The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will head to South Boston (Va.) Speedway for the fifth season in a row with the South Boston 150 on Saturday, April 16.
Following an impressive performance in the season-opener at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway on April 2 that saw him lead flag-to-flag, Brett Moffitt will go into the second race of the 2011 campaign as one of the favorites. The first of Moffitt's five career wins came at South Boston in 2009 and he finished sixth there a year ago. Both of those races came with different teams, but the 18-year-old is now in the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota which finished third at the .4-mile oval in each of the two previous seasons with Ryan Truex behind the wheel.
Moffitt and MWR might have the momentum, but Joe Gibbs Racing's Max Gresham is the defending winner of the South Boston 150. Like Moffitt - who was his teammate at JGR last year - Gresham earned his first career win at South Boston with a dominant effort in 2009 that saw him lead all but four laps in the race. Gresham also earned his first pole in the event.
Gresham and Ryan Gifford are the only two drivers to finish in the top five in the two previous K&N Pro Series East events at South Boston that will be back there this week. Gifford, of Revolution Racing, was the runner-up to Moffitt in just his second series start in 2009, and finished fourth a year ago.
Not to be forgotten among the potential favorites entering race weekend is series veteran Eddie MacDonald. In the first four series visits to the track MacDonald has three top 10s with a best finish of fourth in 2008. South Boston is a similar configuration to Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway where MacDonald has extensive experience, so he hopes the familiarity will help to end a winless streak that now spans 12 races.
What To Watch For
Newcomers: Four drivers on the pre-entry list will attempt to make their NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at South Boston Speedway. Ryan Reed, son of former NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver Mark Reed, has entered in the No. 04 Toyota while Andrew Gipson will be behind the wheel of Barney McRae's No. 5 Chevrolet. Car owner Rich Rudolph is slated to bring a new car to South Boston with driver CJ Faison and president of Martinsville Speedway, Clay Campbell, will also make a second attempt at a first start as the postponement of the opener at Greenville Pickens Speedway delayed his first try in the No. 08 Chevrolet.
Four Years, Four Different Winners: Each of the first four K&N Pro Series East races at South Boston have produced different pole and race winners. Max Gresham and Brett Moffitt will have an opportunity to become the first multi-time race winner while Gresham is the only driver on this year's entry list with a previous pole at the track.
Doubleheader Race Day: For the second year in a row, the K&N Pro Series East will be followed by the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour's 150-lap race on Saturday. James Civali is the Southern Tour's defending race winner at South Boston while George Brunnhoelzl III is the current season points leader after two races.
25 For 25
The 2011 season is the 25th in series history. From its days as the Busch North Series, to the present-day NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, there are countless moments that have come to define the series. Each race week we will take a look back at those moments and figures that have defined the series.
Kobyluck Wins Down South: South Boston Speedway became the second track south of the Mason-Dixon Line to bring the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in for a stand-alone race when the inaugural South Boston 150 was held on June 2, 2007. Representing the northern-based teams, series veteran Matt Kobyluck had the considerable task of holding off South Boston's hometown favorite Peyton Sellers. The two swapped the lead 11 times, but Kobyluck took the lead for the final time from the former track champion on Lap 140 to earn the victory. It marked the ninth-different track in which Kobyluck had reached Victory Lane, and at the time it was his 11th career win, which moved him into sole possession of 11th place on the series all-time wins list. He now sits fifth all-time with 16 victories.
30 Years Running: South Boston
Self-described as "America's Hometown Track," South Boston Speedway is one of the most famed weekly short tracks in the nation with recent alumni like Jeff and Ward Burton, Stacy Compton, Denny Hamlin, Timothy Peters, Elliott and Hermie Sadler and Peyton Sellers.
It is also one of nine tracks that have been part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series since its formation in 1982.
Three-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion Philip Morris leads the way in 2011 after four races in the track's premier division, the Late Models. Sellers won the season-opener, but Morris found Victory Lane the last three outings, including twin 75-lappers on April 2.
In addition to Late Models, South Boston also features weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing with Limited Sportsman, Pure Stock and Southern Vintage Modified divisions.
Last Year's Event
In the fourth installment of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at South Boston Speedway, Max Gresham ruled the day. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver earned the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Light and went on to lead 146 of the 150 laps in the feature for his first career victory.
Cole Whitt led a pair of laps and finished as the runner-up. Ryan Truex, Ryan Gifford, Matt Kobyluck, Brett Moffitt, Eddie MacDonald, Drew Brannon, D.J. Shaw and Ty Dillon rounded out the top 10 finishers. Moffitt also led a pair of laps.
Up Next: Blue Ox 100
The inaugural stand-alone visit for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway is up next on the schedule as the Blue Ox 100 will be contested at the famed .75-mile oval on Thursday, April 28.
The K&N Pro Series East competed in five combination races with the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Richmond from 1988-92, but this will be the first race that NASCAR's top developmental series can call its own.
The K&N Pro Series East will be joined on the racing bill on April 28 by the famed Denny Hamlin Short Track Shootout charity Late Model race. That event will feature a mix of drivers ranging from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, to the K&N Pro Series East and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series ranks.