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K&N Pro Series Stat Advance: Five Flags

Analyzing The Pensacola 150 At Five Flags Speedway
By Shon Sbarra, NASCAR
June 10, 2014 - 9:26am

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East returns to Florida after starting the season in February at New Smyrna Speedway and Daytona International Speedway for the Pensacola 150 at Five Flags Speedway on Friday. Below is a statistical look at the recent performance of the series and selected drivers at Five Flags, as well as some other statistical trends:

Five Flags Race Setup
• Ben Rhodes has won three of the last four series events and has a substantial 49-point lead in the season standings.
• Just eight of the entered drivers competed in last season’s inaugural event at Five Flags Speedway.
• Austin Hill has five top 10s in his last six series starts with four of those being top-five finishes.

Five Flags Speedway
History
• Five Flags Speedway opened on May 31, 1953.
• The track also hosted what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1953 with Herb Thomas claiming the victory over Dick Rathman and Lee Petty in a rain-shortened event.
• Five Flags has been home to 46 editions of the Snowball Derby, an annual open-competition Super Late Model race.
• The name Five Flags comes from Pensacola’s nickname as ‘The City of Five Flags’ to represent the five national governments that have controlled the city at various times.

Notebook
• This is the K&N Pro Series East’s second visit to Five Flags Speedway after holding its inaugural event there on April 13, 12013.
• Five Flags became the 44th different facility to play host to a K&N Pro Series East race while Florida was the 18th state the series has visited since its first season in 1987.
• Ben Kennedy led wire-to-wire and won the event from the pole position.
• It’s just the series’ fourth standalone event in Florida. 
• Last year’s race had just four caution periods covering 15 laps.
• Just eight drivers on the official entry list competed in last season’s event.

ENTRY LIST & EVENT SCHEDULE

Five Flags Data
Race: #8 of 16 (6/13/14)
Track Layout: .5-mile banked asphalt oval
Race Length: 150 laps (75 miles)
Banking/Turns: 15 degrees
Banking/Straights: 9 degrees

Five Flags Qualifying/Race Data
2013 Pole Winner: Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 105.109 mph (17.125 seconds)
2013 Race Winner: Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 75.779 mph (59 minutes, 23 seconds)
1-lap Qualifying Record: Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 105.109 mph (17.125 seconds), April 13, 2013
150-lap Race Record: Ben Kennedy, Chevrolet, 75.779 mph (59 minutes, 23 seconds), April 13, 2013

Five Flags Leaders
Wins
Ben Kennedy … 1

Stat Pack
Pensacola 150 Trackside Report

Pole Wins
Ben Kennedy … 1

Laps Completed
13 drivers … 150

Laps Led
Ben Kennedy … 150

Selected Driver Information:
Jay Beasley (No. 42 Toyota Racing Development Toyota)
• Has one top five and two top 10s in seven career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Occupies the 15th position in the season standings.
• Set to make series track debut.
• Has posted consecutive top-10 finishes.
• Finished season-best fourth at Iowa Speedway on May 17.

Ronnie Bassett Jr. (No. 04 Butler Trailer Manufacturing Toyota)
• Has three top fives and five top 10s in nine career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Is eighth in the season standings.
• Set to make Five Flags debut in a K&N Pro Series East car.
• Has a current streak of four straight top-10 finishes dating back to Greenville Pickens.
• Finished a season-best second at Greenville Pickens Speedway on March 22.

Mackena Bell (No. 21 Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Toyota)
• Has two top fives and five top 10s in 27 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks 14th in the season standings.
• Finished 11th a season ago in the Pensacola 150.
• Finished season-best eighth in the season opener at New Smyrna Speedway on Feb. 16.

Nick Drake (No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Has three top fives and four top 10s in seven career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks seventh in the championship standings.
• Making first series appearance at the Florida oval.
• Has three consecutive series top-10 finishes.
• Finished season-best second at Iowa Speedway on May 17.
• Collected first series top-five finish (4th) on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.
• Finished third in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West 2014 season opener at Phoenix International Raceway.

Gray Gaulding (No. 20 Krispy Kreme Chevrolet)
• Has a pole, four top fives and 12 top 10s in 21 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Sits second in points, 49 markers in back of leader Ben Rhodes.
• Finished second in last season’s Pensacola 150 after starting third.
• In his last start, scored his first top 10 since Bristol, a span of three races.
• Recorded a season-best finish of second on March 15 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• Became the youngest pole winner in NKNPS East history (15 years, 2 months, 15 days) in April 2013 at Richmond.
• Became the youngest race winner in NKNPS West history (15 years, 8 months, 30 days) in November 2013 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway.
• Became the youngest pole winner in NKNPS West history (15 years, 8 months, 16 days) in October 2013 at Kern County Raceway Park.
• Made NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on March 30 at Martinsville Speedway.
• Is a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Kaz Grala (No. 31 OzLINK Chevrolet)
• Has three top 10s in seven career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Occupies the 10th spot in the season standings.
• Making first series appearance at Five Flags.
• Led 15 laps in Greenville on March 22 and finished a season-best seventh.
• Is the series’ youngest full-time competitor at 15 years of age.

