DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — The 25th season of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season will continue with the series’ inaugural stand-alone race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, the Blue Ox 100 on Thursday, April 28.
The race card on Thursday will also include the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown charity race, which is a sanctioned NASCAR Whelen All-American Series special event.
• The track opened in 1946 and has undergone three name changes, four configuration changes and a switch from dirt to asphalt since the first NASCAR-sanctioned race was held there in 1953.
• Has played host to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 109 times since 1953 and 54 NASCAR Nationwide Series races since 1982.
• Also held 11 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 1995-2005 and 10 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events from 1990-2002.
• The Blue Ox 100 will be the first stand-alone race in NKNPS East history at RIR, but it will not be the first appearance at the track. Teams from the NKNPS East competed in combination with the NNS in five races from 1988-92.
• In the combination race format, which was held at tracks throughout the eastern region from 1987-2000, the NKNPS East teams competed against themselves for series points. NKNPS East drivers were allowed to count their two best combo race finishes toward their overall season points.
• This is similar to last year when the NKNPS East had its first stand-alone race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway after a pair of combo races with the NNS in 1989-90.
Richmond International Raceway Data
Race: #3 of 12 (4/28/11)
Track Layout: .75-mile, D-shaped, asphalt oval
Banking: 14 degrees in the turns, eight degrees at starting line on the frontstretch, two degrees on backstretch
Race Length: 100 laps / 75 miles
EVENT SCHEDULE | ENTRY LIST
2011 Points Leaders
1. Sergio Peña ... 331
2. Coleman Pressley ... 330
3. Matt DiBenedetto ... 325
4. Darrell Wallace Jr. ... 310
5. Alex Bowman ... 307
NNS-NKNPS East Combo at RIR
Top East Finishers (Overall Place)
9/10/88 ... Jamie Aube (11)
9/9/89 ... Billy Clark (18)
2/24/90 ... Jamie Aube (14)
2/23/91 ... Ricky Craven (14)
5/7/92 ... Joe Bessey (10)
Up to Speed:
• The 2011 season is the 25th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The inaugural event was a combination race with the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Darlington Raceway on March 28, 1987. The first stand-alone race was held at Oxford Plains Speedway on April 26.
• New to the 2011 NKNPS East schedule is the inaugural stand-alone race for the series at Richmond International Raceway and the first trips to historical NASCAR weekly tracks Bowman Gray Stadium, Columbus Motor Speedway and Langley Speedway.
• NASCAR lowered the minimum competition age for drivers to 15 across all touring divisions. Chase Elliott became the first driver to compete at the age of 15 when he took the green flag in the season-opener at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
• The opener was postponed from March 26 to April 2 due to rain. Once raceday arrived, Brett Moffitt dominated as he earned the pole and led flag-to-flag for his fifth career victory.
• Like the first race, the second event of the year at South Boston (Va.) Speedway was postponed by rain to April 17. Revolution Racing took center stage as Darrell Wallace Jr. earned his first career pole and Sergio Peña took his first checkered flag.
Selected Driver Highlights:
Ryan Blaney (No. 10 Toyota)
• Will attempt to make NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at Richmond International Raceway.
• Began racing full-bodied stock cars in 2008 and was the PASS South championship runner-up in 2009 and 2010.
• The son of NASCAR national series driver Dave Blaney, who owns the No. 10 Camry.
Jason Bowles (No. 75 Toyota)
• The 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion.
• Winner of the 2011 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
• Has nine wins, 10 poles and 32 top 10s in 42 career NKNPS West starts.
• Has one previous NKNPS East start, a 25th-place finish at Greenville Pickens Speedway in 2010.
• Also has starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.
Alex Bowman (No. 16 Toyota)
• Finished third in his NKNPS East debut in the 2011 opener at GPS and was eighth last time out at South Boston Speedway.
• Distinguished USAC career included the most combined wins under the sanctioning body’s banner in 2008.
• Is competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors out of the new X Team Racing garage.
Clay Campbell (No. 08 Chevrolet)
• Made his NKNPS East debut last time out at SBS with a 13th place finish.
• Will attempt to compete in both the NKNPS East and Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown.
• Is the president of Martinsville Speedway.
Matt DiBenedetto (No. 15 Toyota)
• Has two wins, three poles and seven top 10s in nine career NKNPS East starts.
• Has finished in the top five in both races this year for X Team Racing.
• Earned two top 10s in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2009-10.
• Is a test driver for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
Chase Elliott (No. 9 Chevrolet)
• The son of Bill Elliott, he became the first 15-year-old to compete in a NASCAR touring series race in the opener at GPS, where he finished fourth after starting 26th.
• Signed a multi-year contract with Hendrick Motorsports. He is receiving technical support from HMS while competing out of the family shop in Dawsonville, Ga.
• Earned 12 wins 40 Late Model races in 2010, and has three victories in four outings this year.
Ryan Gifford (No. 2 Toyota)
• Has a pole and eight top-five finishes in 16 career NKNPS East starts.
• Competes for Revolution Racing and Drive for Diversity, and is a development driver for Richard Childress Racing where he competes in dirt and asphalt Late Models with Team Dillon Racing.
