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Eggleston Wins At His Home Track

By Brooke Franceschini (DACONO, Colo.) Chris Eggleston didn’t let a rain delay prevent him from winning in front of his hometown fans Saturday night in the NAPA/Toyota 150 at Colorado National Speedway.

The 26-year-old Erie, Colorado native collected his second consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory after leading 102 laps. It wasn’t an easy win however, Eggleston had to overcome a two hour rain delay and numerous battles for the lead, including one with his teammate Todd Gilliland with one lap to go.

This marks the Colorado native’s second K&N Pro Series West win at his home track. He earned his first in 2014 which resulted in him getting a full-time ride with Bill McAnally Racing and ultimately, the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship.

Gilliland, a member of the 2016-17 NASCAR Next class and the leader in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, finished runner-up to his teammate after winning the 21 Means 21 Pole Award earlier in the day.

Gracin Raz, last year’s NAPA/Toyota 150 race winner Ryan Partridge and Blaine Perkins rounded out the top five.

Fellow NASCAR Next members Julia Landauer and Noah Gragson finished sixth and 10th, respectively. While Ron Norman, Matt Levin and Cole Rouse completed the top 10.

The NAPA/Toyota 150 will air on NBCSN Thursday, June 16 7 p.m. ET/5 p.m. MT. 

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be back in action Saturday, June 25th at California’s famed road course, Sonoma Raceway.

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST-NAPA/Toyota 150 Results

1. (2) Chris Eggleston, Erie, Colo., Toyota, 150 laps, 51.139 mph.

2. (1) Todd Gilliland, Sherrils Ford, N.C., Toyota, 150.

3. (5) Gracin Raz, Lake Oswego, Ore., Ford, 150.

4. (4) Ryan Partridge, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Ford, 150.

5. (6) Blaine Perkins, Bakersfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 150.

6. (7) Julia Landauer, New York, N.Y., Toyota, 150.

7. (11) Ron Norman, Tucson, Ariz., Ford, 150.

8. (12) Matt Levin, Tucson, Ariz., Ford, 150.

9. (8) Cole Rouse, Fort Smith, Ark., Ford, 150.

10. (10) Noah Gragson, Las Vegas, NV, Ford, 150.

11. (13) Stafford Smith, Eagle, Idaho., Toyota, 150.

12. (15) Dan Phillippi, Los Angeles, Calif., Toyota, 150.

13. (9) Riley Herbst, Las Vegas, Nev., Toyota, 149.

14. (3) Cole Moore, Granite Bay, Calif., Toyota, 149.

15. (14) John Wood, Eagle, ID, Chevrolet, 149.

16. (16) Jesse Iwuji, Dallas, Texas, Toyota, 147.

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Home Tracks

K&N West: Four-Way Championship Battle to End Season at Phoenix

Even without a playoff format, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship battle may come down to a must-win scenario on Thursday night in the Casino Arizona 100 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Four drivers enter the event with a mathematical shot at leaving with the championship, with the top three separated by nine points. Championship leader Chris Eggleston and second-place Noah Gragson are separated by four points, with Gracin Raz only nine points back.

Even Ryan Partridge, at 14 back, could emerge with the crown — and each of the four would be first-time NASCAR champions. For each of the contenders, the goal entering the weekend is simple, and the same one they’ve employed since the start of the season.

Win.

“The points are too tight to race conservatively,” Eggleston told Popular Speed of his strategy. “We will be mindful at all time of where (Gragson), (Raz) and (Partridge) are at on the track. But if (Gragson) is anywhere close to us, we will have our eyes set on the win.”

Eggleston and Gragson both have a pair of victories but the current runner-up actually holds the tie-breaker by virtue of runner-up finishes, 2-0. So while Gragson doesn’t have to win on Thursday, he’s arrived in the Valley of the Sun intending to do just that anyway.

“Ultimately, to win the race is what we’re striving for,” Gragson said. “We need to learn the track, the right line and we’re going to have a good car. Jefferson Pitts Racing has worked hard all season for this moment so we’ll be prepared.”

Todd Gilliland: Youngest ARCA Winner Set for K&N debut

Meanwhile, Raz recognizes that he will need a little bit of help to win the championship but isn’t conceding that it’s necessarily a must-win event. He won last time out at Roseville to creep back into the title hunt but believes he could outpoint his rivals through a variety of means with such a large field (36) entered for the event.

“I really feel like there are a lot of ways to win the championship in this race,” Raz said. “I mean, look at Dover (in the Sprint Cup Series) when it looked like Johnson was a lock to advance and a cheap part broke.

“Now he’s eliminated so I look at how the whole season has gone. Anyone could have misfortune and all of us have to get the job done. Misfortune could strike any of us.”

Eggleston, a 26-year-old veteran, says team owner Bill Mcanally took a “blind shot” on him and wants to reward him with his sixth K&N West championship. BMR has won the West multiple times with Sean Woodside, Brendan Gaughan and Eric Holmes each.

“My team has worked too hard for this to slip away and hope we can seal our own fate tomorrow night,” Eggleston added.

The Casino Arizona 100 will air live on MRN Radio at 8:30 p.m. ET. The tape-delayed television broadcast is set for Thursday November 19 at 7 p.m. ET.

EMAIL MATT AT matt.weaver@popularspeed.com

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