SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — He came, he saw, he conquered, he avenged.
Ryan Partridge, flexed his muscle, figuratively and literally, and dominated en route to the Sunrise Ford 150 victory on Saturday evening at Orange Show Speedway, his fifth NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory of his career and first this season.
He also avenged his frustrating 2016 loss at this track, where he led 137 laps from the pole to see a sure win fall out of his hands due to a mishap with a lapped car down the stretch.
This time, he made sure he’d claim his checkered flag. Starting from the pole, the Rancho Cucamonga, California, native led the first 37 circuits before Derek Kraus was able to take the top spot away as the caution flag flew. Shortly thereafter, Partridge re-took the lead and never looked back, leading all the way to the finish.
“We let him lead for a couple laps,” Partridge said of his battle with Kraus. “(Then my) spotter came over the radio and said ‘I think it’s time to go,’ so we were able to wedge right by him and take the lead again. Probably the most nerve-racking moment of the race was when the No. 6 (Derek Thorn) got into the second position. He’s a veteran driver, he knows what he’s doing, and when he got up into the second position I knew it was time to go. Pedal down.”
“Thank god we didn’t have a restart after that when we really would’ve had to duke it out and take our gloves off. But man our Sunrise Ford Fusion was hooked up.”
Having finishes of fifth (Kern County), third (Tucson) and second (Tucson), it was only a matter of time before the 2016 series runners-up would find Victory Lane.
His Sunrise Ford teammate and championship points leader entering Orange Show, Thorn, was able to get by Kraus with 24 laps to go. The Lakeport, California native and 2013 series champion tried to put the pressure on Partridge, but couldn’t seal the deal.
“I was kind of writing ourselves off mid portion (of the race),” Thorn said following his runner-up result. “Car got really, really tight on the long run. I was behind the No. 16 (Kraus) and the No. 99 (Rouse), and hats off to them for racing me clean. I raced them a little rougher than I probably should’ve there trying to get up through the field.”
Orange Show marks Thorn’s third second-place result this season (Kern County and Tucson race No. 2). But despite the solid runs, he’s getting a bit impatient and frustrated with not breaking through.
“I’m not a big fan of being a bridesmaid this many times this year,” Thorn said. “Hopefully with this consistency comes some results, some wins. But from a team aspect, couldn’t ask for a better night.”
Cole Rouse tied his season-best finish of third when the checkered flag flew, but admitted he wanted more.
“I’m not mad about it, I’m not happy about it, I’m just kind of in between,” Rouse said. “I’m tired of third- and second-place finishes. I’m ready to get a win. I think we’ll have some shots later in this year, we just gotta get these cars turning a little better on these short tracks.”
Rouse’s Bill McAnally Racing teammates and newly minted NASCAR Next drivers Hailie Deegan (career-best finish) and Derek Kraus rounded out the top five.
Trevor Huddleston, Kody Vanderwal, Todd Souza, Nick Joanides and Matt Levin completed the top 10.
Partridge now leads Thorn by three points and Kraus by 10, while Rouse (-12) and Vanderwal (-17) round out the top five.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will take one week off before heading to Colorado National Speedway in Dacono, Colorado, for the NAPA/Toyota 150 on Saturday, June 9.
The Sunrise Ford 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, May 24 at 6 p.m. ET.
NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST-Sunrise Ford 150 Presented by NAPA Auto Parts Results
Orange Show Speedway
San Bernardino, CA
Lap length: 0.25 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
- (1) Ryan Partridge, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Ford, 150 laps, 52.468 mph.
- (5) Derek Thorn, Lakeport, CA, Ford, 150.
- (3) Cole Rouse, Fort Smith, Ark., Toyota, 150.
- (4) Hailie Deegan, Temecula, CA, Toyota, 150.
- (2) Derek Kraus, Stratford, Wis., Toyota, 150.
- (8) Trevor Huddleston, Agoura Hills, Calif., Ford, 150.
- (7) Kody Vanderwal, LaSalle, Colo, Ford, 150.
- (6) Todd Souza, Aromas, Calif., Toyota, 150.
- (11) Nick Joanides, Woodland Hills, CA, Toyota, 150.
- (9) Matt Levin, Tucson, Ariz., Chevrolet, 149.
- (12) Will Rodgers, Solvang, Calif., Ford, 149.
- (13) Takuma Koga, Nagoya, Japan, Chevrolet, 148.
- (14) Bill Kann, Scottsdale, Ariz., Chevrolet, 148.
- (16) Jesse Iwuji, Carrolton, Texas, Chevrolet, 144.
- (15) Rich DeLong III, Santa Clarita, Calif., Chevrolet, 143.
- (10) Zachary St. Onge, Upland, CA, Chevrolet, 142.
Time of Race: 0 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds
Margin of Victory: .982 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Partridge (68.316 mph, 13.174 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 27 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Partridge 1-36; D. Kraus 37; R. Partridge 38; D. Kraus 39-58; R. Partridge 59-116; D. Kraus 117; R. Partridge 118-150.
Standings: 1. R. Partridge, 172; 2. D. Thorn, 169; 3. D. Kraus, 162; 4. C. Rouse, 160; 5. K. Vanderwal, 155; 6. H. Deegan, 149; 7. T. Huddleston, 148; 8. W. Rodgers, 133; 9. M. Levin, 131; 10. T. Souza, 122.
-NASCAR Home Tracks Press Release
-Photo credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for NASCAR