Cole Whitt made his stock car debut Saturday night in the K&N Pro Series East opener at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, coming away with the pole, seven laps led and a fourth-place finish. Not bad for the 18-year-old.
"After I got settled in on the track, I fell into a good groove and focused on saving our equipment for when it mattered - the final laps," said Whitt.
"We hung in the top five and got out front on the last lap, but got a little bit out of shape when we made contact with (Ryan) Truex. It was a good night for us though and a great finish for our first time out."
On the final restart, Whitt started alongside Darrell Wallace Jr., but after Cole’s No. 84 Red Bull Toyota led by a nose at the green flag, Wallace was able to edge ahead and get clear coming off turn two. Wallace went on to victory, while Whitt lost two positions on the white flag lap after contact with Ryan Truex's heavily damaged car.
After a 162-lap test on March 16 at the half-mile Greenville-Pickens track, Saturday's 156-lap, overtime race was the longest of Whitt's career. But it hardly showed, as Whitt stayed clean in a caution-filled race (13 for 61 laps) and was one of three leaders (three times for seven laps).
Earlier on Saturday, the Red Bull Racing Team development driver won the pole with a fast lap of 86.726 mph.
Whitt's first preseason test came at South Boston (Virginia) Speedway, and that's where the K&N East series heads next for Saturday night's South Boston 150. For more on Cole, check out RedBullRacingUSA.com.