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Sergio Pena Returns to Victory Lane for the First Time Since 2011 Saturday Night in Columbus

July 20th, 2014 at 2:37 AM
By Mark Eddinger

Sergio Pena was a three-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East back in 2011 at the age of 18 but then went on a 29-race winless streak over the past three seasons until Saturday night when he drove the No. 4 Rev Racing Toyota to victory in the JEGS 150 presented by Germain Toyota at Columbus Motor Speedway.

Rev Racing / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Now the 21-year-old NASCAR Drive for Diversity program member has four career wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Pena led the final 31 laps of the 150 lap race and held off Cameron Hayley to get the victory. Finishing third was points leader Ben Rhodes. Last weekend's winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Jesse Little finished fourth and Ryan Gifford rounded out the top five as he was driving the No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota that Daniel Suarez usually pilots.

Finishing sixth was Ross Chastain as he was making his series debut. Nick Drake finished seventh, Kaz Grala eighth, Brennan Newberry ninth, and pole sitter Scott Heckert rounded out the top 10. Ronnie Bassett Jr was 11th, Kenzie Ruston 12th, Jay Beasley 13th, and the final lead lap car was Brandon Jones in 14th of the 23 cars. Gray Gaulding finished one lap down in 15th and Austin Hill was four laps down in 18th.

Heckert was on his second pole of the season and led the first 56 laps before Chastain passed him on lap 57. Cameron Hayley then made the move on Chastain and Hayley would lead from laps 61 until 120 when Sergio Pena passed him.

There were six total cautions on the night with the final one coming out on lap 141 when Kenzie Ruston spun. That set up a restart on lap 148 and a three lap sprint to the finish where Pena held off Hayley and won by 0.283 seconds.

After 11 of 16 races on the season Ben Rhodes holds a healthy 62 point lead over Cameron Hayley. Gray Gaulding is third, Jesse Little fourth, Brandon Jones fifth, Austin Hill sixth, Nick Drake seventh, Ronnie Bassett Jr eighth, Kaz Grala ninth, and Kenzie Ruston tenth.

Daniel Suarez, who is the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series points leader this season, dropped to 14th in East Series points after competing in Saturday night's Mexico race at the Autódromo Internacional de Aguascalientes and finishing 16th. Sergio Pena is 15th in points.

The next race of the season is on August 1st at Iowa Speedway for the second combination race at the track this season between the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West.

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Tags: Ben Rhodes, Cameron Hayley, Columbus Motor Speedway, Daniel Suarez, Gray Gaulding, Jesse Little, Kenzie Ruston, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Nick Drake, Ross Chastain, Ryan Gifford, Scott Heckert, Sergio Pena

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