Showing posts with label NAPA 500 Challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NAPA 500 Challenge. Show all posts

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Gilliland Doubles Up At Irwindale Event Center



IRWINDALE, Calif. (March 25, 2017) - It was a clean night at Irwindale Event Center. And that's just how Todd Gilliland wanted it.

Leading the field from pole, and hot off a win in the first NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100 feature, the 16-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, held off a hard-charging Chris Eggleston to win for the third time in 2017 and 10th time in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West career.

The victory, his second at Irwindale, also awards him a $10,000 prize for finishing in the top-three spots in the four-race NAPA 500 Challenge Series.

The NASCAR Next driver's win also marked Bill McAnally Racing's 14th victory at the California short-track.

With only one caution in the opening 92 laps, it looked as though it would come easy to the reigning K&N Pro Series West champion. However, a spin from Takuma Koga set up a mad dash to the checkered with four laps to go.

Eggleston, diving his No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota into Turn 1, grabbed the race lead for the first time of the night from Gilliland... for about 40 feet.

A swift over-under maneuver from Gilliland and his No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota quickly gave him the lead back by the time they reached Turn 3.

Repeating the show with two laps to go, Eggleston was unable to make the move work for the win. A second-place finish marks the fourth straight top-five finish for the 28-year-old Erie, Colorado, native.

Michael Self, 26, from Park City, Utah, was the only other man to win anything Saturday at Irwindale, as he took the top spot in final practice in his No. 9 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Lucas Oil Ford. In the race, Self grabbed a third-place finish followed by Derek Kraus and Will Rodgers, who earns a fourth straight top five, in fifth.

Julia Landauer finished sixth with Garrett Archer, who rebounded from a start-line violation, Nicole Behar, Blaine Perkins and Todd Souza completing the top 10.

The NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s will air on NBCSN, Saturday, April 1 7p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be back in action May 13 at Washington's Spokane County Raceway.

Contact:
Brooke Franceschini
NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications
(386) 631-6142
bfranceschini@nascar.com


NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST-NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s - Race 2 Results
Saturday
At Irwindale (CA) Event Center
Irwindale
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Todd Gilliland, Sherrills Ford, N.C., Toyota, 100 laps, 80.754 mph.
2. (2) Chris Eggleston, Erie, Colo., Toyota, 100.
3. (7) Michael Self, Park City, UT, Ford, 100.
4. (6) Derek Kraus, Stratford, Wis., Toyota, 100.
5. (10) Will Rodgers, Solvang, Calif., Ford, 100.
6. (4) Julia Landauer, New York, N.Y., Ford, 100.
7. (5) Garret Archer, Maple Valley, Wash, Ford, 100.
8. (13) Nicole Behar, Spokane, WA, Toyota, 100.
9. (12) Blaine Perkins, Bakersfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 100.
10. (11) Todd Souza, Watsonville, Calif., Toyota, 100.
11. (9) Ron Norman, Tucson, Ariz., Chevrolet, 99.
12. (3) Matt Levin, Tucson, Ariz., Chevrolet, 99.
13. (8) Johnny Borneman, Ramona, CA, Ford, 99.
14. (14) Brandon Schilling, Sierra Vista, Ariz., Ford, 98.
15. (16) Kody Vanderwal, LaSalle, Colo, Ford, 98.
16. (15) Rich DeLong III, Santa Clarita, Calif., Chevrolet, 98.
17. (18) Bill Kann, Scottsdale, Ariz., Toyota, 97.
18. (17) Jesse Iwuji, Carrolton, Texas, Chevrolet, 97.
19. (19) Takuma Koga, Nagoya, Japan, Chevrolet, 95.
20. (20) Dan Phillippi, Los Angeles, Calif., Ford, 94.
Race Statistics
Time of Race: 0 hours 37 minutes 9 seconds
Margin of Victory: .415 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: T.Gilliland (99.701 mph, 18.054 seconds)
Caution Flags: 2 for 10 laps.
Lead Changes: 0 among 1 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Gilliland 1-100.
Standings: 1. C. Eggleston, 173; 2. W. Rodgers, 158; 3. N. Behar, 147; 4. D. Kraus, 146;
5. G. Archer, 145; 6. T. Gilliland, 143; 7. B. Perkins, 141; 8. J. Landauer, 136; 9. K.
Vanderwal, 130; 10. M. Levin, 127.