Cameron Hayley (No. 98 Cabinets By Hayley Chevrolet)
• Has one pole, two top fives and three top 10s in eight career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Sits fourth in the championship standings, just 11 points out of second.
• Making first series appearance at the Pensacola track.
• Has a season-best finish of second in the season opener at New Smyrna Speedway.
• Has a win, six poles, 19 top fives and 26 top 10s in 34 career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West starts.
• Was championship runner-up to Derek Thorn last season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
• Is the youngest (15 years, 23 days) driver to start K&N West race in August 2011.
• Takes over Turner Scott Motorsports car that Dylan Kwasniewski drove to the K&N East championship in 2013.
• Is an alumnus of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Scott Heckert (No. 34 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet)
• Has one top five and four top 10s in 21 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Is 13th in the season standings.
• Finished 17th a season ago in the inaugural series event at Five Flags.
• Posted a season-best finish of third at Iowa Speedway on May 17.

Austin Hill (No. 22 Don-Rich Ford/A&D Welding Ford)
• Has a win, five top fives and seven top 10s in 14 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks fifth in championship standings after seven races.
• Making first series start at Five Flags.
• Has five top 10s in his last six series starts with four of those being top-five finishes.
• Finished a season-best second on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.
• Earned first career win in September 2013 at Dover International Speedway.
• Member of 2014-15 NASCAR Next class.

Brandon Jones (No. 33 Wolfpack Energy Services Chevrolet)
• Has three top-five finishes and seven top-10 finishes in 14 career K&N East starts.
• Holds down the sixth position in points.
• Set to make first series start at the Florida half-mile track.
• Has a string of three straight top-10 finishes.
• Collected a series-best finish of third in Feb. 16 season opener at New Smyrna.
• Made NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut last August at Bristol.

Jesse Little (No. 97 NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet)
• Has seven top fives and 10 top 10s in 28 career NKNPS East races with a best finish of third on two occasions, most recently at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., in June 2013.
• Owns the ninth position in the championship standings.
• Finished 26th in this event a season ago.
• Was 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year for the K&N Pro Series East and finished ninth in championship standings.
• Made K&N Pro Series West, in which his father, Chad, was the 1987 champion, debut last November at Phoenix.
• Member of 2014-15 NASCAR Next class.

Brennan Newberry (No. 24 Qore24 Chevrolet)
• Has one top five and two top 10s in eight career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Is ranked 11th in the points standings.
• Making first series appearance at Five Flags.
• Season-best finish of fourth on March 15 at Bristol.
• Has three poles, two top fives and four top 10s in 12 career K&N Pro Series West starts.
• Has made 35 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.

Ben Rhodes (No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet)
• Has three wins, four poles, eight top fives and 11 top 10s in 14 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Leads championship standings by 49 points over Gray Gaulding.
• Making series track debut in this year’s Pensacola 150.
• Has a streak of five consecutive podium finishes.
• Scored first career win on March 22 at Greenville while second came at Iowa on May 17.
• Made NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on March 30 at Martinsville and finished eighth.
• Is a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Kenzie Ruston (No. 96 Ben Kennedy Racing Chevrolet)
• Has four top fives and nine top 10s in 21 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
• Ranks 12th in the championship driver standings.
• Scored a fifth-place finish last season at Five Flags.
• Finished a season-best sixth on Feb. 16 at New Smyrna Speedway and Feb. 18 at Daytona.
• Is a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Daniel Suárez (No. 6 Toyota Racing Development Toyota)
• Has three wins, 12 top fives and 20 top 10s in 37 career NKNPS East starts.
• Is third in the season standings.
• Finished 13th in last season’s Five Flags event.
• Has three top-10 finishes in his last four series starts.
• Opened season with two straight series wins to become the second driver in series history to win the first two events of the season with Sean Caisse (2006) being the other.
• Has nine career NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series victories with 24 top fives and 11 pole wins in 50 career starts.
• Is in second season with Rev Racing for the NKNPS East.
• Made NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Joe Gibbs Racing at Richmond in April.
• Is an alumnus of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights young talent in the sport.

Up To Speed In The East
• The 2014 season is the 28th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• The 2014 schedule features 16 races at 14 different tracks across 10 states.
• Daniel Suárez opened the season with a narrow victory over Cameron Hayley, who won his first K&N East pole, at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway.
• Suárez won at Daytona for his second straight series victory to become just the second driver in series history to win the first two races of the season. Sean Caisse in 2006 is the other. Ben Rhodes picked up his first series career pole award.
• Eddie MacDonald snapped a 53-race winless streak at Bristol. Rhodes started from the pole and led 130 of 132 laps.
• Rhodes started from the pole for the third consecutive race and picked up his first series win after leading a race-high 106 laps at Greenville Pickens Speedway.
• Cole Custer started from the outside pole position and won at Richmond International Raceway after passing Bill McAnally Racing teammate and pole sitter Nick Drake with 51 laps remaining.
• Rhodes picked up his second win of the season and led a race-high 115 laps at Iowa Speedway. Brodie Kostecki led the race’s first 35 laps after earning his first series career pole award.
• At Bowman Gray, Rhodes collected his second straight win after his fourth start from the pole.