MONROE, Wash. -- Chris Eggleston continued the domination by Bill McAnally Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West this year by leading the NAPA AUTO PARTS 150 Presented by Toyota from wire-to-wire for the win at Evergreen Speedway on Saturday.
It marked the fourth victory this season and ninth career series win for the 2015 series champion from Erie, Colorado. He also set the fast mark in time trials with BMR’s No. 99 NAPA Filters / H20 Fire Protection Toyota Camry, to win his third pole of the year; the fourth of his career.
His victory continued BMR’s domination of the series in 2017, with 9 wins in 10 series races so far. It also set the stage for a title battle that could go down to the wire between Eggleston, a series veteran, and the defending series champion, Todd Gilliland.
Eggleston led Saturday’s race from the drop of the green and set the pace throughout the race. He pulled away in a two-lap sprint to the finish as the race went into overtime due to a late-race caution.
“We got pressured in the first and second half, but we were able to manage the gap and come home with an awesome win with our NAPA Filters Toyota,” he said. “I’m proud of all the guys at BMR for working so hard on it.”
Eggleston said he knew early on that he had a fast car.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was definitely our race to lose and I knew that even going into the race, because I knew how good a car we had and just wanted to minimize any mistakes. At the same time I wanted to stay out front and keep good track position and stay in clean air. I knew if somebody got around us it would be a lot harder to get back by around them.”
Eggleston said he is glad to be part of such a dominating race team.
“As an organization, Bill and everybody that’s part of this team have a lot to be proud of with everything they’ve accomplished,” he said. “I’m just glad we could add one more to the win column. I’m happy to be part of the team.”
While Eggleston dominated from start to finish, his BMR teammates encountered trouble in the late stages of the race.
A solid top-five run by series rookie Derek Kraus slipped away within a few laps of the finish when he tangled with another car and was penalized by NASCAR. The 15-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin recovered for a seventh-place finish in the No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota Camry.
Gilliland battled back in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry to finish ninth, after having to pit under green with a flat tire on Lap 122. The 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina had qualified ninth and battled his way up to second in the first half of the race.
With his win, Eggleston narrowed Gilliland’s lead in the championship standings from 18 points to just five – with four events remaining on the 14-race series schedule. Gilliland has five wins, seven top-five, and 10 top-10 finishes in 10 starts this season. Along with his four wins, Eggleston has nine top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.
Kraus held on to third in the standings, meanwhile, and retained his lead in rookie points. He has five top-five, and seven top-10 finishes this season.
Activities at the track on Saturday included a big NAPA Hospitality. In addition, BMR provided special NAPA guests with a VIP pit tour. The No. 16 NAPA Toyota race simulator was a big hit with fans, and the NAPA Tools & Equipment Truck also attracted a lot of interest along the midway.
This event was the 57th series race at Evergreen Speedway. It’s scheduled to be televised on NBCSN on Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. PT.
The next event on the K&N Pro Series West schedule will be the Toyota Clint Newell Auto Group 150 Presented by NAPA AUTO PARTS at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Oregon on Aug. 26.
-Bill McAnally Racing Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com