Aug 09 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Review: Watkins Glen International
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 8, 2017) – The Finger Lakes Wine Country 100 was an actioned packed race that saw multiple lead changes and side-by-side battles. MDM Motorsports fielded two entries in the 100-mile event. Current NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) points leader, Harrison Burton piloted the No. 12 Ruud Toyota and NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) regular, Brandon Jones made his first NKNPSE start of the season driving the No. 40 Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet.
Burton was solid in practice and backed up his quick practice speed with a third-place qualifying effort. Jones qualified 16th after hopping out of his NXS car and directly into his NKNPSE car. After the green flag waved, Burton settled into third. While fighting a loose race car he eventually fell back to seventh before the half-way break, while Jones, also fighting an ill handling car, ran 15th. Both teams made positive adjustments to the cars, and it showed in the second half of the Finger Lakes Wine Country 100. Burton raced back into the top five and Jones raced inside the top 10 late in the race. Burton, the 16-year-old Huntersville, N.C., driver, finished third and remains the NKNPSE championship points leader with three races remaining in the NKNPSE season. Twenty-year-old Jones finished 11th in the Finger Lakes Wine Country 100.
Harrison Burton, driver of the Ruud/DEX Imaging No. 12… Burton entered the 11th race of the season as the NKNPSE championship points leader. After a solid practice in his No. 12 Ruud Toyota, he laid down an impressive qualifying run. He started the race third and ran in the top-five for much of the first half of the Finger Lakes Wine Country 100. He finished the first half seventh with loose race car. Good adjustments by the MDM Motorsports crew helped Burton race back inside the top-five. Good side-by-side racing was ended by a last lap crash in front of him. He was able to avoid making contact with the crashing car and scored a third-place finish. He remains the NKNPSE championship points leader as the series heads to Langely (Va.) Speedway next month.
Burton on Watkins Glen: “It was a tough race; we weren’t great the first half but my MDM Motorsports guys fixed me up for the second half. We struggled with a loose race car, the changes at the break allowed me to race into the top-five. I thought I had a shot to at least get around Todd. It was a good battle and I wouldn’t expect anything less. This championship battle is definitely coming down to the wire.”
Brandon Jones, driver of the Sylvania/Menards No. 40… NXS driver Brandon Jones made his first NKNPSE start of the season driving for MDM Motorsports on Friday afternoon. The two have experienced success in the ARCA Racing Series (ARS) together. Jones scored an impressive win in the ARS Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., on June 16. He entered Friday’s NKNPSE Finger Lakes Wine Country 100 looking to gain experience at Watkins Glen International before Saturday’s NXS event. He qualified 16th, but was able to race his way inside the top 10 after the team made adjustments to his No. 40 Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet at the halfway break. He went on to finish 11th at the 1.45-mile road course.
Jones on Watkins Glen: “I’m still fairly new to this whole road racing thing, so I was really happy to get behind the wheel of our Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet this weekend for the K&N race at Watkins Glen. We’re kicking off a month that’s pretty road course intensive for the NASCAR XFINITY Series, and there’s really nothing that can better prepare you than seat time. It was really tough to pass in the K&N race and it seemed like we were a bit down on power at the end of the race, which made passing that much more difficult. I wish we could’ve gotten a better finish for our Sylvania/Menards team, but I’d like to thank both companies for coming on board.”
The NKNPSE Finger Lakes Wine Country 100 from Watkins Glen International will be broadcast on NBCSN August 9 at 6 p.m., ET.