Gilliland Wins First NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100



IRWINDALE, Calif. (March 25, 2017) - Todd Gilliland had them covered in the NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100 at Irwindale Speedway.

Winning a third straight pole in his No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, Gilliland swept the show with the race to win the first twin event of the night. The victory stands as the 16-year-old's ninth NASCAR K&N Pro Series career victory and the Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, native's second of 2017 and second at Irwindale overall.

Finishing 2.4 seconds in rears of the defending champion, Chris Eggleston put up a fight in his No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota. Taking the lead on Lap 50, Eggleston lost the top spot to Gilliland with 33 laps to go. Still, the Tucson winner grabbed his fourth straight top-five finish with a second-place finish.

Garrett Archer came home third while Nicole Behar, who started from the rear, rallied back to finish fourth. The 19-year-old was followed by Will Rodgers, Solvang, California, native earned a third straight top-five finish in fifth.

The 100-lapper wasn't as easy for some competitors, however. Derek Kraus, who finished second to teammate Gilliland last time out at California's Kern County Raceway Park, cut a tire and crashed on Lap 17. The 15-year-old, Wisconsin, native finished 18th, nine laps down.

Jesse Iwuji retired due to engine failure while a two-car crash on Lap 58 collected Dan O'Donnell and Stafford Smith. Rookie Kody Vanderwal also spun in Turn 2, suffering no damage.

Michael Self, who won practice, finished sixth with Blaine Perkins, Johnny Borneman III, Matt Levin and Julia Landauer completing the top 10.

The NAPA Twin 100 will air on NBCSN Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be back in action March 25, 2017 at 9:30 p.m. PT for the NAPA Auto Parts T-100, the second feature event of the night at Irwindale Event Center.

Contact:
Brooke Franceschini
NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications
(386) 631-6142
bfranceschini@nascar.com

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST-NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s Race 1 Results
Saturday
At Irwindale (CA) Event Center
Irwindale
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Todd Gilliland, Sherrills Ford, N.C., Toyota, 100 laps, 72.845 mph.
2. (2) Chris Eggleston, Erie, Colo., Toyota, 100.
3. (5) Garret Archer, Maple Valley, Wash, Ford, 100.
4. (21) Nicole Behar, Spokane, WA, Toyota, 100.
5. (8) Will Rodgers, Solvang, Calif., Ford, 100.
6. (3) Michael Self, Park City, UT, Ford, 100.
7. (11) Blaine Perkins, Bakersfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 100.
8. (10) Johnny Borneman, Ramona, CA, Ford, 100.
9. (7) Matt Levin, Tucson, Ariz., Chevrolet, 100.
10. (4) Julia Landauer, New York, N.Y., Ford, 100.
11. (12) Todd Souza, Watsonville, Calif., Toyota, 99.
12. (9) Ron Norman, Tucson, Ariz., Chevrolet, 99.
13. (14) Bill Kann, Scottsdale, Ariz., Toyota, 99.
14. (19) Kody Vanderwal, LaSalle, Colo, Ford, 98.
15. (15) Rich DeLong III, Santa Clarita, Calif., Chevrolet, 98.
16. (16) Takuma Koga, Nagoya, Japan, Chevrolet, 97.
17. (17) Dan Phillippi, Los Angeles, Calif., Ford, 94.
18. (6) Derek Kraus, Stratford, Wis., Toyota, 91.
19. (18) Stafford Smith, Eagle, Idaho., Ford, 58, accident.
20. (13) Dan O'Donnell, Oak Hills, Calif., Ford, 57, accident.
21. (20) Jesse Iwuji, Carrolton, Texas, Chevrolet, 25, engine.
Race Statistics
Time of Race: 0 hours 41 minutes 11 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.398 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: T.Gilliland (99.701 mph, 18.054 seconds)
Caution Flags: 3 for 20 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Gilliland 1-49; C. Eggleston 50-67; T. Gilliland 68-100.
Standings: 1. C. Eggleston, 131; 2. W. Rodgers, 119; 3. N. Behar, 111; 4. G. Archer, 108;
5. D. Kraus, 106; 6. B. Perkins, 106; 7. K. Vanderwal, 101; 8. J. Landauer, 98; 9. T.
Gilliland, 95; 10. M. Levin, 95.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Gilliland Goes Back-to-Back at Kern County



Bakersfield, Calif. (March 23, 2017) - It wasn't easy, but Thursday was Todd Gilliland's day at Kern County Raceway Park.

