(John Holleman waits on pit road before qualifying / Photo Credit : Speed51.com)
NEWTON, IA : The 10th stop of the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season took place this past weekend at Iowa Speedway with the combination East/West event. John Holleman had his strongest performance to date in the Midway Mobile Storage Ford Fusion with a 10th place finish overall and 6th in the final finish order for the East Series.
Holleman started the day with two practice sessions. In the first, the car was really tight and the combination of that and the driver learning a brand new race track led to some time to get the car where Holleman wanted it. By the end of the second session he had rocketed up to 5th in the final practice time sheet. Holleman would go on to qualify a strong 7th place out of 33 cars.
Holleman rolled off 7th to start the 150 lap race and ran inside the top ten through the early going. The second caution of the race waved on lap 51 where Holleman was just inside the top ten in the 8th position. On the restart he was able to move by Ryan Partridge to take the 7th spot and held that until the halfway break caution on lap 75.
The second half of the race was fairly uneventful and after getting shuffled on the lap 77 restart, Holleman rebounded to finish in the 10th position overall at the checkered flag. It was Holleman’s third top ten of the season and also moved him into tenth place in the season long championship with four races remaining.
The next event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season takes place on August 5th at Watkins Glen International with the Bully Hill Vineyards 100 as the series visits a road course for the second of three times in 2016.
John Holleman Quotes :
“The first practice we struggled a little bit with the car being a really tight and the combination of that and getting used to the track since I had never been to Iowa Speedway before. It kinda takes your breath away because you have to stop having fun for a moment and focus on what you are there to do. In the second practice, we jumped up the charts pretty quick and got to fifth. We showed some good speed in qualifying with a seventh place.”
On the experience he learned in Iowa, “When we go to Dover and bigger tracks as I try to advance through my career I learned a lot in Iowa. The momentum racing is such a big deal and the way you had to pass people and search around for speed up top, middle and down low. It was really challenging and fun racing.”
Holleman’s reaction to racing the best of the West Series, “The West doesn’t need to be discounted like some people do. They are just as strong as the East with some good teams and drivers over there. It was fun racing against the West and some new drivers. Kudos to [Todd] Gilliland and his team. They were fast all day.”
“Our season has done a total 180, Holleman said about the season. From going to New Smyrna and struggling with blowing a motor it kind of started us off on the wrong foot. However, we have turned that around. If you look from an outside standpoint you would think that this isn’t even the same team. It feels like every time we go to the track we have a chance at qualifying up front and finishing up front. It is really cool to see how we have made a big jump in short amount time.”
“We had a strong run at VIR in April and hopefully we can carry that momentum on this weekend at Watkins Glen and get a good finish, said Holleman on this coming weekend’s race. It is the same car that we got involved in the accident with there and it has a new body on it, so maybe it will do good for us.”