Rodgers Prevails at New Jersey

Will Rodgers

The victory was Rogers’ second career win in the series and his second of the season – both victories coming at road courses. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Race Results

MILLVILLE, N.J. – Will Rodgers picked up his second career win in Saturday’s JustDrive.com 125 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Rodgers battled with K&N East Series points leader Todd Gilliland throughout much of the second half of the race, making his final pass on Gilliland on lap 40 and surviving a late race restart. The victory was Rogers’ second career win in the series and his second of the season – both victories coming at road courses.

“Todd Gilliland is always great at restarts,” Rodgers said about the duel with Gilliland for the win. “I only have so much time in these full bodied, solid rear end stock cars. It’s kind of tough to go from what I’ve been racing before to master restarts but we’re getting there. I’m happy with the ones we had today. I was able to get in front of Todd there and that was the highlight of the race.”

The road racing ace finished second to 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick earlier this year in a K&N West race at Sonoma and said it was Harvick’s encouragement that convinced him to run the K&N East races at Watkins Glen and New Jersey.

“Coming from Sonoma earlier this year, Kevin actually suggested we come out and win Watkins Glen and this one,” Rogers remarked. “Really good advice from him and I’m happy we were able to pull off a sweep.”

Todd Gilliland finished in second, increasing his points lead over Harrison Burton heading into the season finale at Dover on September 29th.

“I think this was a big step in the right direction with the road course package,” Gilliland said. “Just another solid day for the Bill McAnally Racing team. It’s been a battle for the points lead and it’s nice to add a few points to that. I’m really confident about our Dover package. I was lucky enough to run the Truck race earlier this year and get some laps there. It’s going to be a huge race for us but I have confidence in everyone on our team.

Harrison Burton salvaged a third place finish after falling back to sixth during a restart in the second half of the race. While he was able to come away with a podium finish, he lost ground to Gilliland in the standings – but he is not conceding defeat.

“I’m with the best team in the business,” Burton commented. “I feel like we had a really good car today, just missing a little bit. I made mistake and got us behind and had to burn the tires off trying to pass everyone back. I felt like we had a good car and were good in practice, I just made mistakes and that’s something you can’t do if you want to win races in this series. It’s so hard to win and if you make mistakes, you’re not going to win. I’ve got to get better and learn from experience.”

Jay Beasley finished in fourth while Ronnie Basset, Jr., Chase “Purdy, Dillon Bassett, Grant Quinlan, Max Tullman and Ruben Garcia, Jr. rounded out the top-10.

The K&N Series will head to Dover for the season finale race on Friday, September 29th.

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