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K&N Pro Series East News & Notes: Dover

Drive Sober 150 Carries Championship Implications
By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR
September 23, 2013 - 3:15pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has seen a driver hold the championship trophy six times at Dover (Del.) International Speedway through the years. If Brett Moffitt wants to make sure that number doesn’t grow to seven, he’ll have to keep pace with points leader Dylan Kwasniewski in the Drive Sober 150 on Friday, Sept. 27.

Prior to last week’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Kwasniewski appeared to have a stranglehold on the championship, but hopes to clinch a race early at Dover were significantly reduced when he wrecked out in Loudon and did not finish a race for the first time in more than a year.

Despite the slip-up last week at New Hampshire, Kwasniewski retains a mathematical shot to clinch the 2013 championship at Dover as he brings a 23-point advantage – 473 to 450 – to the “Monster Mile” on Moffitt. To stay alive, Moffitt will need to avoid a calamity similar to what Kwasniewski encountered last week.

Taking into consideration that bonus points for leading laps or winning the race can come into play and offer additional scenarios, if Moffitt were to finish in last place – 30th – on Friday at Dover, Kwasniewski can clinch the title with a finish of fifth or better. Conversely, if Kwasniewski were to win the Drive Sober 150, then Moffitt would have to finish 22nd or better to push the championship to the season finale at Road Atlanta on Oct. 18.

Kwasniewski, an 18-year-old from Las Vegas, Nev., is chasing history this season. The 2012 titlist in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Kwasniewski is looking to become the first driver to capture the crown in both the East and West. The Drive Sober 150 will be his first appearance at Dover.

Meanwhile, Moffitt is looking to finally close a season with the champion’s trophy after four years of near misses. The 21-year-old from Grimes, Iowa will lean on past success at the “Monster Mile” – where he has two wins – to remain in contention for that elusive title.

RACE: Drive Sober 150
PLACE: Dover (Del.) International Speedway
DATE: Friday, Sept. 27
TIME: 4:45 p.m. ET
TV SCHEDULE: Fox Sports 1, Oct. 13, 12 p.m. ET, replay Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.
TRACK LAYOUT: One mile banked concrete oval
2012 WINNER: Corey LaJoie
2012 POLESITTER: Darrell Wallace Jr.
EVENT SCHEDULE: Thursday – Practice 2-3:10 p.m., Final Practice 3:50-5 p.m.; Friday – Qualifying 10 a.m., Driver Autograph Session 1-2 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Gary Camp, 302-883-6560, gcamp@dovermotorsports.com
TRACK TWITTER: @MonsterMile
EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG: #DriveSober150
NASCAR CONTACT: Jason Christley, 386-547-2469, jchristley@nascar.com, Twitter: @jay_christley

EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST

FAST FACTS
The Race:
  The Drive Sober 150 at Dover International Speedway will be the 13th event of the 14-race 2013 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. This will be the 13th all-time stand-alone race for the series at Dover.

The Procedure:  The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (150 miles) and will have a 10-minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 75.

The Track:  Known as the “Monster Mile,” Dover is an even one-mile concrete oval with banking of nine degrees on the straightaways and 24 degrees in the turns.

Race Winners:  There have been 11 winners in the previous 12 K&N Pro Series East races at Dover. Corey LaJoie was last year’s winner while Brett Moffitt is the only driver with multiple victories at the track.

Pole Winners:  In the 12 previous events there have been 10 different pole winners. Darrell Wallace Jr. is the only multi-time polesitter at Dover while Matt DiBenedetto has the qualifying record at 23.201 seconds (155.166 mph), established in 2009.

DOVER RACE NOTES
Can Custer Keep Rolling?:
  A top-five finisher in four of the five NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races at national series tracks this season, rookie Cole Custer hopes to keep the trend going this week at Dover International Speedway. While he has just one top-10 finish in seven other events, Custer has excelled on the series’ biggest stages. His wins in the last two such races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway were preceded by a third-place effort at Richmond International Raceway and a fourth-place result in the first trip to Iowa. Custer’s one outlier in companion events with NASCAR’s top three series this year was a 24th-place finish in his season-opening series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Moffitt Excels on the Monster:  Brett Moffitt is arguably the most successful driver in K&N Pro Series East history at Dover International Speedway. Moffitt has led laps in all four of his previous starts there – 162 total – and has a series track record two victories. The two triumphs came in his first two appearances there in 2009 and 2010, and he was in position to make it three-for-three in 2011 before suffering a cut tire with three laps to go while in the lead. Last year he finished 18th after first getting body damage while contending for the lead mid-race, then suffered a faulty battery.

McReynolds Looks for Dover Redemption:  A part-time K&N Pro Series East competitor the last three seasons, Brandon McReynolds had no better chance to reach Victory Lane than in last year’s race at Dover. McReynolds found himself in a three-way battle with Corey LaJoie and Darrell Wallace Jr. in the closing laps of the race, but LaJoie made contact with McReynolds in the closing laps to gain an edge and drive on to victory while McReynolds had to settle for third. In three previous starts this season McReynolds has a pair of top-10 finishes.

Peña Returns to Action:  A full-time K&N Pro Series East competitor the three previous seasons, Sergio Peña will attempt to make just his second appearance of the year in the Drive Sober 150 at Dover. Peña has three wins in 37 career series starts and has recorded an average finish if 15th in three races at the “Monster Mile.” Peña made three K&N Pro Series West races at the beginning of the 2013 campaign, but his lone East start resulted in an eighth-place finish at Five Flags Speedway.

LAST TIME OUT: New Hampshire
The most recent NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race was held on Sept. 21 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Here are some highlights from the North American Power 100:
• Cole Custer won from the pole for the second time in the series’ last three events. This time around he led a race-high 60 laps and pulled away from Daniel Suárez on a green-white-checkered flag finish for the win.
• Custer became the series’ youngest winner at New Hampshire.
• Suárez recorded his fifth podium finish in the last six races with a runner-up effort.
• Cale Conley crossed the line third for his second podium finish of the season.
• Championship leader Dylan Kwasniewski was caught up in a multi-car accident on Lap 34 and did not finish the race.

NEXT TIME OUT: Road Atlanta
The 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season will conclude and a champion will be crowned with the series’ inaugural event at Road Atlanta on Friday, Oct. 18 in Braselton, Ga. The series’ fourth all-time event in the state of Georgia will be a part of the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda race weekend. The K&N Pro Series East race will be 23 laps around the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course.