In the history of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship, only two drivers hailing from the West Coast have won the title. Trevor Huddleston of Agoura Hills, CA is hoping to be the third driver to do so at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
Huddleston is currently locked into a tight battle for this year’s national championship with three-time champion Lee Pulliam. Prior to this past weekend, the two drivers were in a dead heat at the top of the standings. Now, Huddleston sits just one point back with three weekends remaining.
The last driver from the West Coast to be crowned a NASCAR national champion was Greg Pursley of Santa Clarita, CA. Pursley was triumphant 13 years ago in 2004 and the championship trophy has stayed on the East Coast since.
Prior to Pursley, only one other West Coaster had won the championship and that was Doug McCoun in 1985.
“We have had an incredible season so far. High Point Racing and Racecar Factory have been giving me incredible cars and its been crazy to be battling against Lee Pulliam considering he is a three-time national champion,” Huddleston told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
In Huddleston’s 30 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series starts this season, he has recorded 20 victories and only finished outside of the top 10 on two occasions. Pulliam currently has 36 starts and 16 victories but still manages to lead the points over Huddleston by one point.
Huddleston has primarily competed at Kern County Raceway Park (CA), Irwindale Speedway (CA) and Tucson Speedway (AZ).
Pulliam has collected NWAAS points at over six tracks including Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC), and South Boston (VA).
“It makes it tough that we don’t have as many tracks around here but at the same time we see it as an advantage. We continually race at the same tracks and so we get a ton of laps around them and we can perfect the set up on the car to be good every week,” Huddleston said.
Many of the events that Huddleston competes at are double-main event nights allowing him to chase double points in one night and compete for the national title.
If the pressure of competing for a national title isn’t enough on the youngster, he also has the eyes of the West Coast drivers he is representing in a battle of East vs. West.
“It definitely adds pressure because everyone in California, Arizona, all over are watching and hoping we can get it done. We are all one big family but to be able to prove that California and all of us are here to race. But I am sure Lee is under just as much pressure because he is going for his fourth title.”
At the beginning of the season, Huddleston didn’t think that the national points championship was within his grasp. However, with only a few weeks remaining, Huddleston has a real chance at being crowned a national champion for the first time in his career.
“Just to have my name in the top five is just awesome. This is more than we expected.”
Huddleston will head to Irwindale Speedway this weekend for the Night of Destruction where he hopes to regain the points lead over Pulliam. Unsure of where Pulliam is racing this weekend, Huddleston will be kept on edge knowing he needs to lock in another win.
The chase for the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship will end on Sunday, September 17.
For the entire rundown of the NWAAS points standings, click here.
Stay up to date with the hunt for the 2017 national championship by following the hashtag #TheWatch on Twitter.
Last Week’s Results:
Lee Pulliam: Pulliam finished second to Matt Cox at Myrtle Beach Speedway on Saturday night.
Trevor Huddleston: Huddleston swept a pair of 50-lap Late Model races at Kern County Raceway Park.
This Week’s Plans:
Pulliam: Twin 75s at Motor Mile on Saturday seem to be the most likely destination for Pulliam.
Huddleston: Irwindale Speedway will be the destination for Huddleston on Saturday night.