By Brian Citino
Those that braved the on-and-off showers throughout the day Friday at Dover International Speedway were treated to quite the evening show, as the drivers of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competed in a wreck-filled, down-to-the wire finish.
Kyle Benjamin celebrates with the Monster Trophy after winning the Dover 125 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Sept. 30. PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES
Kyle Benjamin, in his fourth race at the Monster Mile, took home his first Monster Trophy, edging out Jesse Little following a lap 124 restart of the 125-lap event.
“It’s really cool to get the win here,” Benjamin said. “This is one of the places you want to get the win. We got Bristol last year, which is (similar) to this track, so it’s really cool to also get Dover. This has been a really good season.”
It was a dual celebration in The First State, as the race served as the season finale for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, with Justin Haley winning his first Series championship. He finished the race in fourth place.
Haley came into the race with a comfortable points lead, but wasn’t guaranteed the series title. After qualifying was rained out, he was given the pole position based on series rules, something he said made his day a lot easier.
“The biggest thing was we had a great initial start,” Haley said. “Clean air was huge today. And now all the stress is lifted after crossing the start finish line.”
The title marks the fourth straight NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship for HScott Motorsports, an achievement that owner Harry Scott Jr. said he’s not quite tired of yet.
“We’ve been very fortunate in this series, it seems like each one gets more and more special,” Scott said. “Justin is a fine young man and he deserves the championship.”
Adding to the excitement of the race win, Benjamin got to share his Victory Lane celebration with a number of members of the at-track Fire Service. Benjamin sported the Wilmington, Del. Fire Department logo on the hood of his No. 40 Chevrolet to honor two firefighters who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty earlier this week.
“It’s tragic what happened so it was really neat to get to have them in Victory Lane,” he said.
Action at the Monster Mile resumes on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 10:30 a.m. with one of two practice sessions on the day for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
The drivers of the NASCAR XFINITY Series will qualify for the “Drive Sober 200” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety race at 11:45 a.m. with the race taking the green flag at 3 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 800-441-RACE.