After winning the only practice of the day at the California track, the 16-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, piloted his No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota to his eighth career 21 Means 21 Pole Award in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. He then backed it all up with the victory in the NAPA Auto Parts 150.

The win, his eighth in the series, keeps his chances alive to compete for a $10,000 prize in the NAPA 500 Challenge. He must finish in the top three in the next two races at California's Irwindale Event Center to win the bonus money.

Going into overtime after multiple late-race cautions, the 156-lapper came down to Billy McAnally Racing teammates Gilliland and Derek Kraus. Though 15-year-old Kraus made some gutsy moves to get his No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota alongside Gilliland in the closing stages, the Stratford, Wisconsin, driver came up short, finishing second in only his second K&N Pro Series West start.

Kraus was not the only one to contend with Gilliland, however, as Michael Self was the top driver for the first half of the race in his No. 9 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Lucas Oil Ford. Leading 84 laps, the early pace soon atrophied for the 26-year-old from Park City, Utah, as he lost the lead to Gilliland on Lap 95 and fell outside the top three. Shortly after, the six-time K&N Pro Series West race winner battled with Chris Eggleston and Will Rodgers to come home in sixth.

The night went much worse for a few other series talents, as Brandon Schilling brought out two cautions throughout the night after losing his No. 30 Family Air/Tucson Speedway Ford in Turn 2. Julia Landauer, who qualified seventh, ran as high as second in her No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Lucas Oil Ford. The run came to an end on Lap 97 when she crashed with Matt Levin, later ending her night in the 12th spot.

Rounding out the top-five behind Rodgers and Eggleston was 10-time series race winner, David Mayhew. He was followed by Nicole Behar, who rallied from the rear of the field after an unapproved adjustment, in seventh with Blaine Perkins, Kody Vanderwal and Todd Souza completing the top-10.

The NAPA 150 from Kern County Raceway Park will air on NBCSN Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be back in action Saturday at Irwindale Events Center for the NAPA Twin 100s.

Contact:
Brooke Franceschini
NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications
(386) 631-6142
bfranceschini@nascar.com


NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST-NAPA Auto Parts "150" Results
Thursday
At Kern County Raceway Park
Bakersfield
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Todd Gilliland, Sherrills Ford, N.C., Toyota, 156 laps, 66.905 mph.
2. (6) Derek Kraus, Stratford, Wis., Toyota, 156.
3. (3) Will Rodgers, Murrieta, Calif., Ford, 156.
4. (2) Chris Eggleston, Erie, Colo., Toyota, 156.
5. (9) David Mayhew, Atascadero, CA, Chevrolet, 156.
6. (5) Michael Self, Park City, UT, Ford, 156.
7. (23) Nicole Behar, Spokane, WA, Toyota, 156.
8. (8) Blaine Perkins, Bakersfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 156.
9. (12) Kody Vanderwal, LaSalle, Colo, Ford, 156.
10. (11) Todd Souza, Watsonville, Calif., Toyota, 156.
11. (13) Johnny Borneman, Ramona, CA, Ford, 156.
12. (7) Julia Landauer, New York, N.Y., Ford, 155.
13. (16) Rich DeLong III, Santa Clarita, Calif., Chevrolet, 155.
14. (14) Ron Norman, Tucson, Ariz., Chevrolet, 155.
15. (4) Matt Levin, Tucson, Ariz., Chevrolet, 154.
16. (20) Jesse Iwuji, Carrolton, Texas, Chevrolet, 154.
17. (19) Bill Kann, Scottsdale, Ariz., Toyota, 154.
18. (10) Garret Archer, Maple Valley, Wash, Ford, 154.
19. (21) Takuma Koga, Nagoya, Japan, Chevrolet, 153.
20. (17) Salvatore Iovino, Los Angeles, Calif., Chevrolet, 150.
21. (18) Dan Phillippi, Los Angeles, Calif., Ford, 145.
22. (15) Brandon Schilling, Sierra Vista, Ariz., Ford, 142, accident.
23. (22) Justin Funkhouser, Paradise, CA, Chevrolet, 73, overheating.
Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 9 minutes 57 seconds
Margin of Victory: .419 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: T. Gilliland (98.847 mph, 18.21 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 25 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Gilliland 1-10; M. Self 11-94; T. Gilliland 95-156.
Standings: 1. T. Gilliland, 90; 2. C. Eggleston, 88; 3. D. Kraus, 80; 4. W. Rodgers, 80;
5. N. Behar, 71; 6. K. Vanderwal, 71; 7. B. Perkins, 69; 8. G. Archer, 67; 9. J.
Landauer, 64; 10. M. Levin, 60.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Analyzing the NAPA Auto Parts 150 & NAPA Twin 100s



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will hold three races in three days with the NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, on Thursday, March 23, and the NAPA Twin 100s at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California, on Saturday, March 25. Below is a look at the three events and some of the selected participants.

