Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Oregon Stop Offers A Unique Opportunity For Teams


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to the state of Oregon for the Clint Newell Toyota 150 presented by NAPA Auto Parts on Saturday, August 26, at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Oregon.

Douglas County is a .375-mile facility located inside the Douglas County Fairgrounds — featuring an historic covered grandstand — hosted its first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race in 1966. After a five-year absence from the track, the K&N Pro Series returned last season in a race won by Ryan Partridge, who became the series’ 10th different winner all-time at Roseburg.

And while the track itself offers beautiful mountain views all around it, most eyes will be on the K&N Pro Series West championship battle, which only seems to tighten with each passing race. Chris Eggleston of Erie, Colorado, won his fourth race of the season last time out at Washington’s Evergreen Speedway and moved within two points of leader and defending series champion Todd Gilliland with only four races remaining. Gilliland, of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, has won five of the 10 races to date.

History offers little indication of who might hold the upper hand this weekend: Both Gilliland and Eggleston made their only career starts at the Roseburg track last season, finishing sixth and seventh, respectively.

RACE: Clint Newell Toyota 150 presented by NAPA Auto Parts

PLACE: Douglas County Speedway, Roseburg, Oregon

DATE: Saturday, August 26

TIME: 8 p.m. PT

AIRDATE: NBCSN, Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET

TRACK LAYOUT: .375-mile semi-banked oval

2016 WINNER: Ryan Partridge

2016 POLE WINNER: Todd Gilliland

EVENT SCHEDULE: Saturday, August 26 — Garage opens: 12 p.m.; Practice: 3-3:45 p.m.; Final practice: 4-4:45 p.m.; Qualifying: 5:15 p.m.; Driver autograph session: 6:30 p.m.; Clint Newell Toyota 150: 8 p.m.

TRACK CONTACT: Germane Smith, gsmith@billmcanallyracing.com, (916) 676-0010

TWITTER: @DougCoSpeedway

EVENT HASHTAG: #NewellToyota150

NASCAR IMC CONTACT: Brooke Franceschini, (386) 631-6142, bfranceschini@nascar.com.

The Race: The Clint Newell Toyota 150 will be the 11th of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule.

The Procedure: The starting field is 22 cars, including provisionals. The first 18 cars will qualify through the group qualifying process with the remaining four spots being awarded through the provisional process. The race is schedule for 150 laps covering 56.25 miles.

The Track: Located at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg, Oregon, the .375-mile oval is the state’s premier paved oval. This will be the tracks 14th visit to the track. Ten different winners have been celebrated in the previous events.

Race Winners: There have been 10 different winners in the 14 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races held at Douglas County Speedway. Eric Holmes, who won three consecutive from 2008-10, has the most career victories at the track.

Track Records: Mike Davis holds the track qualifying record set at 119.276 mph on June 30, 2007. In 150-lap events at Roseburg, Eric Holmes holds the race record of 62.616 mph (53 minutes, 54 seconds) sent in July of 2008.

BMR Has A Handle: Until Ryan Partridge snapped the streak last season, Bill McAnally Racing had won five consecutive races at Roseburg — certainly a good sign for BMR teammates Chris Eggleston, Todd Gilliland and Derek Kraus this weekend.

Peyton Sellers kicked off the streak with his win in 2006, followed by Brian Ickler in 2007. Eric Holmes then won the next three consecutive races at Roseburg, making him the only three-time winner in series history at the track.

When Gilliland won the pole for last year’s race, it marked the third time in four races — and fourth time in the last six — that BMR teams had won the pole at Roseburg.

Up Front: Starting position has been key at Roseburg.

Half of the 14 series races in history at the track have been won from the pole, while three others — including each of the last two — have been won from the outside of the front row.

No driver has ever won at Roseburg from outside the top five starting positions. Jack McCoy (1966) and Johnny Steele (1968) are the only drivers to win from further back than fourth, each started fifth.

Rookie Battle: The Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award continues to be a battle this season.

While Derek Kraus holds a five-point advantage over Will Rodgers in the official rookie standings, the two drivers sit much closer than that in the overall standings. Kraus is third, just one point ahead of Rodgers.

Rodgers has more top fives (six) and more top 10s (eight) than Kraus, though Kraus has finished second on three different occasions this season — at California’s Kern County Raceway Park, Washington’s Spokane County Raceway and Colorado National Speedway — and he knocks on the door of his first K&N Pro Series West win.

Shepherd Is Back: Bakersfield, California, driver Buddy Shepherd will be making his fourth career appearance with the K&N Pro Series West when he pilots the No. 27 for Jefferson Pitts Racing at Roseburg. It will be Shepherd’s first career start at Roseburg.

Shepherd has two career top fives in three career K&N Pro Series West races, including a career-best finish of third at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway in 2015. In his short track career, the 17-year-old driver already has nearly 60 career wins combined in both asphalt and dirt competition, and this summer he’s already won in Pro Late Model and Super Late Model competition.