Max Gresham (No. 18 Toyota)
• Has two wins, two poles and six top 10s in 15 career NKNPS East starts.
• Will compete in the NKNPS East and Hamlin races at RIR, and will race ARCA this weekend.
• In addition to competing for the NKNPS East championship, he also hopes to make his NNS and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debuts in 2011, as well as select ARCA appearances.
Ben Kennedy (No. 96 Chevrolet)
• Made NKNPS East debut at Gresham Motorsports Park in 2010.
• Has finished in the top 15 in the first two races of the season.
• Is the son of Lesa France Kennedy and great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.
Corey LaJoie (No. 07 Ford)
• Has three top fives and an additional top 10 in nine career NKNPS East starts.
• All four of his top-10 finishes have come at national series tracks. The best was a runner-up effort in the 2010 finale at Dover International Speedway.
• Is the son of Randy LaJoie, two-time NNS champion.
Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, two poles and 56 top 10s in 133 career NKNPS East starts.
• The longest-tenured driver on the pre-entry list, this is his 11th year in the series.
Brandon McReynolds (No. 37 Chevrolet)
• Made NKNPS East debut in the opener at GPS and finished eighth.
• Will compete in the NKNPS East and Hamlin races at RIR.
• Made NNS debut at Gateway International Raceway in 2010.
• The son of former NSCS crew chief and current NASCAR on Fox analyst Larry McReynolds.
Brett Moffitt (No. 00 Toyota)
• Has five wins, four poles and 17 top 10s in 23 career NKNPS East starts.
• After a win in the opener at GPS, he was leading last time out with 10 laps to go, but was wrecked by lap traffic.
• Finished third in points as a rookie with Andy Santerre Motorsports in 2010 and was the championship runner-up to Ryan Truex in 2010 with JGR.
• Is competing this year for MWR in the same car that Truex won the two previous championships. In his first start with the team he earned the pole and led flag-to-flag for the victory.
Brennan Newberry (No. 39 Chevrolet)
• Has two top 10s in four career NKNPS West starts. Earned the pole in the West opener at Phoenix International Raceway.
• Is a two-time participant in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
Travis Pastrana (No. 99 Toyota)
• Made NKNPS debut in the 2011 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, where he finished sixth.
• Competed in the NKNPS West race at PIR and was involved in an accident with three laps to go.
• Will attempt to compete in both the NKNPS East and Hamlin races at RIR.
Sergio Peña (No. 4 Toyota)
• Has a win and five top 10s in 12 career NKNPS East starts. The win came last time out at SBS.
• Leads the season standings after two races by one point on Coleman Pressley.
• This is his second year with Revolution Racing and Drive for Diversity.
Coleman Pressley (No. 14 Toyota)
• Made NKNPS East debut at GPS with X Team Racing and finished as the race runner-up.
• With a fourth-place finish last time out, he trails Sergio Peña by one point in the standings.
• Made 12 NNS starts in 2009-10, including three at RIR, where he had a best finish of 18th.
• Is the son of former NASCAR national series driver Robert Pressley.
Dale Quarterley (No. 32 Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, four poles and 66 top 10s in 143 career starts. Has made spot starts since 2004.
• Is sharing the No. 32 seat this year with Derek Ramstrom, who ran the first two races.
Andrew Ranger (No. 35 Chevrolet)
• Has a win, a pole and four top 10s in seven career NKNPS East starts to go along with a win, a pole and two top 10s in three career NKNPS West races.
• The 2007 and 2009 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion, where he has 12 wins, nine poles and 37 top 10s in 42 career starts.
• Has one top 10 in seven NNS appearances. Was 33rd at RIR in 2008
Peyton Sellers (No. 83 Chevrolet)
• Has a win, four poles and 16 top 10s in 29 career NKNPS East starts.
• Won in his last series appearance, the 2008 finale at Stafford Motor Speedway.
• Will attempt to compete in both the NKNPS East and Hamlin races at RIR.
• Made 12 NNS and four NCWTS starts from 2006-10. Was 19th in his NNS start at RIR in 2009.
• The 2005 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion.
D.J. Shaw (No. 60 Chevrolet)
• Has six top 10s in 14 career starts.
• Is the son of 1994 NKNPS East Champion Dale Shaw, who works with the No. 60 team. Dale competed in two of the NNS-NKNPS East combo races at RIR, with a best finish of 18th in 1988.
Daniel Suárez (No. 12 Dodge)
• Made NKNPS East debut at SBS and finished 18th. Also competed in the NKNPS West race at PIR and finished 31st.
• Was 11th in the 2011 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
• Earned 2010 NASCAR Mexico Series Rookie of the Year honors with four top-10 finishes.
Darrell Wallace Jr. (No. 6 Toyota)
• Has two wins, a pole and nine top 10s in 12 career NKNPS East starts.
• Finished third in points and earned Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2010.
• Will participate in both the NKNPS East and Hamlin races at RIR.
• Competes for Revolution Racing and Drive for Diversity. He is also part of the JGR driver development program.