DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – James Bickford is looking to get back to Victory Lane. And a return visit to Stateline Speedway may work in his favor.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to the quarter-mile track in Post Falls, Idaho, Saturday for the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150. Last season, Bickford recorded his first career win in what was just his seventh K&N Pro West start. The 17-year-old, Napa, California, native passed veteran Greg Pursley with just four laps remaining to capture his first career win.
A member of the 2015-16 NASCAR Next class, Bickford had an impressive showing at in the series’ last bullring appearance: California’s Shasta Speedway. He led 52 laps at the .375-mile oval before championship points leader Chris Eggleston edged past him with five laps remaining.
Bickford, the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner, is ranked eighth in the K&N Pro West standings with two top-five and four top-10 finishes.
After a rough showing at his hometown track, California’s Sonoma Raceway, Bickford is looking to bounce back Saturday at the track that jumpstarted his career.
bounce back Saturday at the track that jumpstarted his career.
RACE: NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150
PLACE: Stateline (Idaho) Speedway
Date: Saturday, July 18
TIME: 9 p.m. PST
TV SCHEDULE: NBCSN, Thursday, July 16, 3 p.m. PST
TRACK LAYOUT: .25-mile asphalt oval
2014 WINNER: James Bickford
2014 POLE SITTER: Braeden Havens
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice – 1-2:15 p.m.; Rookie Practice – 2:15-2:35 p.m.; Final Practice – 2:45-3:30 p.m.; Qualifying – 6 p.m.; Driver Introductions – 8:45 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 – 9:00 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Larry Bertrand, (509) 868-9184, [email protected]
EVENT HASHTAG: #NAPAToyota150
The Race: The NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 is the seventh race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season. It’s the sixth of 11 oval track events and 12 races overall on the schedule. This is the series’ fourth visit to Post Falls, Idaho facility but the second since July of 1985.
The Procedure: The starting field is 21 cars, including provisionals. The first 18 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining three spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps covering 37.5 miles.
The Track: Stateline 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 Ruben Garcia, father on NASCAR Next driver Ruben Garcia Jr.
The Records: The one-lap qualifying record was set by Braeden Havens on July 12, 2014 at 13.804 seconds (65.198 mph). The 150-lap record was established by Jim Robinson on July 7, 1985 at 39 minutes and 53 seconds for an average speed of 56.415.
Stateline Speedway Race Notes:
Returning Home: Three drivers will have the home field advantage this weekend when they compete at their home track. Nicole Behar made her K&N Pro Series West debut at Stateline last season and finished sixth. She won the track’s Baby Grands division in 2011 and 2012, and its SLS HyDrive Late Models Division in 2013. Braeden Havens has competed in last year’s K&N Pro West race at Stateline and finished fourth after winning the pole with a track qualifying record. Blake Williams a Spokane, Washington, native will make his series debut. He was the 2012 track Late Model champion.
Tight Points Battle In The West: The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West points battle is getting closer every week. Leader Chris Eggleston is still holding on to the top spot, by only by nine points. Noah Gragson is closing in on Eggleston, while his teammate Gracin Raz follows right behind just two points back. David Mayhew and Ryan Partridge round out the top-five, both 13 points out of the lead.
Short-Track Racing: At .25-miles, Stateline Speedway is the shortest track on the 2015 K&N Pro Series West schedule. Bickford is hoping his success at Stateline last year carries over into this season. Eight of the 17 drivers scheduled to compete this weekend has K&N West experience at the Post Falls, Idaho track.
-NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications Press Release. Photo credit: William Mancebo/Getty Images for NASCAR