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Posted: Monday, May 19th 2014 at 12:24pm

Rhodes rolls to NASCAR K&N Pro Series win at Iowa

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Ben Rhodes celebrates in victory lane after winning Saturday night's NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Iowa Speedway. / Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR
NEWTON, IA – Ben Rhodes turned an impressive performance Saturday night into his second NASCAR K&N Pro Series win of the season.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship points leader piloted the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet to victory lane at Iowa Speedway in the Casey's General Store 150. Rhodes, 17, from Louisville, KY, led the final 115 laps and bested the field by 2.377 seconds in the combination race between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West.

“It was a great night. The whole team worked really hard all week to give me a fast car,” said Rhodes, who is in his second season with the NASCAR Next program. “We struggled in practice getting the feel and comfortability I wanted. And it was the same in the early part of the race. Then, at the (halfway) break we made some changes as the track was changing and the track really came to us.”

Just after the halfway break Turner Scott Motorsports teammate Scott Heckert got to the rear deck lid of Rhodes and appeared ready to make a move, but Rhodes was able to snuff that bid.

“I was trying to take it easy and save a little,” said Rhodes. “About the only way he was going to be able to get around was to take me out, but Scott is a friend and a great teammate and he wasn’t going to do that. I was just so good at getting off the corners with all of the momentum you get here. So, I was confident in what we had.”

Nick Drake, 18, ended up finishing second for his best finish in seven K&N Pro Series starts. The Mooresville, NC, driver finished third in April at Richmond International Raceway behind the wheel of his No. 15 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota.

“We qualified 11th and that was a little disappointing, but after falling back early on we got to seventh at the halfway break,” Drake said. “I just think we had too much ground to make up. If we could have gotten a late caution, I think we were as good as Ben.”

Like Drake, Heckert, 20, scored a series career-best finish with a third-place showing. His previous best effort was seventh in last season’s finale at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA.

“We’ve had an up and down season. Always have had fast cars, but seem to catch the bad luck more than I’d like,” said Heckert. “I thought we had a chance there, but the car just got a little loose at the end. Third is a good night, so we’re happy with it.”

Jay Beasley – a member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program – rolled across the finish line in fourth for the Rev Racing competitor’s first career top-five finish. Another of the Turner Scott entries Brandon Jones followed in fifth while Brennan Newberry, Daniel Suarez, Ronnie Bassett Jr., David Mayhew and Austin Hill, also a NASCAR Next driver, rounded out the top 10.

NASCAR Next spotlights young, emerging talent in the sport. Kyle Larson, Dylan Kwasniewski and Darrell Wallace, Jr. are among the alumni of the four-year-old initiative.

Mayhew is credited with a victory as the top-finishing NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver, the third time he's accomplished that in the combination race at Iowa. It was Mayhew's second straight West win having won on May 3 at California’s Stockton 99 Speedway.

Greg Pursley finished 12th overall and was second among the West. He leads Mayhew by 12 and Dylan Lupton by 14.

Rhodes, who won at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina in March, collected his fifth top five in six races to extend his points lead to 38 over Cameron Hayley and 39 over Gray Gaulding.

Brodie Kostecki, who won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award earlier in the day, wound up 33rd after being involved in an accident after losing the lead to Rhodes in traffic on lap 36.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races next in the Armed Forces 150 at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, CA, on Saturday, May 24. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to the track Saturday, May 31 with the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, NC.

