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Pena Back In Victory Lane

Drive For Diversity Driver Scores K&N Pro East Win At Columbus
By John Tejeda, NASCAR
July 19, 2014 - 10:36pm
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sergio Peña found his way back to Victory Lane.

The 21-year-old from Winchester, Va., held off the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East field following a late caution at Columbus Motor Speedway to win the JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota.

It is the third win of the season for Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. It is also the third win in four years for Rev Racing at Columbus, following wins by Darrell Wallace Jr. (2011) and Daniel Suarez (2013).

It is Peña's fourth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win and first since 2011, when he won three times.

“This is such a great feeling,” said a very excited Peña after the race. “I almost forgot what it felt like. Words can’t even describe what this is like. I have to thank Rev Racing, NASCAR and the Drive for Diversity program for having me back this year.”

POS DRIVER
1 Sergio Pena
2 Cameron Hayley
3 Ben Rhodes
4 Jesse Little
5 Ryan Gifford

For a good portion of the night, Hayley looked like he would cruise to his first K&N Pro Series East victory, opening up leads of several car lengths over the rest of the field. After a restart on Lap 119, Peña was able to move past Hayley for the lead on Lap 120. The two drivers would battle for the top spot the rest of the way, with Hayley overtaking Peña just before a caution came out on Lap 141. Peña was scored the leader and was able to hold off the rest of Hayley’s challenges, powering his way to victory. 

“It was tough racing tonight,” said Peña. “Me and Ben Rhodes and Cameron Hayley, especially the three of us, were going at it, knocking each other out of the way, giving it back and forth. It’s just great short track racing. Cameron got by me there at the end, but we were able to get the inside back. We were good on the short runs all night.”

Hayley settled for second, his third runner-up finish of the season and second in his last three races.” 

“The Cabinets by Hayley Chevy was really fast,” said Hayley. “I think we had the fastest car all night, just those restarts, I mean, we couldn’t get going for two to three laps and had a really tough time getting the car to turn. As the laps went on we got better, but that late race restart with three to go, that right there was our demise. We just needed to be better on restarts.” 

Championship points leader Ben Rhodes rebounded from his worst outing of the season, a 22nd place effort in New Hampshire, to finish third and record his ninth top five of 2014.

“This place breeds rough racing,” said Rhodes about racing at Columbus Motor Speedway. “I had to kind of use the bumper to get up through here, but there’s really no way you can pass because there’s only one line. I was using my bumper, people were using their bumper on me. It’s part of the racing here.”

Jesse Little and Peña's Rev Racing teammate Ryan Gifford  were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Ross Chastain was sixth and rookies Nick Drake and Kaz Grala were seventh and eighth, and Brennan Newberry was ninth. Scott Heckert, who won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award earlier in the day, finished 10th.

The race was slowed by six cautions for a total of 36 laps. 

Rhodes continues to lead the championship points standings by 62 over Hayley. Gaulding is third, another 12 points back, and is followed by Little and Brandon Jones.

The JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota will air on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, July 27 at 9 a.m.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1 for the second showdown of the season with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

RESULTS | RACE CENTRAL LIVE REPLAY | AUDIO: WINNER SERGIO PENA | AUDIO: RUNNER-UP CAMERON HAYLEY | AUDIO: THIRD PLACE BEN RHODES

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Sergio Pena takes the checkered flag to win the JEGS 150 Saturday night at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway. Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for NASCAR