Charlotte, N.C. (June 1, 2015) – Dalton Sargeant and the No. 51 GALT HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks team impressed the near sold-out crowd at Bowman Gray Stadium with a second-place finish in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 on Saturday, May 30. It was the first time the 17 year-old rookie and NASCAR Next member had ever seen the challenging quarter-mile racetrack, recording his third top-three finish in five NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events.
On-track activity began on Saturday, May 30 with two rounds of practice for all competitors and one rookie practice session. Sargeant and the GALT team were able to unload the No. 51 with considerable speed, setting the fourth-fastest time in the first and rookie practice sessions as well as the fifth-fastest lap in the final session. Crew chief Kris Bowen and Sargeant were happy with the balance of the car and made minimal changes to the car setup going into qualifying. The strategy worked, as Sargeant was able to qualify the No. 51 GALT machine in the third position, a mere 12 one-hundredths from the pole position set by HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks teammate Scott Heckert.
The green flag flew on the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 and Sargeant was able to immediately pick up the second position in turns one and two on the first lap and tried to stay within reach of the leader and teammate Heckert. The race was slowed for the first time on lap 62 for a spin back in the pack, as Sargeant was keeping pace with the leader and had a very comfortable cushion to third position. The ensuing restart Sargeant was able to aggressively get his No. 51 GALT machine back to the preferred inside line off of turn two behind the race-leader, Heckert and tried to apply pressure. The race was slowed an additional two times for cautions and in both ensuing restarts, Sargeant was able to get his car back to the preferred inside line and try to battle for the race lead. The final 45 laps of the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 were run under green-flag conditions as Sargeant applied pressure to his HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks teammate, but just couldn’t get around the eventual winner. Sargeant and the No. 51 GALT machine finished in second position, three car lengths away from the leader.
“It was a really great effort by everyone on this GALT HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks team to finish second and hopefully break this recent string of bad-luck finishes. This is by far one of the toughest places I think I’ve ever been to, really technical and makes you race completely different than how you normally have to race, it was difficult to mentally wrap my head around the kind of rhythm you have to have to be successful here. The car was pretty good, I don’t know if we could’ve improved on much, Heckert as well as my other teammates all had great cars but with it being so hard to pass here, you almost have to completely wreck someone to get around them if you’re both evenly matched. All in all, it was a great night for our team and hopefully we can pick up and build on this momentum going forward.”
After the second-place finish, Dalton Sargeant has moved from eighth to the sixth position in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East point standings. The NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 from Bowman Gray Stadium will air on NBCSN on Thursday, June 4 at 6 p.m. ET. Round six of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be in Langley, Virginia on June 20.