DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Four drivers are in the hunt to leave Arizona’s Phoenix International Raceway Thursday night crowned as the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion.
Chris Eggleston, Noah Gragson, Gracin Raz and Ryan Partridge head into the Casino Arizona 100 within 12 points of each other. Championship points leader Eggleston and second-place Gragson are separated by only two points. All would be first-time champions.
The race will air live on MRN at 5:30 p.m. PT.
Eggleston, 26, from Erie, Colorado, looks to end his first full season in the K&N Pro West by giving Bill McAnally Racing its sixth series championship. Eggleston has tallied two wins, nine top fives and 10 top 10s, and is the only driver to control his own destiny. If he wins the race, he will secure the title.
Trailing Eggleston are a pair of Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates driving for first-year Jefferson Pitts Racing.
Noah Gragson, 17, from Las Vegas, Nevada actually holds the tiebreaker over Eggleston by virtue of more runner-up finishes (2-0). Gragson has accumulated two wins, seven top fives and 11 top 10s. Teammate Gracin Raz, 18, from Lake Oswego, Oregon, got into the title hunt by earning his first victory the series’ last time out at California’s All American Speedway. He’s earned one win, six top fives and 11 top 10s this season.
Ryan Partridge rounds out the title contenders in fourth with 466 points. The 27-year-old Rancho Cucamonga, California, native, has earned one win, six top fives and 10 top 10s throughout his rookie season. He is looking to give car owner Bob Bruncati his third title following Jason Bowles (2009) and Derek Thorn (2013).
Tale of the Tape
|Driver||Wins||Poles||Top Fives||Top 10s||Laps Lead|
RACE: Casino Arizona 100
PLACE: Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway
TIME: 5:30 p.m. PT
TELECAST: NBCSN, Thursday, November 19, 7 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: One-mile paved, tri-oval.
2014 WINNER: Nick Drake
2014 POLE WINNER: Nick Drake
EVENT SCHEDULE: Garage opens – 7:30 a.m.; Practice – 9-10 a.m.; Qualifying – 1 p.m.; Driver/Crew Chief Meeting – 2:20 p.m.; Driver Introductions – 5 p.m.; Casino Arizona 100 – 5: 30 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Zac Emmons, (623) 463-5400, [email protected]
EVENT HASHTAG: #CasinoArizona100
The Race: This event marks the final event of the 13-race schedule for the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season. It is the series’ first visit to PIR this season.
The Procedure: The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 100 laps.
The Track: PIR is a one-mile superspeedway with 10 to 11 degrees banking between Turns 1 and 2; 10 to 11 degrees banking at the apex of the dog-leg; and eight to nine degrees banking in Turn 4. This will be the 33rd stand-alone Phoenix race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
History: This marks the 22nd time Phoenix International Speedway will host the season finale for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The series wrapped up its season at PIR for eight straight years from 1977 to 1984. Seven of the combination events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series marked the final event, culminating in 1995. More recently, the series concluded its season at Phoenix in 2004, and then again from 2010 through 2014.
Records: Qualifying: Greg Pursley, 26.876 seconds (133.949 mph), March 2, 2013. 100-Lap Race: David Gilliland, 55 minutes and 17 minutes (108.532 mph), Jan. 30, 2005.
CASINO ARIZONA 100 RACE NOTES:
HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks Heads West: NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks will travel to the West finale at PIR. with East champion William Byron and his teammates Dalton Sargeant and JJ Haley. Byron tallied four wins, five top fives and 11 top 10s en route to his title. The 17-year old Charlotte, North Carolina, native competed in the Carneros 125 at Sonoma (California) Raceway in June and finished fifth. Sargeant travels West with the hopes of continuing his success in the West. In three races, the 17-year old Boca Raton, Florida, native has earned one win and three top fives. Sargeant finished fourth in the East with six top fives and nine top 10s. Haley, 16, Winamac, Indiana, finished sixth in the East with six top fives and 10 top 10s. Haley competed in one West race this season and finished third. Byron and his teammate Rico Abreu, will both be making their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut Friday in the Lucas Oil 150.
• In addition to HScott, the following East drivers will be competing in the Casino Arizona 100: Ronnie Bassett, Jr., Kaz Grala, Spencer Davis, Travis Miller and Christian Celaya.
Kennedy and Cassill Get Track Time: National series drivers, Ben Kennedy and Landon Cassill are slated to compete in the West finale. Kennedy and his Ben Kennedy Racing driver, Kaz Grala, are both entered. Kennedy has earned four top fives in six K&N West races from 2011-12. In 48 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, he’s tallied five top fives and 15 top 10s. Cassill will be making his K&N West debut. He competed in the East finale at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and finished eighth. In 116 NASCAR XFINITY Series races, he’s recorded one top five and 12 top 10s.
New Faces Gilliland and Burton To Take the Track: Young guns Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton will both try to earn their first series’ wins. Gilliland, a third generation driver, is set to make his debut at Phoenix. The 15-year old is the son of David Gilliland and grandson of Butch Gilliland. David Gilliland won at Phoenix in 2005 en route to a fourth-place finish in the West. Burton, 15, from Huntersville, North Carolina, is the son of retired NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and current NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton. He became the youngest starter in series history at California’s All American Speedway, where he finished 11th.
Pursley To Return For 100th Start: Two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Greg Pursley is slated to return for his 100th series start. In 99 starts, the 47-year old from Newhall, Calif., earned 20 wins over a span of 10 seasons. Three of those victories, occurred at PIR and he was crowned the 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion at the track last season.
Kennington Back At To Phoenix: Two-time NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion (2010, 2012) D.J. Kennington will be making his eighth West start at PIR. In his seven series starts at Phoenix, he’s earned one top five and 10 top 10s.
2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: The fight for the championship title isn’t the only tight battle taking place. Teammates Gragson and Raz are separated by one point (94-93) headed into the finale. Ryan Partridge, Alex Schutte and Johnny White round out the top five. While Nicole Behar trails in sixth by one two points. The tiebreaker is higher finisher in the overall standings.
-NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications Press Release. Photo credit: Getty Images via NASCAR