Justin Haley steals late race victory from Kyle Benjamin

Haley passes Benjamin for late race K&N win at Greenville Pickens

Justin Haley steals late race victory from Kyle Benjamin

Shirleen Riffe

By Shirleen Riffe
GREENVILLE, S.C. — Justin Haley's patience and great team tire management at Greenville Pickens Speedway paid off with a late race pass to hold onto the lead and win the 3rd round in the K&N Pro Series East besting the Easley, SC native Kyle Benjamin.

The 16-year-old Haley who drives for HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks, cleared the dominant car of Kyle Benjamin with seven laps to go and never looked back to score his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory.

After 23 attempts at a win Haley and team finally put it all together at the very difficult and historic half-mile South Carolina track. After filling Benjamin's mirrors running tight behind him all night he chose his move wisely and passed the local driver easily with 7 to go.

Benjamin settled for second, followed by Ronnie Bassett Jr., and Ronnie Bassett, Jr. rounded out the top 3.

Benjamin, was fastest in practice and the winner of the 21 Means Pole Award presented by Coors Brewing Company.

Benjamin dominated the race leading 122 laps. Haley briefly took the lead early in the race but the Ranier Racing w/MDM driver Kyle Benjamin took the lead back just before halfway and led until the late race pass by Haley for the win.

The rest of the top ten included Benjamin's series leading teammate Spencer Davis in 4th. The top ten were Justin Haley, Kyle Benjamin, Ronnie Bassett Jr., Spencer Davis, Dillon Basett, Reid Wilson finished sixth, followed by Noah Gragson, Tyler Dippel, Kaz Grala and Hunter Baize.

In the championship race Spencer Davis maintained a three-point lead and his Ranier teammate Kyle Benjamin moved up to second. Justin Haley is one point behind Benjamin and one ahead of teammate Dippel. Ronnie Bassett rounds out the top five in points.

The Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 will air on NBCSN on Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be back in action on April 16 with the PittLite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Benjamin is the defending race winner.