Analyzing the JustDrive.com125 at New Jersey Motorsports Park
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East heads to New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey, for the JustDrive.com 125 on Saturday, September 16. Below is a look at the race itself and some of the selected participants.
JustDrive.com 125 Race Setup:
– With his fourth win in the last six races, Todd Gilliland of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, took the series point lead for the first time this season following the most recent event at Virginia’s Langley Speedway.
– Gilliland, who is also the current NASCAR K&N Pro Series West point leader, holds a six-point lead over Harrison Burton, himself a four-time winner this season who has a series-high 10 top fives through 12 races.
– With just two races remaining this season, the series heads to the New Jersey Motorsports Park road course – the second road course race in a span of three races on the schedule.
At New Jersey Motorsports Park:
– Sits adjacent to Millville Airport, which became known as the “America’s First Defense Airport” in 1941, and has strong ties to World War II.
– Has two road courses, the marquee Thunderbolt course, which is 2.25-miles in length, and the shorter Lightning layout.
– Has hosted only one NASCAR touring series event in its storied history, a K&N Pro Series East race last season.
– This is the series’ second visit to New Jersey Motorsports Park.
– Noah Gragson won last season at the facility, making him the first and only NASCAR winner to date at NJMP.
New Jersey Data:
Race: #13 of 14 overall
Race Date: Saturday, September 16, 4:45 p.m. ET
Track Layout: 2.25-mile road course
Race Length: 55 laps (126.5 miles)
2016 Winner: Noah Gragson
2016 Pole Sitter: Justin Haley
1-lap Qualifying Record: Justin Haley, 99.473 mph (1 minute, 23.239 seconds, September 2016)
125-mile Race Record: Noah Gragson, 82.755 mph (1 hour, 31 minutes, 43 seconds, September 2016)
Category Leaders At New Jersey
Noah Gragson … 1
Justin Haley … 1
Kyle Benjamin … 1
Collin Cabre … 1
Noah Gragson … 1
Justin Haley … 1
Dominique Van Wieringen … 1
Dominique Van Wieringen … 22
John Holleman IV … 20
Noah Gragson … 8
Spencer Davis … 4
Justin Haley … 1
Selected Driver Highlights:
Ronnie Bassett Jr. (No. 04 Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet)
– Sits fourth in the current East standings with one win, seven top fives and nine top 10s through 12 races this season.
– Won the season opener at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway for his first career win.
– Heads into the weekend on the strength of five top-10 finishes in his last seven starts, including a fourth-place finish in the most recent event at Langley.
– Finished fifth at Virginia International Raceway in 2016 for his best career road course finish.
Jay Beasley (No. 42 Honda Generators Toyota)
– Sits seventh in the series standings with three top fives and seven top 10s in 12 races this season, his third full season in the series.
– Finished a season-high fourth at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway in July, and he also finished in the top five at Memphis (Tenn.) International Raceway and in the most recent race at Watkins Glen International.
– His fifth-place finish at Watkins Glen marked his best career run on a road course.
– Has never competed at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Harrison Burton (No. 12 DEX Imaging Toyota)
– Sits second in the K&N Pro Series East standings with four wins, 10 top fives and 12 top 10s in 12 races this season.
– Won at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April for his first career K&N Pro Series win.
– Also, has wins at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway, Memphis and Thompson this season.
– Leads the series with 10 top-five finishes this season and is one of only two drivers to finish in the top 10 in every start.
– Finished seventh in the most recent race at Langley, marking his worst finish of the season and first finish outside the top five since Berlin in July.
Collin Cabre (No. 2 UTI/NTI Toyota)
– Sits ninth in the series standings with one top five and four top 10s in 12 races this season.
– Finished a season-high fifth in the most recent event at Langley.
– Finished fourth last season at New Jersey Motorsports Park, matching his career-best finish on a road course. He also finished fourth at Virginia International Raceway in 2015.
Ruben Garcia Jr. (No. 6 UTI/NTI Toyota)
– Finished a career-best second at Bristol and has five top-10 finishes over the last six races entering New Jersey.
– Sits fifth in the East standings with three top fives and nine top 10s in 12 races this season overall, having already set new career highs for top fives and top 10s.
– Was the 2015 NASCAR Peak Mexico Series champion with four wins, 15 top fives and 41 top 10s in 64 career starts in that series.
– Finished sixth last season at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
– Won four of the last six K&N Pro Series East races with at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway, and owns 18 career K&N Pro Series wins between the East and West.
– One of only two drivers to finish in the top 10 in all 12 East races this season, he leads the current K&N East standings with four wins, nine top fives and 12 top 10s through 12 races.
Chase Purdy (No. 17 Bama Buggies/Textron Off Road Toyota)
– Sits third in the series standings with five top fives and seven top 10s in 12 races this season, and he is the only rookie ranked in the top five in the overall standings.
– Won four straight poles, beginning in Memphis and finishing in New Hampshire, and has a series-leading five runner-up finishes in 2017, including in his most recent start at Langley.
Will Rodgers (No. 7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford)
– Has made only one career K&N Pro Series East start, which he won at Watkins Glen in August.
– Sits fourth in the K&N Pro Series West standings with seven top fives and nine top 10s in 11 starts this season.
– Posted his career-best finish in the West series of second at Sonoma in June, an effort he matched in August at Evergreen.
Up To Speed:
– The 2017 season is the 31st for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
– The 2017 East schedule features 14 races at 13 different tracks across the United States.
– Ronnie Bassett Jr. earned his first career East win in the season opener at New Smyrna.
– Harrison Burton earned his first career win at Bristol and became the series first four-time winner this season with a victory at Thompson.
– Todd Gilliland has won four of the last six races, including two straight at Loudon and Iowa, to take the point lead for the first time this season.
– Chase Purdy won four straight poles beginning at Memphis and ending at Loudon.
– The series has visited New Jersey Motorsports Park only once in its history, a race won by Noah Gragson last season.