NAPA Auto Parts 150 Race Setup:
• For the sixth time in history, Kern will host the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West after opening in 2013.
• Chris Eggleston of Erie, Colorado, holds the series point lead after winning the season-opening event last week in Tucson over Bill McAnally Racing teammate Todd Gilliland.
• Gilliland won the race at Kern from the pole last season.
• If Eggleston can win the NAPA Auto Parts 150, he will be halfway to winning the $100,000 NAPA 500 Challenge Series.

NAPA Twin 100s Race Setup:
• The K&N Pro Series West will hold two 100-lap events at Irwindale, with each standing as a separate points-paying event.
• Todd Gilliland won the only race at Irwindale in 2016, the season opener, to become the sixth different winner at the track over the last six races there.
• The races are the final two races in the NAPA 500 Challenge Series, which promises a $100,000 bonus to the driver who can win all four races to begin the season.

At Kern County Raceway Park:
History:
• Kern County opened in 2013 with a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event.
• The track has held one K&N West race each year since its opening, with the lone exception being the 2014 season when it held two races.
• Greg Pursley is the only repeat winner at Kern.

At Irwindale Speedway:
History:
• Irwindale Speedway opened in March 1999 and has capacity for 6,500 spectators.
• The facility is in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California and is just 25 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.
• There are multiple racing configurations available with half-mile and third-mile ovals along with a 1/8-mile drag strip.
• The half-mile track was home to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, a special non-points event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, from 2003-11.

Kern & Irwindale Notebook:
• This is the series’ sixth event at Kern and the 25th race in its history at Irwindale.
• Four different drivers have won at Kern, with Greg Pursley winning twice.
• Fourteen different drivers have won at Irwindale, led by Austin Cameron with five wins.
• Four different drivers have won the pole at Kern, led by Pursley’s two, and three times the race has been won from the pole.
• Fifteen different drivers, led by Jason Bowles with three, have won the pole at Irwindale.
• Nine different drivers, led by Butch Gilliland with five, have earned the pole award at Irwindale.

Kern Data:
Race: #2 of 14 overall
Race Date: Thursday, March 23, 7:45 p.m. PT
Air date: Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Track Layout: .500-mile banked asphalt oval
Banking/Corners: Progressive, between 12-14 degrees
Banking/Straights: 8 degrees
Race Length: 150 laps (75 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data:
2016 Winner: Todd Gilliland
2016 Pole Sitter: Todd Gilliland
1-lap Qualifying Record: Gray Gaulding, 17.908 seconds, 100.514 mph, Oct. 26, 2013.
150-lap Race Record: Greg Pursley, 1 hour 10 minutes 46 seconds, 63.589 mph, Oct. 26, 2013.

Category Leaders at Kern:
Wins
Greg Pursley. … 2
Dylan Lupton … 1
Dalton Sargeant … 1
Todd Gilliland ... 1

Poles
Greg Pursley … 2
Gray Gaulding … 1
Dalton Sargeant … 1
Todd Gilliland … 1

Laps Completed
David Mayhew … 764
John Wood … 494
James Bickford … 465
Johnny Borneman III … 460
Dylan Lupton … 455
Greg Pursley … 455

Laps Led
Greg Pursley … 338
David Mayhew … 146
Dalton Sargeant … 75
Gray Gaulding … 59
Todd Gilliland … 54
Ryan Partridge … 45
Jesse Little … 26
Johnny Borneman III … 20

Irwindale Data:
Race: #3 and #4 of 14 overall
Race Date: Saturday, March 25, 7 p.m. PT
Air date: Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m. & 8 p.m. ET/4 p.m. & 5 p.m. PT
Track Layout: .500-mile banked asphalt oval
Banking/Corners: Progressive, between 6-12 degrees
Race Length: 100 laps (50 miles)/100 laps (50 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data:
2016 Winner: Todd Gilliland
2016 Pole Sitter: Todd Gilliland
1-lap Qualifying Record: Butch Gilliland, 17.871 seconds, 100.722 mph, June 19, 1999.
100-lap Race Record: N/A

Category Leaders at Irwindale:
Wins
Austin Cameron … 5
Jason Bowles … 3
Brendan Gaughan … 3
Bobby Dotter … 2
Steven Portenga … 2
Nine different drivers … 1

Poles
Jason Bowles … 3
Austin Cameron … 2
Mike Duncan … 2
Eric Holmes … 2
Scott Lynch … 2
Greg Pursley … 2
Sean Woodside … 2
Nine different drivers … 1

Laps Completed
Johnny Borneman … 3,353
Brett Thompson … 3,108
Austin Cameron … 2,922
Steve Portenga … 2,759
Scott Gaylord … 2,712
Jack Sellers … 2,590

Laps Led
Brendan Gaughan … 674
Jason Bowles … 406
Austin Cameron … 404
Steve Portenga … 257
Scott Lynch … 206
Greg Pursley … 206

Selected Driver Highlights:
Garret Archer (No. 27 Recruit 4 Business Ford)
• Finished a career-best third in the season opener at Tucson.
• Has made only two career K&N West starts and has never competed at Kern or Irwindale.

Nicole Behar (No. 33 Custom Welding & Fabrication Toyota)
• Finished 10th in the season opener at Tucson last week.
• Posted a career best finish of second at Irwindale in 2015.
• Finished 21st in only career attempt at Kern.

Chris Eggleston (No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota)
• Has six career K&N West wins with 20 top fives and 23 top 10s in 32 career starts.
• Was the 2015 series champion as a rookie for Bill McAnally Racing.
• Won the season opener at Tucson after leading a race-high 80 laps.
• Has finished fifth in each of his two career starts at Kern, where he’s never started worse than third.
• Has one career win at Irwindale in two starts, having finished third at the track last year.

Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Won six of 14 races last season with 11 top fives and 13 top 10s en route to the K&N West championship, becoming the youngest champion in NASCAR touring series history at 16 years, five months, and joined his grandfather Butch Gilliland as a K&N West champion (1997).
• Finished second in the season opener at Tucson.
• Won the pole and the race last season in his only career start at Kern.
• Also won the pole and the race last season in his only career start at Irwindale.
• Plans to run both the K&N West and K&N East schedules in 2017.

Julia Landauer (No. 6 Lucas Oil/Eibach/Sunrise Ford)
• Finished fourth in the final standings last season to become the highest finishing female driver in K&N West history.
• Finished 12th in the season opener at Tucson.
• Finished 10th last season at Kern in her only career start at the track.
• Finished eighth at Irwindale in 2016 in her debut at the track.

Derek Kraus (No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota)
• Made his K&N Pro Series debut with the East at New Smyrna and finished third, following that effort with a sixth-place finish in the West season opener at Tucson.
• Has never competed at either Kern or Irwindale.

Will Rodgers (No. 7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford)
• Competed in six races a year ago and will run for K&N West Rookie of the Year this season.
• Finished a career-best sixth in the season opener at Tucson.
• Has never competed at either Kern or Irwindale.

Up To Speed:
• The 2017 season is the 64th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
• The 2017 schedule features 14 races at 12 different tracks across the United States.
• Third-generation driver Todd Gilliland won the season opener last year at Irwindale Speedway, the first of two straight wins to open the year.
• This marks the first year that Irwindale will host two, separate events on the same night for the K&N Pro Series West.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Teams Look to Hit Stride With Three Races in Three Days



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 20, 2017) — Just five days after kicking off the 2017 season at Tucson Speedway, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West teams will be put to the test with three races in a three-day span to close out the NAPA 500 Challenge series.

The series heads to Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, for the NAPA Auto Parts 150 on Thursday, March 23, before rolling to Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California, for the NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s on Saturday, March 25. The Twin 100s will stand as two separate points-paying events.

2015 K&N West champion Chris Eggleston got his season started on the right foot, holding off his Bill McAnally Racing teammate Todd Gilliland — last season’s series champion — to win at Tucson on Saturday. If he can sweep the tripleheader this week, he would earn the $100,00 prize that comes with capturing all four legs of the NAPA 500 Challenge.

It won’t be easy for Eggleston. Gilliland led 70 of the 150 laps at Tucson after winning the pole for the season opener. Rookie Garrett Archer, in a Jefferson Pitts Racing Ford, was a strong contender at Tucson, Zane Smith and Will Rodgers. Of the drivers entered at Kern and Irwindale, only Eggleston and Gilliland have won races at either track.

RACE: NAPA Auto Parts 150
PLACE: Kern County Raceway Park, Bakersfield, California
DATE: Thursday, March 23
TIME: 7:45 p.m. PT
AIRDATE: Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .500-mile banked asphalt oval
2016 WINNER: Todd Gilliland
2016 POLE WINNER: Todd Gilliland
EVENT SCHEDULE: Thursday, March 23 – Garage opens: 11 a.m.; Practice: 2-3:30 p.m.; Group qualifying: 4 p.m.; Driver autograph session: 6:15 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts 150: 7:45 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Steve Hughes, (661) 835-1264; shughes@kernraceway.com
TWITTER: @KernRaceway
EVENT HASHTAG: #NAPA500Challenge
NASCAR IMC CONTACT: Brooke Franceschini, (386) 631-6142), bfranceschini@nascar.com.
RACE CENTRAL LIVE: EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST

RACE: NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s
PLACE: Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, California
DATE: Saturday, March 25
TIME: Race 1: 7 p.m. PT; Race 2: 9:30 p.m. PT
AIRDATE: Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m. ET & 8 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .500-mile asphalt oval
2016 WINNER: Todd Gilliland
2016 POLE WINNER: Todd Gilliland
EVENT SCHEDULE: Saturday, March 25 – Garage opens: 10 a.m.; Practice: 2:05-2:50 p.m.; Final practice: 3:05-3:50 p.m.; Group qualifying: 4:20 p.m.; Driver autograph session: 6 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s (Race 1): 7 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s (Race 2): 9:30 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Doug Stokes, VP Communications, (626) 358-1100; doug@irwindaleeventcenter.com
TWITTER: @TheIEC
EVENT HASHTAG: #NAPA500Challenge
NASCAR IMC CONTACT: Brooke Franceschini, (386) 631-6142), bfranceschini@nascar.com.
RACE CENTRAL LIVE: EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST

FAST FACTS:
The Races: NAPA Auto Parts 150 and the NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s will be the second, third and fourth of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule.

The Procedures: For all three events, the maximum starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 22 cars will secure starting positions based on the group qualifying process. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. At Kern, the race will be 150 laps (75 miles) with a five minute break occurring at or near the conclusion of lap 75. At Irwindale, following the conclusion of the first 100-lap race, there will be an approximately 90-minute break for teams to prepare for the second event and get through pre-race technical inspection.

NAPA 500 Challenge: The NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Kern is the second race in a four-race “NAPA 500 Challenge Series.” With the K&N West competing in four events over an eight-day stretch to begin the season, NAPA is offering a $100,000 bonus to any driver to win all four races. $10,000 will be given to any driver who can finish in the top 3 in all four events; $5,000 to any driver finishing in the top 5 in all four; and $1,000 to a driver who finishes in the top 10 in all of them. The series finishes with the Twin 100s at Irwindale on Saturday.

The Tracks: Kern County Raceway Park sits on 120 acres and opened on May 18, 2013 with a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event. It’s a half-mile oval with progressive banking of 12 to 14 degrees in turns and eight degrees on the front and backstretches. Irwindale Speedway is a half-mile paved oval with progressive banking of between six and 12 degrees in the corners and six degrees in the straights. Located in the San Gabriel Valley, Irwindale is just 25 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and features multiple racing configurations with half-mile and third-mile ovals along with a 1/8-mile drag strip.

Race Winners: There have been four different winners in the five previous K&N West races at Kern. Greg Pursley, the only repeat winner at the track, won the first two races held there. Todd Gilliland, winner of last year’s race at the track, is the only active driver with a win at Kern. There have been 14 different winners in the previous 24 races at Irwindale, with Austin Cameron owning five career wins at the track. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brendan Gaughan and Jason Bowles each have three wins there.

Pole Winners: There have been four different pole winners in the five previous races at Kern, with Greg Pursley winning two of them. At Irwindale, there have been 15 different pole winners in 24 previous races. Jason Bowles won three poles, while six drivers all have two.

