PIT BOX: NASCAR K&N Pro East Takes On Twists & Turns In Garden State

13 Jun 2018
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After a full round of racing around Tennessee and Virginia — five races at four tracks — the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East heads north for the twists and turns of road-course racing on Saturday. New Jersey Motorsports Park will host the series for the third consecutive season.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park has been postponed a day; the Thompson 125 will now run on Thursday. And the second race of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series returns the series to Jukasa Motor Speedway on Saturday evening.

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST at NEW JERSEY

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Road-course racing is always the wild card in the championship picture for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. And the 2.250-mile course in Millville, New Jersey, offers the first test.

Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton finished second and third, respectively, at NJMP last year. In the series’ inaugural visit, eventual champion Justin Haley showed off his road-racing chops.

Championship points leader Tyler Ankrum will be making his road-course debut in the series, while Tyler Dippel was seventh there in 2016. Ruben Garcia Jr., who is coming off his breakthrough win at Memphis and followed up with a third-place run in the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series at Guadalajara, has finished sixth (2016) and 10th (2017) at the track.

The field includes its regular collection of road-course experts, led by Will Rodgers and Ernie Francis Jr. Rodgers swept the K&N Pro East races on road courses last year, including New Jersey, and finished runner-up to Kevin Harvick in the K&N Pro West race at California’s Sonoma Raceway. Francis is making his series’ debut. The 20-year-old NASCAR Drive for Development driver is a four-time Trans-Am champion.

NASCAR PR

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Steven B. Wilson

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