Following a 2015 season spent competing within the weekly ranks of Irwindale Event Center’s weekly Late Model division, as well as sporadic appearances with the Lucas Oil Modified Series and the SRL Spears Southwest Tour, up-and-comer Blaine Perkins has confirmed he will compete full-time with the K&N Pro Series West in 2016.
Perkins will team with Steve Portenga Racing to chase Rookie of the Year honors in Portenga’s familiar No. 21.
“I haven’t been able to stop smiling since we put the pen to paper to sign this deal,” says Perkins. “It’s hard to express just what this means to my family and I”
“This is, honestly, a dream come true. We’ve been saying all year that all we needed was an opportunity, and this is the best one we could have asked for. Working with Steve [Portenga] and the rest of his team is a chance to really make a name for ourselves. 2016 is going to be an incredible season”
The Bakersfield, CA native earned a top-15 finish in his K&N Pro Series West debut at All American Speedway in October, and will look to build on his recent success when the 2016 season kicks off in March.
“The K&N West [Pro Series] roster has been one of the best in the country for a long time,” explains the well-spoken 15-year old.
“I’m sure there isn’t a single team in the garage area that plans on making things easy for us. They aren’t going to give us an inch. I know that I’m going to have to grind as much as I ever have for positions, because this will be the most talented group of teams I’ve ever competed against. It’s going to be an enormous challenge – but I can’t wait”
Perkins is quick to credit the Irwindale Late Model division for helping prepare him for his new challenge, going so far as to label the veteran-heavy roster as one of the best in the country.
“Racing against the level of competition that was at Irwindale every weekend taught me more than I could ever explain,” says the first-generation racer who earned 13 top-5s at the facility last season. “In my opinion, that’s one of the best weekly fields in the country. If you can unload there and bring back a top-5, you know that you’ve done something. Posting the results that we did throughout 2015 was a huge encouragement for me – because it showed that I’m able to compete with some of the best of the best.
“We’ve put 100% into everything we’ve done in this sport so far, and running with the K&N West Series will be no different," continues Perkins.
“It’s not going to be easy – but we’re ready to do whatever it takes to be in the conversation every week. It took a lot of people to come together and make this opportunity possible – and I can’t thank them enough. Now, it’s all about showing them they weren’t wrong for putting their faith in me.”
Blaine Perkins 2016 campaign will be made possible thanks to the support of Golden Gate Meat Company, Auto Pro, SPR Racing, Four Star Fruit, Hronis Racing and Reeves Auto Center.
For more information, fans can follow Blaine on Twitter @BlainePerkins21 and by visiting the official Blaine Perkins Racing page on Facebook.
-By Spencer Lewis, Speed51.com West Coast Editor - Twitter: @itsspencerlewis