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Mar 18, 2013 - 08:00 PM
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Turner Scott Motorsports NKNPSE Post-Race Report: Bristol Motor Speedway
Posted by: newsla on Mar 18, 2013 - 07:59 PM
Turner Scott Motorsports NKNPSE Post-Race Report: Bristol Motor Speedway

Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) had a strong showing at Bristol Motor Speedway, in their first points race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE). TSM had five entries for the DRIVE4COPD 125, with talented up-and-coming drivers piloting each one. It was Dylan Kwasniewski, reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKNPSW) champion, in the Royal Purple/Rockstar Energy Drink Chevrolet that dominated the 125-lap event en route to his and the team's first series victory . Ben Rhodes brought the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions home just inside the top 10 in ninth, while Kenzie Ruston finished 11th, Austin Dyne in 23rd and Brandon Jones in 31st, respectively.


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Dylan Kwasniewski, who will compete for the NKNPSE championship with TSM, led a race high 96 laps en route to the season-opening victory at Bristol Motor Speedway. In Kwasniewski's first ever start at Bristol Motor Speedway, he quickly got used to the .533-mile high-banked oval with clean race track ahead of him and very little pressure from behind. After the leader got tangled up with another competitor early in the race, Kwasniewski took the top spot and went on to lead the rest of the 125-lap race. This win gives Kwasniewski and TSM their first NKNPSE victory.

Ben Rhodes, who looked like he had the car to beat during Thursday's practice sessions, suffered a setback when he hit the outside retaining wall after running through oil that was left on the track by another competitor. Rhodes and the No. 41 Alpha Energy Solutions team were forced to go to a backup car for the DRIVE4COPD 125. Starting in the 21st position, Rhodes masterfully picked his way through the 36-car field and earned a solid ninth-place finish.

Making her series debut was Kenzie Ruston in the AccuDoc Solutions No. 34. Ruston was forced to start deep in the pack after a conservative qualifying effort relegated her to a 29th-place starting spot. Carefully navigating her way through the field in a loose race car, Ruston had a successful race passing 18 cars on her way to an 11th-place finish.

Like Kwasniewski, 2012 NKNPSW Sunoco Rookie of the Year Austin Dyne came East to run for a championship with TSM in 2013. During the first practice session, Dyne found out how tough the .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway oval can be as he spun around and made contact with the outside retaining wall. The No. 99 KMC Wheels team missed second practice, but they were able to repair the damage in time for the second practice session and qualify later that day. Dyne, who started the 125-lap event in the 26th starting position, spent most of the race working his way up through the field. Unfortunately in the closing laps of the DRIVE4COPD 125, Dyne came into contact with another competitor while running in the 11th position. With a damaged car and little time to make up the spots he lost, Dyne finished in 23rd.

Brandon Jones, also making his first start at Bristol Motor Speedway, spent most of Thursday's practice sessions inside the top 10. Jones posted a quick time during his qualifying laps, placing the Rheem Chevy in the 11th spot to start the race. During the DRIVE4COPD 125 main event, Jones spent most of the first half of the race battling for a top-10 position until he came into contact with another competitor. After making a pit stop to repair the damage and make a chassis adjustment, Jones went back out and started to work his way back through the field while receiving coaching from his crew chief Cale Gale. Just after the NASCAR mandated "half time" break, Jones brushed a car spinning ahead of him. This contact sheared the battery cables off the car, ending the day early for Jones and the Rheem team as they finished in the 31st position.

The Turner Scott Motorsports NKNPSE team will return to action next Saturday at Greenville Pickens Speedway with Dyne, Kwasniewski and Ruston running in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150. Jones and Rhodes, both running a partial NKNPSE schedule, will return with the team at Richmond International Raceway in April.

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