MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Iowa Speedway hosted the one and only NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West combination race of the 2016 season late last week. Ranier Racing with MDM driver Kyle Benjamin once again proved that he had plenty of speed on the track in his No. 40 Chevrolet on Friday. Benjamin, being very familiar with Iowa Speedway, utilized Friday afternoon’s practice sessions to dial-in the handling of his Chevrolet. When it came time for qualifying, Benjamin laid down the fastest lap and won his fourth 21 Means 21 Pole Award of the season with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. When the green flag dropped, Benjamin showed what speed he had and led the first 28 laps of the 150 lap event until a competitor made the pass for the lead, leaving Benjamin to fall in line behind in the second spot. Benjamin’s spotter suggested running the top line, which allowed Benjamin take over the lead once again, but not for long. Benjamin once again fell back into the second spot reporting that his No. 40 Chevrolet was just too free on exit off the top. Closing in on the halfway break, Benjamin had a right front tire going flat, which was fixed during the pit stop at the halfway point. For the duration of the second half, Benjamin ran inside the top-three and took the checkered flag in the second spot. Although Benjamin finished second, he was credited with an East win for being the top finisher in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Currently, Benjamin is second in the K&N Pro Series East point standings.
“We had a pretty good car to start with during the race,” said Benjamin. “I ran the top because that’s where our car picked up the most. Once I moved up, the 16 also found the top right behind me and then got around us. That’s when I started getting tight and couldn’t do anything with him. We had a right front also start to go flat coming into the halfway break, but my guys worked quickly to get that fixed and made the adjustments to loosen up the car a bit, but in the end we ended up not being loose enough. I can’t thank my guys enough for giving me another fast race car and for all their hard work that they pour into these weekends.”
NASCAR veteran Mike Hillman and Virginia businessmen Doug Fuller and Matt Miller joined together in 2015, creating Hillman-MDM Racing, a race team dedicated to developing young driving talent. In 2016, the duo combined operations with longtime driver development consultant and spotter Lorin Ranier, the third-generation owner of Ranier Racing. Established in 1952, Ranier Racing won 24 NASCAR Cup Series races, including three Daytona 500s.