After its annual road trip to America’s Heartland the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to the West Coast and one of the country’s most iconic short tracks, Evergreen Speedway this Saturday night. The series will join one of the track’s premier Super Late Model events, the Galloway 150, on the schedule to create an action-packed night of racing.
The fast flat track in Washington State is steeped in NASCAR tradition, playing host to K&N West events since 1968. The track had also been a destination for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 1995 to 2000.
David Mayhew has been the victor the last two seasons in K&N West competition at Evergreen, but is not entered in Saturday’s race. Mayhew is only running a part-time schedule in 2016, and that has opened up the door for a new winner to celebrate in victory lane.
Chris Eggleston, the defending series champion, hopes that new winner can be him, not only because Evergreen has become a personal favorite, but it might be his last hope to get back in the championship race. Eggleston recently dropped to fourth in the standing behind Todd Gilliland, Ryan Partridge and Noah Gragson.
“We kind of dug ourselves in a hole the last three races we’ve run,” Eggleston said. “Wrecking at Sonoma on the first lap, Stateline Speedway the next race we sat on the pole with a new track record, led the most laps, and got wrecked with 40 laps to go. Iowa we were on top of the speed charts in practice, lost a motor, and our whole weekend just went downhill from there.
“After three races where it’s been absolutely horrific, we’re just trying to look at the positives and try to get back on track and get win number three of the season.”
Eggleston has only competed at Evergreen twice before, but both times he feels that a win slipped through his fingers
“I’ve been there once in a K&N car and once in a Super Late Model,” Eggleston explained. “The SLM race we were really quick and ended up wrecking there and the K&N race we had good speed but just kind of got behind the eight-ball. Evergreen is kind of a worn out place, got a lot of characteristics that are a lot of fun. It’s hard on tires and we played the tire conservation in the second half of the race last year and never saw the caution I thought we were going to see. Kind of got behind the leaders and ended up third. I love Evergreen. It’s real fast, 5/8-mile, flat track. It really suits my driving style, so looking forward to going out this weekend.”
With so much on the line, Eggleston and his team will not participate in the Galloway 150 Super Late Model race also being held Saturday, a decision shared by other drivers as well. Still, the Galloway 150 will be chalk full of talent with 23 cars already entered for the event.
With tons of talent and two unique events taking place on the same night, race fans on the West Coast should make their plans to be in Washington State on Saturday night.
For live coverage of the NAPA Auto Parts 150 and Galloway 150 from Evergreen Speedway this Saturday, be sure to visit Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com