ROSEVILLE, Calif. (July 8, 2014) – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East heads to New Hampshire this week for the Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday.
The 1.058-mile track in Loudon, known as the “Magic Mile,” has been a traditional stop on the circuit since 1990. It has hosted 58 series events – more than any other track.
Although it will be his first visit to the New Hampshire track, rookie Nick Drake is confident of a strong performance in his No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. The 18-year-old Mooresville, North Carolina driver has reason to be optimistic – earlier this season he had podium finishes in his races at the three tracks of similar size to NHMS.
He finished third in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season opener at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway in February and nabbed his first career pole and finished third in the K&N Pro Series East race in April at Richmond (Virginia) International Raceway, a 3/4-mile track. He followed that up with a career-best second-place overall finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race in May at Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile track.
Drake’s confidence is also boosted, knowing that his teammate at Bill McAnally Racing, Cole Custer, won last year’s Loudon race from the pole. Custer, a 15-year-old rookie at the time, led 60 of 105 laps en route to the win.
“We are really looking forward to New Hampshire,” Drake said. “We’ve been real close to a win on the bigger tracks like Phoenix, Richmond and Iowa – with a second, two thirds and a pole.
“Our teammate, Cole, won there last year,” he said. “So we should be really good off the trailer. I’ve never seen the race track before. So it’s up to me to figure it out quickly and grab us a win.”
Drake, who is transitioning this year to stock cars from open-wheel sprint car racing, is coming off a seventh-place finish at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia last month. He is second in the chase for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award and seventh in the overall championship standings. He has one pole, four top five and five top 10 finishes in nine starts in the K&N Pro Series East this year.
The Granite State 100, the 10th event on a 16-race series schedule, will be televised on FOX Sports 1 on July 20 at noon ET. The race is part of a big NASCAR weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.