MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) has announced its 2014 driver lineup for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE).
Drivers Brandon Jones and Ben Rhodes, who each drove part-time for TSM last season, will return full-time with the organization, joined by newcomers Kaz Grala, Cameron Hayley and Scott Heckert. In its debut season in the NKNPSE, TSM captured six wins and three poles overall en route to taking the championship with Dylan Kwasniewski behind the wheel.
Kaz Grala, a 15-year-old from Westborough, Mass., is a high school freshman who has climbed the ranks in auto racing’s minor leagues while having a breakout year last season. Grala turned heads early in 2013 when he became the youngest race winner in the history of the UARA-STARS Late Model Stock Tour, taking the checkered flag at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway during the Banjo Matthews Memorial.
Grala continued to place his name in the record books last season when he became the youngest driver to lead laps in the Myrtle Beach 400 at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway. Grala will continue his march towards NASCAR’s biggest stage in 2014, running a full-time NKNPSE schedule for TSM.
A talented young racer from Calgary, Alberta, Cameron Hayley made his karting debut at the age of seven. Competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKNPSW) since 2011, Hayley was the youngest driver to compete in the series and finished second in his debut. Hayley was the NASCAR K&N Pro Series winner at the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona Int’l Speedway and finished the 2013 season with one win, six poles and a second-place finish in the NKNPSW standings. The 17-year-old is a member of the NASCAR Next program, a select group chosen by the sanctioning body that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars.
Scott Heckert, a 20-year-old Connecticut native and student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, began his career with success in the Skip Barber National and Regional road racing series. In 2012, Heckert partnered with championship-winning driver and team owner B.J. McLeod in the Bright House Challenge Series, where he was named 2012 Rookie of the Year. In 2013, after finishing third in the Watermelon Capital Speedway SpeedFest, Heckert made his NKNPSE debut for McLeod, earning a best finish of seventh.
2013 was a busy year for Brandon Jones, who made seven starts in the NKNPSE, three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), and nine starts in the UARA-STARS Late Model Stock Tour. The 16-year-old from Atlanta, Ga., will challenge for the Rookie of the Year award in the NKNPSE in 2014 while continuing to fine-tune his skills by running a late model and NCWTS entry when the schedule permits.
Ben Rhodes began his racing career at the age of seven, starting in karts and winning several championship titles before moving up the ranks running Bandoleros, Legend Cars and late model stock cars. In 2013, the Louisville, Ky., native ran a partial NKNPSE schedule for TSM, where he made seven starts with two top fives and five top 10s to his credit. The 16-year-old is also a member of the NASCAR Next program.
“I am very pleased to announce our 2014 NASCAR K&N Series East lineup,” said team co-owner Harry Scott Jr. “We take great pride in our K&N program, and I believe we’ve shown what an effective platform it is for up-and-coming drivers in the success we had last year and the fact that we’ve already seen some of our drivers’ potential to advance to the next level. The drivers in our stable have shown a lot of promise and I’m hoping that we can follow up last year’s championship with another great season.”