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K&N Pro East Stat Advance: Greenville

Analyzing The Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens
Travis Barrett, Special to
April 5, 2017 - 12:01pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East heads next to the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, South Carolina, on Saturday, April 8. Below is a look at the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 and some of the selected participants.

Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 Race Setup: 
• Ronnie Bassett Jr. leads the early NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings thanks to his win in the season opener at New Smyrna Speedway in February.
• Bassett joins a host of drivers seeking their first Greenville Pickens Speedway win, with Kyle Benjamin being the only previous Greenville winner entered in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150.
• The last three drivers to win at Greenville in the spring — Ben Rhodes, William Byron and Justin Haley — all went on to win the series championship.

At Greenville Pickens Speedway:
• Opened on July 4, 1946 as a dirt track. The surface was converted to asphalt in April 1970.
• Held 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1951-71, including the first flag-to-flag televised event.
• David Pearson (1959) and Ralph Earnhardt (1965, 66) are among the famed drivers that have won championships at the track.
• Junior Miller won a pair of NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour races at Greenville in the 2006-07 seasons.

• This is the series’ 17th visit to Greenville Pickens Speedway.
• The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East held its inaugural race at Greenville on June 6, 2006 and has returned every year since.
• Justin Haley, who won the 2017 series championship, and Kyle Benjamin won the two races at Greenville last season.
• Darrell Wallace Jr. is the only driver in series history to win two races at Greenville (2010, 2012).
• In the first 16 K&N East events, there have been five drivers that have won from the pole: Joey Logano (2007), Brett Moffitt (2011), Dylan Kwasniewski (2013), Ben Rhodes (2014) and Kyle Benjamin (2016).
• Logano, Austin Dillon (2008), Brandon Gdovic (2013), Wallace (2010), Rhodes (2014), Byron (2015) and Justin Haley (2016) all earned their first career K&N East win at Greenville.

Greenville Data:
Race: #2 of 14 overall
Race Date: Saturday, April 8, 7 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .500-mile semi-banked paved oval
Banking/Corners: 5 degrees
Race Length: 150 laps (75 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data:

2016 Winner: Justin Haley
2016 Pole Sitter: Kyle Benjamin
1-lap Qualifying Record: Brett Moffitt, 87.659 mph (20.534 seconds, April 2011)
150-mile Race Record: Brandon Gdovic, 72.058 mph (April 2013)

Category Leaders at New Smyrna:

Darrell Wallace Jr. … 2
14 other drivers … 1
Brett Moffitt … 3
Ben Rhodes … 2
Kyle Benjamin … 2
9 other drivers … 1
Laps completed
1. Eddie MacDonald … 1,636
2. Ryan Gifford … 1,317
3. Brett Moffitt … 1,163
Laps led
1. Brett Moffitt … 356
2. Kyle Benjamin … 262
3. Darrell Wallace Jr. … 171
Selected Driver Highlights:
Hunter Baize (No. 13 U.S. Forensic Toyota)
• Finished fourth in the final series standings as a rookie last season with one top five and 10 top 10s in 14 starts.
• Posted a career-best finish of fifth at Iowa in July.
• Qualified 13th and finished seventh at New Smyrna in the season opener.
• Has a career-best finish of 10th in two starts at Greenville.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. (No. 04 Bassett Gutters & More Chevrolet)
• Earned his first career win in the season opener at New Smyrna in February.
• Has three top five finishes in six career starts at Greenville, including a second-place finish at the track in 2014.
• Qualified third and finished third in this race last season.

Kyle Benjamin (No. 40 MDM Motorsports Toyota)
• Making his 2017 series debut at Greenville.
• Finished second in the final K&N Pro Series East standings in 2016 with three wins, nine top fives and 11 top 10s in 14 races.
• Swept both pole positions at Greenville last season, finishing second in this race and winning the fall race at the track.
• Is second all-time in laps led at Greenville with 262 and is the only driver entered this weekend with a win at the track.
• Has an average starting position of 4.7 and average finishing position of 5.0 in three career starts at Greenville.

Harrison Burton (No. 12 DEX Imaging Toyota)
• Finished seventh in the final series standings a year ago with one top five and five top 10s in 14 starts.
• Won the pole, the second of his career, at New Smyrna in February and finished fourth to equal his career-best finish set at Columbus last summer.
• Finished 15th and ninth, respectively, in two starts last season at Greenville.
• Is the son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeff Burton.

Collin Cabre (No. 2 UTI/NTI Toyota)
• Finished a career-best sixth in the final series standings in 2016 with four top fives and six top 10s in 14 starts.
• Won the season finale at Dover in 2015, site of his only career win.
• Has made three career starts at Greenville, finishing 11th once and 15th twice.

Tyler Dippel (No. 30 TyCar Ford)
• Finished third in the final series standings last season with one win, one top five and eight top 10s in 14 races.
• Won at Mobile in March of 2016 in only his second career series start.
• Finished 23rd in the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Finished a career-best eighth in this race last year at Greenville, his first of two starts at the track.

Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Is the reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, having scored six wins, 11 top fives and 13 top 10s in 14 races in 2016.
• Became the youngest champion in NASCAR touring series history at 16 years, five months, and joined his grandfather Butch Gilliland as a K&N West champion (1997)
• Won three of the first four K&N Pro Series West races this season, including a sweep of Twin 100s at Irwindale on March 25, to give him 11 career K&N Pro Series wins.
• Plans to run both the full K&N East and K&N West schedules in 2017.
• Has never competed at Greenville.

Chase Purdy (No. 17 Bama Buggies/Textron Off Road Toyota)
• Made his K&N Pro Series debut at New Smyrna and finished eighth.
• Has never competed at Greenville with the K&N East, but he race at the track last season in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
• Team is owned by former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland.

Up To Speed:
• The 2017 season is the 31st for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• The 2017 schedule features 14 races at 13 different tracks across the United States.
• Ronnie Bassett Jr. earned his first career win in the season opener at New Smyrna.
• This marks the 11th consecutive year that the K&N Pro Series East season will race at least once at Greenville.