Last Race Recap...After being delayed by a couple weeks due to rain, the second race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) schedule took the green flag this past weekend at Greenville Pickens Speedway. Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) was represented by three of its talented young stars. One of the brightest spots for TSM on the night was Kenzie Ruston. Ruston was patient throughout the entire 150 laps and surged her way up to a third-place finish. Dylan Kwasniewski, who won the opening race of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway, had an up-and-down night and brought the Rockstar Energy Drink/Royal Purple team home with a top-15 finish. Austin Dyne, who made his first start at the half-mile track, came up just short of his first top 10 of the season, finishing in the 12th spot.
Looking Ahead...The TSM team will travel south to Five Flags Speedway in Pennsacola, Florida and will have Austin Dyne, Dylan Kwasniewski and Kenzie Ruston behind the wheel of their cars. Dyne and Kwasniewski will make their first start of any kind at the half-mile Five Flags Speedway this coming weekend while Ruston has numerous starts at the track, including the famous Snow Ball Derby. TSM will participate in an open test session on Friday at Five Flags Speedway.
Austin Dyne...When the original date for the Kevin Whitaker 150 rained out, TSM and Dyne took advantage of the time before the rescheduled date and went down to Greenville Pickens Speedway to have Dyne turn his first laps around the half-mile oval. After starting in the 20th spot, Dyne patiently picked his way through traffic despite experiencing radio issues that caused him to be unable to hear his spotter or crew chief. Dyne went on to finish just outside the top 10, in the 12th-finishing position. In what will continue to be a trend for Dyne in 2013, he will make his first start at the half-mile oval of Five Flags Speedway this coming weekend.
"It's definitely challenging for me to go to these new tracks that I haven't raced at yet, but I'm excited about the opportunity to go to another new track on this circuit," said Dyne. "From what I hear about it, I feel like I will love it. Our team has been really working great together the last couple of races, and I feel like we are on the verge of scoring our first top-10 or even top-five finish."
Dylan Kwasniewski...Starting mid-pack at Greenville, Kwasniewski was able to work his way up inside the top 10 and make a threat at the top five during the first half of the race. As the race went on, Kwasniewski's handling on the Chevrolet Impala seemed to begin to fade. Kwasniewski battled the remaining half of the race for a top-15 finish and stays within striking distance of the points lead. Much like Dyne, Dylan Kwasniewski will make his first start at the high-banked oval of Five Flags Speedway this coming weekend. Kwasniewski will use the open test session on Friday to get accustomed to the new track before Saturday's NAPA 150.
"I always enjoy going to race at a new track, " said Kwasniewski. "I am glad we have an open test session the day before. That will really benefit me and the entire TSM team, and allow us to get a good race setup for Saturday's race. I typically love high-banked race tracks, so I feel like I will like Five Flags."
Kenzie Ruston...Ruston became the highest-finishing female in NKNPSE history with her third-place finish at Greenville Pickens Speedway last Saturday evening. The previous highest-finishing female in the series was Danica Patrick, who drove to a sixth-place run at Dover during the 2010 season. Ruston started deep in the field for the 150-lap main event. Patiently waiting for the right time to make her move, Ruston worked her way up to a third-place finish. Ruston is no stranger to Five Flags speedway, as she has numerous starts at the track, but this will be her first NKNPSE at the half mile.
"Qualifying has never been my strength and coming into the new cars, we've qualified a lot worse than we wanted," Ruston said. "But, that really has kind of helped us. I've been able to get back there and ride and learn and save tires to be there at the end. We've been working hard, and my crew chief [Rich "Fuz" Burgdoff] has worked hard with me. I love Five Flags Speedway. It has a lot of banking; it's just a fast little race track. It's almost like you never stop turning."