Monday, March 12, 2018

Kevin Harvick Eyes Happy Homecoming

Via NASCAR Media

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West kicks off Thursday with the Bakersfield 175 presented by NAPA Auto Parts at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour gets underway Saturday night with the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway.


It’s been 19 years since Kevin Harvick has been to Victory Lane in a NASCAR race in his hometown, and he’s looking to go back.

The 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion returns home to compete in the K&N Pro Series West opener, as a lead-in to the national series doubleheader weekend down the road at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Harvick, who will pilot one of the four Jefferson Pitts Racing entries, ran at the old Mesa Marin Speedway in the West Series as well as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the former NASCAR Southwest Series. While he had a best finish of third in six West starts and runner-up in five Truck starts, he won the final two of his 12 Southeast Series races at the now bulldozed half-mile.

The fast half-mile, state-of-the-art Kern facility now resides in Bakersfield, and Harvick will head a field of talented young drivers looking to make their own name.

Jefferson Pitts Racing will have a trio of rising stars as Harvick’s teammates, led by 24-year-old Will Rodgers, who impressed in a runner-up finish to Harvick in the West race at Sonoma last year. Austin Herzog, 15, will make his series debut, while Reid Lanpher, 19, is making the trek from Maine to get additional seat time prior to running in the K&N Pro East race at Bristol in April.

While two-time defending series champion Todd Gilliland, who has two wins at Kern, is not entered the event, his former team, Bill McAnally Racing, features a stable of drivers that also includes 2017 series’ Sunoco Rookie of the Year Derek Kraus, NASCAR Next driver Hailie Deegan and Cole Rouse. Meanwhile, Bruncati Racing will look to end BMR’s run of three straight titles with former champion Derek Thorn and 2016 series’ runner-up Ryan Partridge. They’ll be joined by 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship runner-up Trevor Huddleston, Kern’s 2017 Late Model Division champion.



Kern County Raceway Park, Bakersfield, Calif.

Thursday, March 15

8:15 p.m. PT

NBCSN, Tuesday, March 20 – 11 p.m. ET

Half-mile oval

Todd Gilliland

2017 POLE
Todd Gilliland

Thursday — Garage opens: 9 a.m. PT; Practice: 1-1:45 p.m. and 2-2:45 p.m.; Group qualifying: 5:45 p.m.; Bakersfield 175 presented by NAPA Auto Parts: 8:15 p.m.


#Bakersfield175 #KNWest

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The maximum starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals.

Qualifying groups will be determined by each vehicle’s overall fastest single lap from the official practice sessions.

The first 22 cars will secure starting positions based on the two-lap qualifying session. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process.

The BAKERSFIELD 175 presented by NAPA AUTO PARTS will be 175 laps (88 miles) to be run in three (3) segments. The five (5) minute breaks will occur at or near the conclusion of Laps 63 and 125. At the conclusion of the break, lead lap vehicles that elected to pit will line up – in the order they were running at the beginning of the break — behind the lead lap vehicles that elected not to pit in order of running.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) tires for practice, four (4) tires for qualifying and to begin the race for a total of eight (8) tires.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) tires for practice, four (4) tires for qualifying and to begin the race for a total of eight (8) tires.