Former NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Derek Thorn will pair up with Ryan Partridge to race for Bob Bruncati’s Sunrise Ford team in the K&N Pro Series West team in 2018.


Sunrise Ford is adding a third team, with Trevor Huddleston as the driver, for a limited number of K&N Pro Series West races.


Partridge said Bruncati wants to put together team that will compete with the Bill McAnally Racing team that has won the past three K&N Pro Series West championships.


“He wants to prove a point,” Partridge said.


Thorn won the 2013 K&N Pro Series West championship driving for Bruncati with Bill Sedgwick as his crew chief. Thorn and Sedgwick are reunited for the 2018 season.


“I feel the older I get the more time flies by. It doesn’t feel like five years,” said Thorn, who has five career wins and 26 top fives in 37 K&N Pro West starts. “But it’s crazy to think five years ago we won the championship in 2013. Bob gave me an amazing opportunity back then.


“I was really honored and appreciated all the opportunities. I never thought five years later I would be back behind the wheel and doing it again. We’re hoping to pick up where we left off five years ago.”


Thorn will be driving the No. 6 car for the Sunrise Ford team. Partridge will be in the No. 9 car. Huddleston will drive the No. 22 car.


“It’s time for him to step up,” Partridge said about Huddleston. “Bill McAnally puts together some pretty good teams. He’s hard to compete with. Bob is looking to do whatever it takes to compete with Bill.”


Thorn and Partridge were at Irwindale Speedway in California testing on Feb. 26 in preparation for the start of the K&N Pro Series West opener.

Partridge, who last raced in the K&N Pro Series West in 2016, said he was grateful for another opportunity to compete in the series.


Huddleston had 22 wins in 35 starts, primarily at Kern County Raceway Park and Irwindale, in a Super Late Model to finish second in the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship.


Partridge had four wins and finished third (2015) and second (2016) in the K&N Pro Series West before sitting out last season.


“I’m a broke kid. I’ve never been really able to afford to be in this level, this tier of racing,” Partridge said. “For Bob and Maureen Bruncati and Sunrise Ford to give me another chance, I think he is just looking forward to putting together a powerhouse.”


The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season begins at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif., in the Bakersfield 175 presented by NAPA Auto Parts on March 15.


-NASCAR Home Tracks Story by Tim Haddock

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Thorn, Partridge Pair With Bruncati for K&N West Season