Ronnie Bassett, Jr., surges to first K&N Pro Series East win in New Smyrna

Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Less than one year after a fire destroyed nearly all of Bassett Racing’s assets last May, the organization found themselves in victory lane to open the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (KNPSE) season.

Ronnie Bassett, Jr., made his way around brother Dillon Bassett on a Lap 109 restart and led the final 42 laps – his first laps led in the series – to claim an attrition-filled Jet Tools 150 at New Smyrna Speedway.

“It was very special to get this win,” Bassett said. “I work on my own race car every day. I try to make it as good as I can. We have a great group of guys behind us. They’ve done a great job over the winter getting us ready.”

Bassett’s triumph came at the expense of his brother and Todd Gilliland, whom each saw their chances ruined by flat tires.

Gilliland took the lead on a restart after the Lap-75 halfway break, but was trapped a lap down with damage just laps later after cutting a tire.  The championship hopeful saw additional damage in a stack-up a few laps later, but fought back after getting the free pass with 29 laps remaining to salvage a ninth-place finish.

Dillon was less fortunate, with his night ended after cutting a tire and running into Tyler Dippel on a lap 116 restart.

 

After pacing practice earlier in the day, Zane Smith drove through the field to overcome a tail-end qualifying penalty and earn a second-place finish in his KNPSE debut.

Fellow first-timer Derek Kraus, pole-sitter Harrison Burton and Travis Cope rounded out the top five, with Reid Wilson, Hunter Baize, Chase Purdy, Gilliland and Spencer Davis completing the top 10.

The caution flag flew six times for 28 laps over the course of the 150-lap event, with the red flag flying twice for Bassett’s crash and a pileup including John Holleman IV, Enrique Baca and Gilliland.

The KNPSE will return to action at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Apr. 8.

Results

  1. Ronnie Bassett, Jr.
  2. Zane Smith
  3. Derek Kraus
  4. Harrison Burton
  5. Travis Cope
  6. Reid Wilson
  7. Hunter Baize
  8. Chase Purdy
  9. Todd Gilliland
  10. Spencer Davis
  11. Caleb Holman
  12. Chase Cabre
  13. Vinnie Miller
  14. Anthony Sergi
  15. Trey Hutchens
  16. Ruben Garcia, Jr.
  17. Salvatore Iovino
  18. Jay Beasley
  19. Sheldon Creed
  20. Amber Balcaen
  21. Jessi Iwuji
  22. Collin Cabre
  23. Tyler Dippel
  24. Dillon Bassett
  25. John Holleman IV
  26. Enrique Baca
  27. Luis Rodrigues, Jr.

 

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