DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With just three more races on the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule, the battle for the championship title is heating up and heading to Idaho.
Chris Eggleston and Ryan Partridge are tied in points atop the standings, and the top four drivers are separated by just 12 points, heading into the NAPA Auto Parts/Idaho 208 at Meridian Speedway.
Eggleston, 26-years-old from Erie, Colorado, owns the tiebreaker by virtue of his two wins. The Bill McAnally Racing driver has rebounded from finishes outside the top 10 at California’s Sonoma Raceway and Idaho’s State Line Speedway to roll off three straight top five finishes. He has a series-high seven top-five finishes in 10 races.
Partridge, 27, from Ranch Cucamonga, California, is coming off his first career series win at Colorado National Speedway, and has a top five in four of his last five starts for Bob Bruncati’s Sunrise Ford Racing.
Rookie teammates with Jefferson Pitts Racing, Noah Gragson and Gracin Raz, are right behind the two, ranked third and fourth in the championship standings, respectively.
Gragson, 17, from Las Vegas, Nevada, is only six points out from the top spot. He won earlier in the season at Arizona’s Tucson Speedway but is coming off an eighth-place finish at Colorado. He leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings thanks in part to five top three finishes. Raz, 18, from Lake Oswego, Oregon, is only 12 points back from the title after a sixth-place run at Colorado.
The tight confines of Meridian’s quarter-mile layout will test the four championship challengers. The last time out on a similar sized track, at State Line, Gragson finished second behind race winner James Bickford, and Raz and Partridge followed in third and fourth respectively.
Race: NAPA Auto Parts/Idaho 208
Date: Saturday, September 5, 2015
Time: 8: 30 p.m. MT
TV Schedule: NBCSN, Thursday, September 10, 7:30 p.m. ET
2014 Winner: Event not held
2014 Pole Winner: Event not held
Event Schedule: Garage opens: 9 a.m.; Practice: 12-12:45 p.m.; Final Practice: 1:15-2:00 p.m.; Driver/Crew Chief Meeting: 4 p.m.; Qualifying (2 Laps): 5 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 5:45-6:25 p.m.; Driver Introductions: 8 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts/Idaho 208: 8:30 p.m.
Track PR Contact: Jon Brown, 208-888-2814, [email protected]
Event Hashtag: #Idaho208
The Race: The event is the 11th of 13 races on the 2015 schedule and the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race held at the track in 43 years.
The Procedure: The starting field is 22 cars, including provisionals. The first 18 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 208 laps (52 miles).
The Track: Meridian Speedway is a quarter-mile asphalt oval that has been in operation since 1951.
The Records: Qualifying: Ray Elder, Dodge 59.327 mph, June 30, 1972. 100-Lap Race: Ray Elder 50 minutes, 30 mph, June 30, 1972.
MERIDIAN RACE NOTES:
NASCAR Returns to Meridian After 43 Years: The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West is returning to Meridian Speedway after a 43 year absence. The first and last time the series was at the Idaho track was June 30, 1972 when Ray Elder won both the pole and the 100-Lap feature.
Series Performance of 1/4-mile tracks: The K&N Pro West has only competed on one other quarter-mile track this season: Stateline. James Bickford walked away victorious, after winning his second career race and picking up his first 21 Means 21 Pole Award. Noah Gragson, Gracin Raz, Ryan Partridge and Blake Williams completed the top five. Ron Norman, Nicole Behar, Brandon McReynolds, Alex Schutte and David Mayhew rounded out the top-10.
2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: The championship battle isn’t the only battle occurring in the K&N West. The 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year title is separated by only four points. Gragson leads with 78 points, while his teammate Raz trails by only two points. Partridge is in third with 74 points, only four points behind Gragson. Alex Schutte and Nicole Behar round out the top-five with 58 and 50 points, respectively.
208 Cares House Give Away: NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver, John Wood, has partnered with 208 Cares to giveaway a house to a disabled Veteran. Wood has donated land in Eagle, Idaho for the non-profit organization whose goal is to help build a mortgage-free, specifically adapted home for a disabled Veteran to help them rebuild their life.
-NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications Press Release. Photo credit: Getty Images for NASCAR