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OBSERVATIONS: Bush’s Beans 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway

A little bump and banging, drivers making their way up and down the field, and a bump and run for the win – it sounds like the perfect short track event. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East was able to check each of those boxes on Thursday evening.

Despite having a small field with just 16 entries, the top-five were close throughout the event, with battles for position from the drop of the green flag to the checkered. With everybody fighting for the bottom, passes became tough at times and it showed with contact throughout. 

Throughout the Bush’s Beans 150, certain drivers showed their ability behind the wheel. Spencer Davis dominated a good chunk of the race, while Hailie Deegan displayed her ability to make passes and move forward. The young talent of Ty Gibbs and Tanner Gray was shown with them being able to run solidly in the top-five.

Though just like he was able to in the spring, Sam Mayer was a step above the rest.

After having to go back to the field at the beginning of the race, he methodically made his way forward, making passes as he went to continue gaining ground. He was then able to catch Davis in the closing laps, perfecting the bump and run to get the lead and cruise to the win.

Not only as he proven to be a master at one of NASCAR’s toughest short tracks, his ability behind the wheel has shined at other speedway. He won at Iowa, and now holds a 22-point advantage in the standings.

Driving for GMS Racing and under the Driver’s Edge Development program, the potential for him to move forward in his racing career there as he ran top-10 until contact with the wall in his NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Though it’s not all sunshine for the driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet as his day was not all clean at Bristol. He got put to the back on the first lap due to spinning fellow competitor Chase Cabre right off the drop of the green flag. 

While these two haven’t had the smoothest season racing each other in 2019 with contact throughout, it’s not a good appearance to be causing trouble right away. It also looks worse when you show no remorse about the contact. Mayer would admit he “didn’t mean it at all,” but went on to add that Cabre “kind of deserves it.” 

It’s a tough balance because as a young driver, creating enemies with dirty racing as some would call what happen is not the approach you want in attracting sponsors to back your dream. However, rivalries are always great for the sport as they create conversation. Perhaps that can help get the series back to the star power it used to be.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Chase Cabre Conquers New Hampshire For Second Straight Win

LOUDON, N.H. — Chase Cabre is getting hot at the right time.

After going two full seasons and 32 races without a win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, the Rev Racing driver suddenly can’t lose. After winning at Memphis International Raceway last time out, Cabre made it two in a row Saturday evening as he won the United Site Services 70 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday evening.

Despite leading over half the race, Cabre radioed into his No. 4 team a problem in the rear end with two laps to go. But after some coaching from his spotter on the NHMS roof, he was able to nurse it home and claim the checkered flag.

“When I lifted, it’d start huck-a-bucking getting down into the corner,” he said. “The rear end, I guess, was going out. We had no power going down the straightaway on the last lap. I was super super nervous on the bottom, half-throttle just trying to hold onto it, but we were able to make it to the finish. I don’t know if it had another lap in it.”

Cabre was quickest in practice and earned the pole on Friday evening, but admitted he didn’t have a ton of confidence in his car leading into the race.

Post-race was a different story, trophy in hand and smile ear to ear. He credited crew chief Doug Howe, who won for the fifth time in his career in the series, and the rest of his Rev Racing team for giving him a hot rod capable of dominating.

“The ones behind the scenes, they make it happen,” he said. “They’re nothing but the best. Arguably the best in the garage area, I believe it with everything in me. They gave me a great car to go out there and dominate today. Makes a statement to let everybody we know we’re not here to play, we’re here to win. We gotta take advantage of opportunities when we get them. Today was a good day for us.”

Sam Mayer edged championship points leader Derek Kraus, who led 10 laps after starting ninth, coming off Turn 4 on the final lap for the runner-up spot. The move kept Mayer within two points of Kraus, while the bonus points for the victory allowed Cabre to close within six of the leader.

Hattori Racing Enterprises’ Max McLaughlin and DGR-Crosley’s Taner Gray rounded out the top five.

Riley Herbst, Spencer Davis, Drew Dollar, Colin Garrett and Lawless Alan completed the top 10.

The United Site Services 70 is scheduled to be broadcast on NBCSN on Monday, July 29 at 6 p.m.

The next K&N Pro Series East event will take place next weekend on Friday, July 26 at Iowa Speedway, the first of two combination events with the K&N Pro Series West.

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Chase Cabre Scores First Career Win at Memphis

MILLINGTON, Tenn. — Chase Cabre is finally a winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.

In his 33rd career race, after two full seasons behind the wheel and three runner-up finishes, the Tampa, Florida native earned his first career victory in the Memphis 150 presented by AutoZone.

Upon climbing out in Victory Lane at Memphis International Raceway, Cabre struggled to comprehend what he’d accomplished after two plus years of trying.

“I’m so damn pumped up,” he said with an infectious smile. “It’s been a long time coming. Three years and coming up second a handful of times, it’s so good to come out on top. My crew gave me a good car, I’m really thankful for the opportunity. God’s a good man and finally brought us home a win today.”

Cabre became the eighth different driver from the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Driver Development Program to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. He gave Rev Racing, which has fielded the competition team for the program since 2010, its 20th win.

The move that ultimately turned out to be the winning one came on the restart following the second scheduled break. Cabre dove inside of Sam Mayer, made contact with the No. 21, who subsequently shot up the track into polesitter Max McLaughlin.

Cabre didn’t look back from there, surviving one more restart and a charge from Ty Gibbs to earn the victory.

Gibbs finished runner-up for the second straight race (also the second of his career). His DGR-Crosley teammate Tanner Gray came home third, with Mayer and Derek Kraus rounding out the top five.

McLaughlin, Drew Dollar, Todd Gilliland, Brittney Zamora and Parker Retzlaff, making his series debut, completed the top 10.

Kraus maintains the championship points lead by two over Sam Mayer, while Cabre moved into a tie for third with Gray. They’re both 12 back of Kraus.

The Memphis 150 is scheduled to be broadcast on NBCSN on Wednesday, June 5 at 6 p.m.

The next K&N Pro Series West event will take place on Saturday, June 15 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.