By Joseph Wolkin
HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks dominated the K&N Pro Series East this season. When the final checkered flag flew on a rainy day at Dover International Speedway in October, it was rookie William Byron who had claimed the championship crown.
The 17-year-old racer from Charlotte, North Carolina, emerged as a title contender early in the season, leading all 152 laps at South Carolina’s Greenville-Pickens Speedway en route to his first triumph. As the season continued, Byron’s No. 9 Chevrolet visited the winner’s circle three more times – at Iowa Speedway, Virginia’s Langley Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Holding off teammate and third-year driver Scott Heckert, Byron ended the year with a 15-point advantage in the title battle, which has led to him getting an opportunity to race full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series next season.
Byron’s performance caught the attention of Kyle Busch Motorsports, which will field a truck for him next year as a candidate for rookie-of-the-year honors.
After earning five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes this year, Bryon’s average finish of 6.8 proved he is a model of consistency.
When Jay Beasley had to sit out three races due to an illness, former Rev Racing teammate Sergio Pena came to the rescue. Entering the year with four victories in 55 K&N Pro Series East starts, Pena had no set plans to compete in the series.
However, when Beasley was out of the ride, Pena took over the No. 42 car. In his second race back, the 22-year-old returned to Victory Lane, earning the triumph at Virginia International Raceway. It was one of two wins for Rev Racing in 2015.
En route to the victory, Pena led just one lap after passing rookie Dalton Sargeant. From there, Pena was able to hold off Kaz Grala for the victory.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in Review
Champion: William Byron
Top Newcomer: Rico Abreu
Best Race: UNOH 100 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway
Best Moment: Rico Abreu scoring his first NASCAR victory at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway.