DAYTONA BEACH, FL - With only two races remaining in the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, the battle for the championship will be in full force at California’s All American Speedway Saturday.
The top three championship contenders are within eight points of each other, with Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Noah Gragson sitting atop the standings with 438 points. Chris Eggleston trails by two points while fellow rookie Ryan Partridge is eight points back.
Heading into the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Axle Crutch, neither of the three have raced on the .333-mile banked oval in Roseville, California, just outside of Sacramento.
It’s been a back-and-forth fight between Eggleston and Gragson for first place all season.
Gragson stole the lead from NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Dalton Sargeant, after his win during the third race of the season at Tucson (Ariz.) Speedway. Eggleston battled his way to the top and dethroned Gragson after winning at California’s Shasta Speedway. Gragson regained the spot, after the NASCAR K&N Pro Series combination event in July at Iowa Speedway, where he finished second in the West and fifth overall, but Eggleston recaptured the lead the very next race at Washington’s Evergreen Speedway.
Gragson currently holds the top spot after winning at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway in September.
Sitting on the outside and looking for some help at Roseville this weekend is Gragson’s teammate and fellow rookie, Gracin Raz with 422 points. A win and poor finishes by the three contenders would put Raz in a position to fight for the championship title at the November finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway.
Race: Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Axle Crutch
Place: All American Speedway, Roseville, California
Date: Saturday, October 17
Time: 8:35 p.m. PT
TV Schedule: NBCSN, Thursday, October 22 at 7 p.m. ET
Event Schedule: Practice: 12:45-1:15 p.m.; Rookie Practice: 1:45-2:00 p.m.; Final Practice: 2:30-3:15 p.m.; Qualifying: 5:30 p.m.; Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150: 8:35 p.m.
Event Hashtag: #NAPAToyota150
The Race: This is the 12th of 13 events on the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule.
The Procedure: The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (50 miles).
The Track: All American Speedway is a .333-mile paved oval with eight degrees banking in Turn 1 and 2. Turns 3 and 4 have progressive banking, beginning at 10 degrees and graduating to 14 degrees. The track hosted five NANSCAR K&N Pro Series West events between 1977 and 1982, when it was a quarter-mile oval and 11 races since it was renovated prior to the 2008 season.
Records: Qualifying: Jason Bowles, April 4, 2009, 88.218 mph, 13.589 seconds. Race: Eric Holmes, April 4, 2009, 67.576 mph, 44 minutes 21 seconds.
Roseville Race Notes:
Burton To Make K&N Pro Series Debut: Harrison Burton, son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, is entered in his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series race. At 15 years, 8 days, if Burton qualifies for the race, he will become the youngest driver in K&N Pro Series history. The West record is held by current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Cameron Hayley, who was 15 years, 23 days (Montana Raceway Park, Kalispell, Montana; Aug. 23, 2011); while NASCAR Next driver Jesse Little holds the East mark at 15 years, 11 days (Richmond International Raceway; April 26, 2012). In February, Burton became the youngest driver to win a Division I race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series with a Super Late Model win at New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway.
Cheever Headed West: Eddie Cheever III will be attempting to make his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West start Saturday for Bill McAnally Racing. The 22-year old from Rome, Italy, attempted to make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East start in August at New York’s Watkins Glen International, but withdrew after qualifying due to engine troubles. The son of the former Indianapolis 500 winner, Cheever finished fifth overall in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series this season with 599 points, 63 points behind champion Ander Vilarino.
One For The Record Books: With no former event winners currently entered in the NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150, fans are guaranteed to see a new race winner on Saturday. In addition, a new pole winner will be awarded, as there are also no previous pole winners scheduled to compete.
Toyota Domination: Toyota’s have dominated the field in the 16 series events at Roseville. Toyota’s have made it to Victory Lane a total of seven times, including last year with race winner Christian PaHud. Ford has won three events, while Chevrolet and Oldsmobile have each earned two victories. Pontiac and Buick bring up the rear, with one win a piece.
NASCAR Next Update: NASCAR Next drivers Nicole Behar and James Bickford are back in action this weekend, with Behar seeking her first series’ win. Bickford, 17, from Napa, California, is eighth in the standings after recording one win, four top five and eight top 10 finishes. Behar, 18, from Otis Orchards, Washington, is 10th in the standings after tallying two top fives and eight top 10s.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: The battle for the 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year is heating up with only two races left in the season. Noah Gragson leads with 88 points, while Gracin Raz trails by only five points. Ryan Partridge follows with 77 points and Alex Schutte and Johnny White round out the top five with 63 and 52 points, respectively.
Big Day of Competition: Race promoter, Bill McAnally Racing Promotions, has put together another great lineup of competition for the Roseville event. In addition to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, the PCS Late Models and Mini Cups divisions will also be in action.