DiBenedetto, Fleming Claim Victories at Bowman Gray
Cautions and wrecks plagued some, gave others opportunities.

Matt DiBenedetto (15) and Corey LaJoie (07) battle for the lead in the Army Strong 150. photo by Eric Hylton Photography

(Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC) It was a wild night at Bowman Gray Stadium on Saturday, with a cluster of cautions that kept the fans on their feet.
            In the Army Strong 150 for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, Matt DiBenedetto claimed the checkered for the inaugural event at the Madhouse. DiBenedetto took the lead away from pole-sitter Coleman Pressley early in the race and never looked back.
            Repeated cautions caused repeated double-file restarts, and DiBenedetto was put to the test every single time. “I was really focused on treating every restart like it was a green-white-checkered finish,” said DiBenedetto. “It was a wild night for sure. It was just a race of survival.”
            Corey LaJoie moved up to give DiBenedetto some serious challenges in the later stages of the race but was unable to make the pass for the lead. Many had counted out LaJoie as a serious contender due to his relatively low budget, but Bowman Gray Stadium proved to be a great equalizer. “It feels good to beat a handful of those guys who have full-time guys working on their stuff all day,” said LaJoie.
            Finishing in third was Ben Kennedy, great-grandson to Bill France Sr.: one of the founders of racing at Bowman Gray Stadium. “We just took our time, moved up, stayed out of trouble, kept the fenders on her, and brought her to third,” said Kennedy. It was his highest finish ever in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
            DiBenedetto’s victory makes him the 120th driver to win a featured event at Bowman Gray Stadium, adding him to the historic list that includes legends such as Bobby Allison, Junior Johnson, and Richard Petty. “The history here is so cool: my favorite part of coming here,” said DiBenedetto.

Chris Fleming and family smile in Winner’s Circle after Fleming’s win in the Modified Series. photo by Eric Hylton Photography

            In the GMAC Insurance Modified Series, the 100-lapper on Saturday was just as wild. When the field randomly drew for position, Chris Fleming of Mount Airy drew the pole.
            Fleming jumped out to an early lead by fending off outside-row attempts from Robert Jeffreys of Winston-Salem. But by lap 20, Jonathan Brown of Winston-Salem had moved up to challenge Fleming for the lead.
            Fleming defended the top spot once but eventually was overtaken by Brown. “I was trying to drive Jonathan clean, and I let him beat me on the restart,” said Fleming, who quickly began delivering some rough nudges to the rear bumper of Brown in an effort to reclaim the lead.
            For three consecutive double-file restarts, Fleming took to the outside row to fight with Brown. “It never entered into my mind to stay on the inside. I came here to put on a show,” said Fleming.
            During a double-file restart on lap 85, Fleming’s persistence paid off. Jonathan Brown fell off the pace for just an instant – enough to allow Fleming to fly past him into the lead. The field scrambled to react to Brown’s slowing: some attempted to move around him; some slammed the brakes. The confusion created a multi-car incident which caught nearly the entire field in a pileup.
            Brown feels that Fleming’s dirty driving was the cause of the wreck. “This would be a great race track if they get some drivers who want to race instead of wreck,” said Brown about the incident with Fleming.
            Fleming went on to take the victory, with Joseph “Bobo” Brown of Winston-Salem finishing second. Burt Myers of Walnut Cove took third, and Jonathan Brown claims fourth.

 

Race Results

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Army Strong 150

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

15

Matt DiBenedetto

Grass Valley, CA

2

07

Corey LaJoie

Concord, NC

3

96

Ben Kennedy

Daytona Beach, FL

4

18

Max Gresham

Griffin, GA

5

37

D.J. Shaw

Conway, NH

6

6

Darrell Wallace Jr

Mobile, AL

7

12

Chad Finchum

Knoxville, TN

8

03

Cody Hodgson

Escalon, CA

9

98

Chad Boat

Phoenix, AZ

10

2

Ryan Gifford

Winchester, TN

11

32

Dale Quarterley

Westfield, MA

12

16

Alex Bowman

Tucson, AZ

13

71

Eddie MacDonald

Rowley, MA

14

8

Michael Cherry

Valrico, FL

15

33

Kevan Combs

Oak Ridge, NC

16

00

Brett Moffitt

Grimes, IA

17

46

Brandon Gdovic

Yorktown, VA

18

9

Chase Elliott II

Dawsonville, GA

19

27

Cale Conley

Vienna, WV

20

62

Andrew Smith

Pooler, GA

21

64

Rick Gdovic

Pittsburgh, PA

22

14

Coleman Pressley

Asheville, NC

23

66

Benny Gordon

DuBois, PA

24

11

Robert Johnson

Hamptonville, NC

25

08

Clay Campbell

Martinsville, VA

26

4

Sergio Peña

Winchester, VA

27

51

Brandon Haley

Lavonia, GA

 

GMAC Insurance Modified Series
100-Lap Race

FINISH

CAR

DRIVER

HOMETOWN

1

13

Chris Fleming

Mount Airy, NC

2

28

Joseph Brown

Winston-Salem, NC

3

1

Burt Myers

Walnut Cove, NC

4

53

Jonathan Brown

Winston-Salem, NC

5

50

Michael Clifton

Walkertown, NC

6

83

Tim Brown

Rural Hall, NC

7

48

Brad Robbins

Winston-Salem, NC

8

25

John Smith

Mount Airy, NC

9

81

Austin Pack

Walkertown, NC

10

6

Kevin Wilson

Elkin, NC

11

4

Jason Myers

Walnut Cove, NC

12

5

Randy Butner

Pfafftown, NC

13

51

Stan Welborn

Germanton, NC

14

11

Ricky Knapp

Denver, NC

15

7

Bobby Reed

Clemmons, NC

16

64

Steven Truell

Winston-Salem, NC

17

77

Lee Jeffreys

Wallburg, NC

18

75

Robert Jeffreys

Winston-Salem, NC

19

71

Dean Ward

Winston-Salem, NC

20

12

Mike Norman

Lewisville, NC

21

17

Johnny Sutton

Harrisburg, NC

22

33

Matt Caldwell

Arcadia, NC

23

23

Brian Loftin

Lexington, NC

24

66

Ronnie Clifton

Walkertown, NC