ARCA Menards East

Justin Haley Leads Consistent Season to K&N Pro East Championship

HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks has proven they know what they’re doing in the K&N Pro East Series. Coming into this year, they had won the past three series champions with Dylan Kwasniewski (2013), Ben Rhodes (2014) and William Byron (2015).

They are now four-time champions as Justin Haley finished fourth at Dover International Speedway this past weekend to put capture the 2016 K&N Pro East Series Championship by 22 points over Kyle Benjamin.

“It was a really good season we had with the HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks guys,” Haley told POPULAR SPEED. “We were always fortunate to bring fast cars to the race track every week – really reliable. That’s a testament back to all the guys there, and my crew chief Shannon Rursch. We had a little bit of luck on our side to not have any flat tires on the track or anything like that, but it was a really good season.

“We were really consistent. It was almost a season that you always dream of, but never had. I’m just very blessed to go out and run like we did.”

Consistency was certainly the key for the 17-year-old as he finished inside the top-nine in each of the 14 races with only one finish outside of the top-five. The signs were there for success this season based on a solid campaign last season which saw Haley finish sixth in points with six top-five finishes. Though he says the difference this year was his new crew chief, Shannon Rursch.

“He just gave me so much confidence on and off the track,” Haley stated. “I feel like he’s been a major help to our success and just having that confidence helps in getting those results.”

With confidence through Rursch and from having experience on his side, the success was able to come and the signs of possibly being a champion this year were shown with his first career victory at Greenville Pickens.

“We came so close so many times in 2015 and we were bringing better equipment to the track in 2016 so I knew we had a better shot at winning,” Haley said. “But just finally getting that win and breaking the ice showed to me that we can go do this, compete for a championship and compete for wins each week.”

With the championship in hand, the focus starts to shift to the future and possibly running in the Camping World Truck Series or XFINITY Series. Haley has gotten a taste of the trucks, running six races over the past two years with a career-best finish of seventh at Phoenix International Raceway in 2015. As of right now, Haley admits there’s nothing on the table.

“We’re trying to work something out and taking it day-by-day and trying to piece together something,” he said.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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