NAPA Auto Parts 150/NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s Notes:
Teamwork: The two most recent champions in the K&N Pro Series West, Bill McAnally Racing teammates Chris Eggleston and Todd Gilliland, were the class of the field in the season-opening event at Tucson Speedway. Eggleston was fastest in practice, Gilliland won the pole and the two drivers started on the front row, led all the laps and were running first and second at the checkered flag. Teammate Derek Kraus finished sixth. As they head into the three events this week, history is also on their side. Of all active drivers in the series, only Eggleston (Kern) and Gilliland (Kern, Irwindale) have wins at either of the two tracks

Rookie Roll Call: Series rookies finished in positions three through eight at Tucson. Garrett Archer, Zane Smith and Will Rodgers finished in the top five, with Kraus, Brandon Schilling and Kody Vanderwal finishing behind that trio. Archer’s third-place finish came in only his second career series start. The learning curve will be steep this week: None of that impressive rookie crop has ever made a start at either Kern or Irwindale.

Right Direction: Blaine Perkins has never finished in the top 15 at either Kern or Irwindale, but he’s coming off a solid 11th-place showing at Tucson and he has some history on his side at Irwindale. Crew chief and car owner Steve Portenga has two career wins at Irwindale as a driver, including the inaugural K&N West race at the track in 1999. Over the two wins, the second of which came in 2005, Portenga led 150 of the 400 laps he completed.

Heading West: The first third of the K&N Pro Series West schedule coincides with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and its “NASCAR Goes West” swing, which began in Las Vegas and Phoenix and continues through Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Four of the top six drivers in the Cup Series standings have won K&N West races in their careers — including point leader Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney — while Kevin Harvick (who is seventh in the current standings) was the 1998 series champion and is a native of Bakersfield, California. Both Blaney and Logano won their first career NASCAR races in K&N West competition.

NASCAR Home Tracks: Kern County Raceway Park/Irwindale Speedway
Kern County Raceway Park opened in 2013 and hosted a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event on its opening day, and today hosts Late Model, Super Stock, Mini Stock and Spec Modified divisions. Irwindale holds bi-weekly NASCAR events, including Late Model, Trucks and Spec Late Model divisions.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West News & Notes: Tucson



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Third-generation racer Todd Gilliland leads another talented field in his quest to repeat as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion when the 2017 season takes the green flag in the NAPA Auto Parts Tucson 150 at Tucson (Ariz.) Speedway on Saturday, March 18. Gilliland, who won six races a year ago and finished in the top 10 in 13 of 14 starts, will try to become the first repeat K&N Pro Series West champion since Mike Duncan went back-to-back in 2004-2005.

Gilliland will have his work cut out for him. 2015 series champion and Bill McAnally Racing teammate Chris Eggleston is also back this year to pursue the title, as is Ryan Partridge for car owner Bob Bruncati. Partridge finished just 13 points behind Gilliland in the overall standings last season, one year after finishing 13 points behind Eggleston for the championship, and won the Tucson event last year from the pole. In each of the two previous seasons, Partridge held the points lead late in the season before being chased down.

And while those three drivers have combined to win 11 races over the last two seasons, they are hardly the only ones who have hopes of holding the title trophy following the season finale in November.

Julia Landauer, who was the highest finishing female driver in West history a year ago, has joined forces with Partridge in the Bruncati camp. Nicole Behar is back to full-time competition this year following a year spent racing select events elsewhere in 2016, and Derek Kraus will compete out of the BMR stable following an impressive third-place finish in his debut with the K&N Pro Series East at New Smyrna Speedway last month.

RACE: NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Interstate Batteries
PLACE: Tucson Speedway, Tucson, Arizona
DATE: Saturday, March 18
TIME: 8:30 p.m. MT
AIRDATE: Friday, March 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT
TRACK LAYOUT: .375-mile asphalt oval
2016 WINNER: Ryan Partridge
2016 POLE WINNER: Ryan Partridge
EVENT SCHEDULE: Saturday, March 18 – Garage opens: 11:30 a.m.; Practice: 3-3:45 p.m.; Final practice: 4:15-5 p.m.; Group qualifying: 5:30 p.m.; Driver autograph session: 6 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts 150: 8:30 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Tim Rominger, (520) 248-0582, tim@tucsonspeedway.com
TWITTER: @TucsonSpeedway
EVENT HASHTAG: #NAPA150
NASCAR IMC CONTACT: Brooke Franceschini, (386) 631-6142), bfranceschini@nascar.com.
RACE CENTRAL LIVE: ENTRY LIST & EVENT SCHEDULE

FAST FACTS:
The Race: NAPA Auto Parts Tucson 150 presented will be the first of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will secure starting positions based on the group qualifying process. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (56.25 miles) with a five-minute break occurring at or near the conclusion of lap 75.

