Anxious anticipation characterized the return of NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series West to Tucson Speedway after a 14-year absence – among competitors, officials, and the fans packed into the grandstands.
Noah Gragson made sure the race exceeded everyone’s expectations, grabbing his first series win after a fierce door-to-door battle with teammate Gracin Raz in a green-white-checkered finish in the NAPA Auto Parts Wildcat 150.
Gragson, a Las Vegas native and driver of the No. 7 Alert ID Ford, continued an impressive start to his rookie campaign with his second top five and third top 10 finish in three races.
Raz was lined up next to Gragson on the final restart in the No. 27 Trinity Energy Ford but was forced to settle for the runner up position, giving him two top fives and three top 10s on the season.
Dustin Ash, like Gragson a rookie from Las Vegas, captured third after methodically working his way through the field after the mid-race break. Ryan Partridge led for much of the second segment of the race in the No. 9 Eibach Springs / Sunrise Ford / Lucas Oil Ford but had to settle for fourth.
Nicole Behar made it an all-rookie top-five after she followed up her record-setting performance at Irwindale with a fifth place finish in the No. 33 Custom Welding and Fabrication, Inc. Ford.
James Bickford, Johnny Borneman, Brandon McReynolds, Chris Eggleston, and Johnny White rounded out the top 10.
The NAPA Auto Parts Wildcat 150 will air on NBCSN on May 6 at 11 p.m. ET.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to action on Saturday, May 16 at Iowa Speedway in the Casey’s General Store 150, the first of two K&N East / West combination races in the 2015 season.
– Tom Bryant, NASCAR
Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR