By Brian Citino
Dover International Speedway has a well-known reputation for being a little kinder to drivers that have turned laps on it before. Its unique banking and concrete surface present an interesting challenge to all drivers, especially the unseasoned.
Don’t tell that to Collin Cabre, though. In his first start at the Monster Mile, Cabre collected his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win in Saturday’s “Drive Sober 125” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.
The race took the green flag a day late, as it was originally scheduled for Friday but postponed due to torrential rains. Cabre was unsure if the race would be run at all, with storms still in the area Saturday morning.
“It was a long weekend,” he said. “We sat all day watching cartoons in the hotel yesterday. It’s nice to come out here and get things done, and put this thing in Victory Lane.”
Cabre’s first win elicited an excited response from his fellow competitors, as several drivers dropped by Sunoco Victory Lane to congratulate him.
“It’s a great experience to have your competitors and teammates come up and congratulate you,” he said. “We might drive hard, and bump and rub, but at the end of the day we’re all good people and respect each other.”
While celebrations were ongoing in Sunoco Victory Lane for Cabre, another party was happening in the infield, as William Byron captured the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title with a ninth-place finish, edging out Scott Heckert for the championship.
“I was pretty tense in the car because I’ve never practiced at Dover,” Byron said. “I was trying as hard as I could to keep position and finish the race the best we could. We just kept our focus the whole race until we crossed the finish line, and knew we couldn’t let up at all.”
Byron’s four wins were tops in the series this season, and he entered the race with a 13-point lead over Heckert.
Kevin Bellicourt, crew chief for Byron’s No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet, was choked up when interviewed immediately after the checkered flag flew, overwhelmed with the emotion of the moment.
“It is emotional, because when you get an opportunity like this, to work for [team owner] Harry Scott Jr., you want to succeed,” Bellicourt said. “I have an amazing team. I am the luckiest crew chief in the world.”
Veteran Eddie MacDonald finished the “Drive Sober 125” in second place, 6.454 seconds behind Cabre, followed by Rico Abreu, Spencer Davis and Nick Drake. J.J. Haley, Corey LaJoie, Landon Cassill, Byron and Heckert rounded out the top-10.