The Casey's General Store 150 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, May 24 at 8:30 am.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series
Iowa Speedway - Newton, IA
Casey's General Store 150 - May 17 2014

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 2 41 Ben Rhodes * Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet 150 48E 5 Running
2 11 15 Nick Drake * NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 42E Running
3 3 34 Scott Heckert Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet 150 41E Running
4 9 44 Jay Beasley * Toyota Racing Development Toyota 147 40E Running
5 7 33 Brandon Jones Wolfpack Energy Services Chevrolet 150 39E Running
6 19 24 Brennan Newberry Qore24 Chevrolet 150 38E Running
7 13 6 Daniel Suarez Silent Circle/Telcel Toyota 150 37E Running
8 14 4 Ronnie Bassett, Jr. * Butler Trailer Mfg. Toyota 150 36E Running
9 23 17 David Mayhew MMI Services/Ron's Rear Ends Chevrolet 153 46W 3 Running
10 4 22 Austin Hill * Don-Rich Ford/A&D Welding Ford 150 35E Running
11 29 4 Sergio Peña L&M Ethanol Toyota 150 34E Running
12 27 26 Greg Pursley GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford 150 42W Running
13 10 0 Cole Custer NAPA/Haas Automation Chevrolet 150 33E Running
14 5 98 Cameron Hayley Cabinets By Hayley Chevrolet 150 32E Running
15 15 99 Patrick Staropoli * PEAK Toyota 150 41W Running
16 8 96 Kenzie Ruston Ben Kennedy Racing Chevrolet 149 31E Running
17 20 66 James Bickford * Sunrise Ford,/Lucas Oil/Eibach Ford 150 40W Running
18 25 23 Trey Hutchens * All-Star Trucking/Sherwin Williams Chevrolet 150 30E Running
19 32 2 Ryan Gifford Universal Technical Institute/NTI Toyota 150 29E Running
20 22 9 Dylan Lupton Sunrise Ford,/Lucas Oil/Eibach Ford 150 39W Running
21 12 97 Jesse Little NASCAR Technical Institute Chevrolet 149 28E Running
22 35 11 Thomas Martin MedActive Oral Care Chevrolet 149 38W Running
23 36 54 Anthony Giannone MGP Connecting Rods/Redline Signs Toyota 148 37W Running
24 33 30 Luis Tyrrell * 30 Days Chevrolet 148 36W Running
25 16 20 Gray Gaulding Krispy Kreme Toyota 147 27E Running
26 28 42 Taylor Cuzick Freightliner of Arizona Dodge 147 35W Running
27 26 1 David Garbo, Jr. * Big Machine Records/Garbo Lobster Toyota 145 26E Running
28 30 5 Jack Sellers MedActive Oral Care Chevrolet 145 34W Running
29 21 12 Giles Thornton TTC Racing/Montana Raceway Park Toyota 144 33W Running
30 31 36 John Wood Holleran's Performance Toyota 144 32W Running
31 34 38 Phyl Zubizareta * Holleran's Performance Chevrolet 122 31W Running
32 17 21 MacKenna Bell Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Toyota 82 25E Accident
33 1 43 Brodie Kostecki * Acroplate Toyota 78 25E 1 Accident
34 18 16 Brandon McReynolds NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 68 30W Accident
35 24 71 Eddie MacDonald Grimm Const./National MS Society Chevrolet 57 23E Accident
36 6 31 Kaz Grala * OzLINK Chevrolet 38 22E Accident
37 37 84 Rich DeLong, III * Country Girl Saloon/Ron's Rear Ends Toyota 8 29W Engine

Fastest Qualifier: Brodie Kostecki *, Time: 23.666 Seconds, Speed: 133.102 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 24 mins, 25 secs Average Speed: 93.287 mph Margin of Victory: 2.377 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 38-44 (Car #31 Turn 2 - FP #4); 58-65 (Turn 1 & 2 #71 & #12 - FP #11); 69-74 (Turn 1 Car #16 - FP #66); 79-87 (Turn 2 - 21, 99, 98, 43, 00, 96 - FP #2). 4 for 30 laps.
Lap Leaders: Brodie Kostecki * 1-35, Ben Rhodes * 36-150.
Total Laps Led: Ben Rhodes * 115, Brodie Kostecki * 35. 1 changes involving 2 drivers.
Associated Categories: Sports News, Professional Sports, NASCAR

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