NAPA 500 Challenge: The NAPA Auto Parts Tucson 150 is the first race in a four-race “NAPA 500 Challenge Series.” With the K&N West competing in four events over an eight-day stretch to begin the season, NAPA is offering a $100,000 bonus to any driver to win all four races. $10,000 will be given to any driver who can finish in the top 3 in all four events; $5,000 to any driver finishing in the top 5 in all four; and $1,000 to a driver who finishes in the top 10 in all of them.

The Track: A semi-banked .375-mile asphalt oval, Tucson Speedway was known as Tucson Raceway Park until 1993 and was named Raven Speedway from 1968-93. The track was built in 1968 and originally has a clay surface. The track was closed in 2010 and was re-opened in 2013. Tucson re-joined the NACAR Whelen All-American Series in 2014.

Race Winners: There have been 13 different winners in the 14 previous K&N West races at Tucson. Ron Hornaday Jr., with two wins, is the only repeat winner at the track, while Ryan Partridge is the only active driver to have previously won there.

Pole Winners: In the 14 previous events, there have been 10 different pole winners. Butch Gilliland owns four poles at Tucson, including the inaugural pole for the K&N West in 1993, while Ron Hornaday Jr. won two poles at the track. No other driver has more than one pole at Tucson.

NAPA Auto Parts Tucson 150 Notes:
Three-Car Team: Jefferson Pitts Racing will field three cars in the NAPA Auto Parts Tucson 150 on Saturday, including a familiar face in a new seat. After running six races a year ago for car owner Dave Hanson, Will Rodgers will compete for the Rookie of the Year honors in the No. 7 for JPR. The former road racing specialist Rodgers, of Murrieta, California, finished seventh in two races at Utah Motorsports Campus last season. Vanessa Robinson, who competed at Tucson in the Whelen All-American Series the past two years and was the 2015 Arizona state Rookie of the Year with five top 10s in eight Super Late Model starts, will pilot the No. 55 for Jefferson Pitts. JPR also plans to field a Garrett Archer in the No. 27 this weekend.

Well Represented: Robinson is one of three women among the 26 drivers entered in the NAPA Auto Parts Tucson 150. Nicole Behar returns to full-time K&N Pro Series West competition this season for her family-owned team out of Spokane, Washington, while New York state driver Julia Landauer is slated to drive the No. 6 for Bob Bruncati for the first time. Landauer finished fourth in the final series standings in 2016, making her the highest-finishing female driver in series history.

Experience On The Box: Steve Portenga is the owner and crew chief for second-year driver Blaine Perkins and the No. 21 Four Star Fruit Chevrolet. And while the driver is still searching for his first win this season, Portenga has plenty of experience getting cars to Victory Lane. Portenga has won eight races as a crew chief and has three times led his cars to the top five in the final K&N West standings. He won three races with David Mayhew as his driver in 2014 en route to a third-place finish in the standings, having won a total of five races with Michael Self behind the wheel the previous two seasons.

First Time: Former National Football League linebacker Shawne Merriman, who played with both the San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills, will be a car owner for the first time this season. Merriman is the owner of the No. 36 that will be driven by Jesse Iwuji. Nicknamed “Lights Out” as a player, Merriman was a three-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection during his eight-year playing career.

Heading West: The first third of the K&N Pro Series West schedule coincides with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and its “NASCAR Goes West” swing, which continues through Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Four of the top six drivers in the Cup Series standings have won K&N West races in their careers — Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney — while Kevin Harvick (who is eighth in the current standings) was the 1998 series champion. Both Blaney and Logano won their first career NASCAR races in K&N West competition.

New Rules: Two new race and qualifying procedures will make their K&N Pro Series West debuts at Tucson. Qualifying times will be recorded through the group qualifying process, with NASCAR determining the number of groups that will run in five-minute segments. Drivers may run as many laps as they wish during their five-minute session, with their fastest posted lap counting for their qualifying time. The green-white-checkered finish is gone this season, too, replaced by the overtime line currently used in NASCAR’s national series. Once the field reaches the designated overtime line on the track, the race will be deemed official in case of a late caution flag.

NASCAR Home Tracks: Tucson Speedway is home to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing for a fourth consecutive season, including Super Late Model, Late Model and Modified divisions. The Super Late Models will compete in Saturday’s program along with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.