back runner-up finishes in the first two races of the season. In his six K&N East starts, Davis has finishes no lower than sixth place.

Dippel, 15, from Wallkill, New York, jumped to second place in the standings after collecting his first series’ victory at Alabama’s Mobile International Speedway. Dippel had a solid debut as well when he finished eighth in the opener at New Smyrna Speedway.

Greenville is the track for future K&N East champions. The last three seasons the eventual season champion has picked up a win at the flat half-mile. This stat may tip the scale in Dippel’s favor, as three of those drivers were a part of HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks – Dylan Kwasniewski, Ben Rhodes and William Byron.

Davis and Dippel are not the only ones to watch this weekend. NASCAR Next driver and Easley, South Carolina, native Kyle Benjamin, Ronnie Bassett Jr, and Dippel’s teammate Justin Haley are all within ten points of first place.

Eight Veterans Return to Greenville

Only eight drivers from last year’s Kevin Whitaker 150 are racing at the historic South Carolina oval this weekend. Veterans Dillon Bassett, Ronnie Bassett Jr., Kyle Benjamin, Collin Cabre, Christian Celaya, Kaz Grala, Justin Haley and John Holleman IV are the sole 2015 competitors returning. Grala is returning as the highest finisher, coming home sixth at Greenville last year. Of the expected 14 first-time Greenville competitors, 11 of them are rookies vying for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

Top-Three Rookies to Watch

Spencer Davis and Tyler Dippel are leading the K&N East point standings, but they are also competing for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. The next highest ranking rookie is Harrison Burton, eighth in the point standings with one top-ten finish. This is his first series start Greenville Pickens and in his first two starts of the season he finished 13th at New Smyrna and seventh at Mobile. Burton became the youngest starter in K&N Pro Series West history at 15 years, eight days at All-American Speedway in California.

Continuous Rookie Success at Greenville

Since the series’ inaugural visit to Greenville in 2006, rookies have had much success at the track. Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ben Rhodes, Austin Hill and William Byron all earned victories as rookies at Greenville. With 11 rookies taking to the track on Saturday, history could be in the making.

First-Time Winner Emerging this Weekend

A new winner will emerge at Greenville Pickens on Saturday as no previous race victors are competing this weekend. Recent winners Dylan Kwasniewski (2013), Ben Rhodes (2014), Austin Hill (2014) and William Byron (2015) have all moved on to compete in NASCAR national series. XFINITY Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. won two K&N East races at Greenville in 2010 and 2012 and is the only driver to record two wins at the half-mile oval.

Austin Theriault Announces Full-Time Plans

Last week Austin Theriault announced his plans of racing full-time in the K&N East this season. Theriault will pilot the No. 1 Don Valley Toyota for Hattori Racing Enterprises in the hopes of taking home the coveted championship title. The 22 year-old Fort Kent, Maine, driver is ninth in the standings after finishing 24th at New Smyrna and fourth at Mobile. This is his first series start at Greenville.

Kyle Benjamin’s Home Track Advantage

Kyle Benjamin will be racing close to home this weekend. The Easley, South Carolina, native will be making his second series’ start at Greenville this weekend. Last year, the 18 year-old finished 12th.

The Ladies of the K&N East

Three young women are competing this weekend at Greenville Pickens and all three want to make history as the first female to win in the K&N Pro Series.  Read their inspiring stories…

Rev Racing’s Ali Kern Looks to Continue her Trend of Winning

Dominique Van Wieringen Already Breaking Records with Rette Jones Racing

Sarah Cornett-Ching Continues to Climb Up NASCAR’s Ladder

Fans can follow the K&N East, Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Speedway at NASCAR Hometracks, Race Central starting at 7 pm ET on Saturday. NBC Sports Network is broadcasting the race on Saturday, April 2nd at 7:30 pm ET.

NASCAR Hometracks

Fan4Racing Radio & Features