Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Analyzing the Casey’s General Store 150 presented by Vatterott College

Via NASCAR Media

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2017) — The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West head to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, for the annual Casey’s General Store 150 presented by Vatterott College on Friday, July 28 — an annual combination race between the two divisions. Below is a look at the race itself and some of the selected participants.

Casey’s General Store 150 Race Setup:
• Todd Gilliland is both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West point leader and the most recent winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, having won last time out at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his fifth win of the season overall.
• Harrison Burton has four wins this season to lead the East standings by 14 points over Gilliland.
• Gilliland has four West wins and leads that series by 11 points over teammate Chris Eggleston.

At Iowa Speedway:
• Designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, the .875-mile asphalt tri-oval was patterned after Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The first race at the track was held in September 2006.
• The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Iowa was in May 2007, as a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination event was won by a 17-year-old Joey Logano, the 2015 Daytona 500 champion.
• The 14 East-West combination events at Iowa have produced 13 different overall race winners and 12 different overall pole winners. Brandon McReynolds, who swept the two K&N Pro Series races at the track last season, is the only repeat overall winner at Iowa.

• Iowa held one East-West combination race each season from 2007-2011 and had two each year from 2012-2015.
• The K&N Pro Series West had a standalone event at the track in September 2009 won by David Mayhew.
• Kyle Busch, Cole Custer and Brandon McReynolds are the only three drivers to win the East-West combination race at Iowa from the pole. Current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliot started the furthest back and won, coming from 15th on the grid in May 2012.
• Chevrolet has gone to Victory Lane in seven East-West events at Iowa, while Toyota has six wins and Ford has one.

Iowa Data:
Race: #10 of 14 overall for the East; #9 of 14 overall for the West
Race Date: Friday, July 28, 7:30 p.m. CT
Track Layout: .875-mile banked D-shaped asphalt oval
Race Length: 150 laps (131.25 miles)
Banking/Turns: 12-14 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 10 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: Four degrees

Qualifying/Race Data
2016 Winner: Todd Gilliland
2016 Pole Sitter: Kyle Benjamin
1-lap Qualifying Record: Kyle Busch, 135.484 mph (23.250 seconds, May 2009)
150-lap Race Record: Todd Gilliland, 98.505 mph (July 2016)

Selected Driver Highlights:
Ronnie Bassett Jr. (No. 04 Bassett Gutters and More Chevrolet)
• Sits fourth in the East standings with one win, six top fives and six top 10s through nine races.
• Won the season opener at Florida's New Smyrna Speedway for his first career win.
• Heads into the weekend on the strength of four straight top fives, including back-to-back podium finishes, after three straight finishes of 14th or worse dropped him out of the series point lead.
• Has two top 10s, including a best finish of third overall, in four career starts at Iowa.

Harrison Burton (No. 12 DEX Imaging Toyota)
• Holds the K&N Pro Series East points lead with four wins, eight top fives and nine top 10s in nine races this season.
• Leads the series with eight top-five finishes this season and is one of only two drivers to finish in the top 10 in every start. Has not finished worse than sixth this year.
• Finished 26th overall last season in his only career start at Iowa.

Chris Eggleston (No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota)
• Has eight career K&N West wins with 26 top fives and 30 top 10s in 39 career starts.
• Was the 2015 series champion as a rookie for Bill McAnally Racing.
• Sits second in the overall West standings, just 11 points behind leader Todd Gilliland, with three wins, seven top fives and eight top 10s in eight races.
• Has three top fives in West competition in four starts at Iowa.

Ruben Garcia Jr. (No. 6 UTI/NTI Toyota)
• Finished a career-best second at Bristol and has three straight top-10 finishes entering Iowa.
• Sits fifth in the East standings with two top fives and seven top 10s in nine 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 61 career starts in that series.
• Engine trouble ended his night at Iowa last season after only 40 laps in his track debut.

Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Won four of the first five K&N Pro Series West races this season, including a sweep of Twin 100s at Irwindale on March 25, and owns 14 career K&N Pro Series wins.
• One of only two drivers to finish in the top 10 in all nine East races this season, he sits second in the current K&N East standings with two wins, six top fives and nine top 10s through nine races.
• In West competition, won the first five pole awards of the season and four straight races — California's Kern County Raceway Park, California's Irwindale Event Center (twice) and Spokane (Wash.) County Raceway.
• Has four wins, six top fives and eight top 10s in eight West races this season to lead the series standings by 11 points over Chris Eggleston.
• Won at Iowa last season after qualifying on the outside of the front row in his only career start at the track.

Ben Kennedy (No. 1 Menards Toyota)
• Making his first K&N Pro Series start since 2015, when he competed in a West race at Arizona's Phoenix International Raceway.
• Has two career K&N Pro Series wins, at Florida's Five Flags Speedway and North Carolina's Bowman Gray Stadium, both in 2013, his last full season in the East.
• Has one top 10 in five career K&N Pro Series East starts at Iowa.
• Finished 20th at Iowa last month in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, and has two top 10s in four career Camping World Truck Series starts at the track.

Derek Kraus (No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota)
• Made his K&N Pro Series debut with the East at New Smyrna and finished third.
• Sits third in the current West standings with five top fives and six top 10s through eight races.
• Finished a career-best second at Kern County in March.

Jesse Little (No. 01 Yazaki/Hino Toyota)
• Making his second K&N Pro Series start of the season after finishing 23rd at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April.
• Won one of his two career East races at Iowa, when he finished second overall to Brandon McReynolds in 2015.
• In eight career starts at Iowa, has three top fives and five top 10s.
• Finished ninth at Iowa in last month’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.

Chase Purdy (No. 17 Bama Buggies/Textron Off-Road Toyota)
• Is third in the current East standings with three top fives and five top 10s through nine races.
• Finished a career-high second in the first of two 100-lap events at Virginia's South Boston Speedway and matched that effort two weeks ago at Michigan's Berlin Raceway.
• Won his fourth consecutive pole in the most recent event at New Hampshire, giving him six straight starts on the front row entering the race at Iowa.
• Is the highest-ranking rookie in the K&N Pro Series East after nine races.

Michael Self (No. 9 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Braille Batteries/Lucas Oil Ford)
• Despite missing the season opener, is tied for fifth in the West standings with three top fives and seven top 10s in seven starts
• Has six career K&N West wins, including two at both Minnesota's Brainerd International Raceway and Iowa.
• Is one of three drivers entered with wins at Iowa previously, having claimed the overall win in 2013, and has four top fives in six career starts at the track.

Will Rodgers (No. 7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford)
• Ranks fourth in the West standings with five top fives and six top 10s in eight races this year.
• Posted a career best finish of second in the most recent race at California's Sonoma Raceway, where he also won his first career pole.
• Finished 24th overall last season in his only career start at Iowa.

Up To Speed:
• The 2017 season is the 31st for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the 64th for the K&N Pro Series West.
• The 2017 East schedule features 14 races at 13 different tracks across the United States, while the West has 14 races at 12 different tracks.
• Ronnie Bassett Jr. earned his first career East win in the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Point leader 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 two of the last three East races.
• Chase Purdy has won four straight East poles heading to Iowa.
• Gilliland, who won the first five West poles of the season, swept the Twin 100s at Irwindale in March as part of a stretch of four straight wins.
• Chris Eggleston won the West season opener at Tucson and the two straight events at Orange Show and Colorado National.

Brooke Franceschini
NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications
(386) 631-6142