IRWINDALE, Calif. — There’s nothing like your first.
Trevor Huddleston has been knocking on the door of his first career K&N Pro Series West victory for some time, and he earned it, barely, at his home track of Irwindale Speedway in a photo finish over Tanner Gray in the ENEOS NAPA Auto 150.
“I’m still in shock,” Huddleston said. “That was absolutely insane. Me and him were bouncing off each other, we were bouncing off the wall, I mean I didn’t know if we won. I hit the wall and got the freakin’ wind knocked out of me and I was like ‘did we win?’ and we won. Unbelievable.”
Huddleston battled a hit-or-miss transmission for the final 100 laps, forcing him to drive for most of the race with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on the shifter.
Huddleston and Gray banged doors off Turn 4 to the start/finish line and the Augora Hills, California native was able to inch his No. 9 Sunrise Ford ahead of Gray’s No. 15 DGR Crosley Toyota. After claiming the checkered flag, Huddleston hit the wall and was unable to drive his machine back to Victory Lane.
Huddleston’s three track championships at Irwindale Speedway gave him a “one up on the field” leading into the 150-lapper. This event has been circled on his calendar for some time and to win his first race at the facility his father, Tim, operates made it that much sweeter.
“We’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time. I know this track hopefully better than anybody. I’ve been raised here. To get this win means so much. To win in the K&N Pro Series is unbelievable. it’s got a stacked field. And to win like that, even better.”
In only his second career series start, Gray almost put it in Victory Lane. Coming from a drag racing background, he knew immediately he didn’t beat the No. 9 to the line but did all he could leading up to that.
“It was just really good racing between me, the No. 9 and the No. 16 (Derek Kraus),” Gray said. “This racetrack produces really good racing, Them putting PJ1 down on the bottom really helped. That was a lot of run. I feel like I was the only one who was really able to get down there and be as fast as I was. The deal we had coming to the line was unfortunate, but it was just both drivers coming using up all the race track trying to get there first. It wasn’t intentional […] it’s racing.”
Kraus came home third after leading a handful of laps, but he lost brakes with around 30 laps to go, allowing Huddleston and Gray to get by. Jagger Jones and polesitter Hailie Deegan rounded out the top five finishers.
Cole Cabrera, Matt Levin, Brittney Zamora, Dylan Garner and Jack Wood completed the top 10.
The ENEOS NAPA Auto 150 is scheduled to be broadcasted on NBCSN Wednesday, April 3 at 6 p.m.
The next K&N Pro Series West will take place on Saturday, May 11 at Tucson Speedway.