Moorseville, N.C. February 15, 2016 - The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) returned to action last night at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway with the running of the Jet Tools 150. Four HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks (HSMJM) teams made the trip from Mooresville, N.C., to the half-mile Florida track to kick off the 2016 season. The 150-lap event proved to be one of the most talked about events in series history because of a delay in the proper flags being displayed at the end of the event. Justin Haley led the charge for HSMJM with a fifth-place finish. Tyler Dippel, in his NASCAR debut, finished eight while Harrison Burton scored a 13th-place finish. Hunter Baize, who ran a solid race before getting caught up in an accident, finished 29th.
Justin Haley…Haley entered the Jet Tools 150 with high expectations after a great end to his 2015 season. The Indiana native started 11th and ran around the top 10 all evening long. As the conclusion of the race neared, Haley turned the wick up, driving to an impressive fifth-place finish in his No. 5 Braun Auto Chevrolet.
Justin Haley on the Jet Tools 150: “We started out good but didn’t qualify where we wanted to, so we saved our tires in the race and it showed in the end. Overall it was a solid day, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season with my HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks guys.”
Tyler Dippel…15-year-old Tyler Dippel made his NKNPSE debut yesterday. He proved that he is not only fast on dirt, but also on pavement. He qualified his No. 38 EastWest Marine/TyCar/St. Jude Chevrolet fifth, the highest of any HSMJM driver. The Walkhill, N.Y., wheelman maintained position in the top 10 through the entire race and went on to finish eighth in what was a stacked field featuring some of the best young talent in the sport today.
Tyler Dippel on the Jet Tools 150: “I’m happy with an eighth-place finish, especially considering it was our first race. Things went really well, we learned a lot as a team, and I can't wait what to see what the rest of 2016 has in store for us.”
Harrison Burton…Burton, son of 21-time Sprint Cup winner and current NBC Sports broadcaster Jeff Burton, made his NASCAR Pro Series East debut yesterday as well. The 15-year-old Huntersville, N.C., driver was fastest in first practice and qualified his Dex Imaging/Konica Minolta Toyota ninth. Burton ran around the top 10 all night, and at times looked as if he may have had a shot at scoring a top-five finish. He avoided any trouble, including an accident that occurred right in front of him, and went on to finish 13th.
Harrison Burton on the Jet Tools 150: “I thought our night went pretty well and we learned a lot about each other as a team. We wanted to be racing for the win, but things just didn't line up for us tonight. Still, the guys worked really hard all day long and that’s all I can ask of them. I can’t wait to head to Mobile next month!”
Hunter Baize…Bremen, Ky., native Hunter Baize also made his NKNPSE debut in Sunday night’s Jet Tools 150. Sponsored by Bicycle Playing Cards and Pine Mountain Firelogs, Baize’s No. 13 car was a fan favorite and looked to be solid throughout the day. Together Baize and his team made gains on the car all day long and by race time, they felt they had a solid car. He started 14th and ran in and around the top-15 early. At lap 97, contact with another car sent him into the backstretch wall, ending his race and relegating him to a 29th-place finish..
Hunter Baize on the Jet Tools 150: “This obviously wasn't the start to the season we wanted. My guys at HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks worked so hard and gave us what I believe was a top-10 car for the race. Unfortunately, some sort of mechanical failure put us back in the pack and we ended up wrecking pretty hard. We'll be ready at Mobile.”
The Jet Tools 150 at New Smyrna Speedway can be seen on NBCSN at 11:30 p.m. EST, on Thursday, February 25. The NKNPSE returns to action on March 12 with the inaugural Mobile 150 at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway.On February 15, 2016