DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho for the first time since 1985 this weekend.
Most of the drivers entered in Saturday’s NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 are either too young to remember 1985 or hadn’t been born yet. In fact, the only series regular to take part in one of the only two series events held at the .25-mile oval is 30-year veteran Jack Sellers. He raced at Stateline back in his first season with series.
The lack of familiarity on the part of most of the drivers entered into the event might explain why Stateline Speedway has been a busy place over the last week. The track reports that a half-dozen teams have been in and out of the quarter-mile facility in preparation for Saturday’s event.
Among those testing was Brandon McReynolds, currently third in the championship standings. He was joined by Stateline regulars Nicole Behar and Braeden Havens. Behar will be making her series debut while Havens will participate in his first series race of 2014 and 13th of his career.
In all, nearly 20 drivers are expected to make the trip to Post Falls, located 25 miles east of Spokane, Washington, for the seventh event on the 2014 calendar. Greg Pursley will look to increase his 21-point lead over Dylan Lupton heading into the halfway point of the season.
The Race: The NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 is the seventh race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season. It is the sixth of 12 oval track events and 14 races overall on the schedule. This is the series’ third visit to the Post Falls, Idaho facility but first since July of 1985.
The Procedure: The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining four starting spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps covering 37.5 miles.
The Track: State Line Speedway was built in 1974. It first hosted a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event in 1974 when Jim Insolo bested Chuck Wahl for the checkered flag. The series returned to the .25-mile oval in 1985 and saw Jim Robinson best Rubén Garcia, father of NASCAR Next driver Rubén Garcia Jr.
The Records: The one-lap qualifying record was set by Derrike Cope on July 7, 1985 at 14.046 seconds (64.075 mph). The 150-lap race record was established by Jim Robinson on July 7, 1985 at 39 minutes and 53 seconds for an average speed of 56.415 mph.
STATELINE RACE NOTES
Battle for First: Twenty-one points separate Pursley and Lupton atop the Championship standings. With eight races remaining on the calendar heading into Saturday, many drivers still have a shot at taking home the championship trophy, but they will all have to hope that Pursley slows his pace in the second half. The Newhall, California, native has top-five finishes in all six 2014 events, including a victory at Kern County Raceway Park in the fifth race of the year.
Prior Experience: Don’t count Jack Sellers among the drivers who will be making their first series start at Stateline Speedway in Saturday’s NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150. The 69-year-old veteran is the only series regular with K&N Pro Series West experience at the .25-mile oval. His lone start at the track came back in his first year with the series, 1985. He finished 12th after brake problems derailed his evening after only 110 of 150 laps.
Series Debut: Sixteen-year-old Nicole Behar is scheduled to make her first career K&N Pro Series West start in Saturday’s NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150. The Spokane, Washington, native is no stranger to Stateline Speedway, however, having won the track’s Baby Grands division in 2011 and 2012 and their SLS HyDrive Late Models division in 2013.
Short-track Racing: At .25-miles, Stateline Speedway and Stockton (California) 99 Speedway, are the two shortest tracks on the 2014 K&N Pro Series West schedule. Pursley is hoping his stat-line at Stockton translates to success at Stateline. He has an average start of 4.2 and an average finish of 5.8 with two top fives and four top 10s in four events at the California track. The NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 will be his first event at Stateline.
LAST TIME OUT: Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie Kyle Larson dominated the Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway to pick up his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory. Larson, who had two wins in the K&N Pro East in 2012 en route to the series title, was running the West event to prepare for the following day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race, the Toyota-Save Mart 350. The Elk Grove, California, driver pulled away from K&N Pro West points leader Pursley on a green-white-checkered restart to win by 3.191 seconds. Larson led all 66 laps on the 1.99-mile road course, ceding the point briefly on Lap 51 to Pursley but put the No. 42 Clorox Chevrolet back in the lead before the lap was complete.
NEXT TIME OUT: NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 at Colorado National Speedway
The K&N West heads to Colorado on July 26 for the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 at Colorado National Speedway. It will be the 12th visit to the .375-mile semi-banked oval in series history. A year ago at this event, Derek Thorn and the No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Eibach Ford led 148 of 150 laps en route to his third win of the season. Pursley won the event in 2012 and has five top-five finishes in five career events at the track.