ROSEVILLE, Calif — All season long Cole Rouse has been close.
Last time out, Rouse took the white flag and was leading before losing the race to teammate Hailie Deegan. It is more than safe to say Rouse wanted this win bad.
Rouse finally got his elusive first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West win Saturday by winning the NAPA AutoCare/Roseville Toyota 200 presented by TriCo Welding Supplies & the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at All American Speedway.
Rouse’s No.99 NAPA Filters Toyota won the pole earlier in the day and battled hard at the front of the field with the likes of Ryan Partridge and Chris Eggleston. Taking the lead on an aggressive pass during the Lap 189 restart it almost seemed like smooth sailing until a late race caution set up a four-lap dash to the finish.
This time Rouse got his redemption.
The 21-year-old driver from Fort Smith, Arkansas held off a pair of Bob Bruncati Racing entries and came home .506 seconds ahead of the Partridge to claim his first win in his 27th series start. Rouse entered the event with 10 career top fives, including runner-up finishes in three of his previous four races.
Partridge’s No. 9 Sunrise Ford/Eibach/Lucas Oil/Braille Ford seemed to be the car to beat before being passed by Rouse in the penultimate restart. Partridge, the 2016 winner at All American, would settle for his 11th top five of 2018.
Championship leader Derek Thorn lost a lap early after contact from Derek Kraus lead to a spin. He fought hard to get his lap back, and battled back to finish third for his 12th top five of the season.
Nick Joanides came home fourth, scoring his best career finish and first top five of his career. Travis Milburn fought has way back after multiple spins to complete the top five.
Matt Levin, Hailie Deegan, Taylor Canfield, Rich Delong III and Takuma Koga completing the top 10.
Thorn leads Rouse by 26 and Partridge by 29 heading into the season finale at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, on Saturday, Oct. 27, for the NAPA Auto Parts 175 presented by West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.
NAPA AutoCare/Roseville Toyota 200 presented by TriCo Welding Supplies & the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame will on NBCSN Thursday, October 18, 6 p.m. ET.
-NASCAR Home Tracks Press Release
-Photo credit: NASCAR Home Tracks Twitter