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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East returns to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, Connecticut, for the Busch North Throwback 100 on Saturday, July 8. Below is a look at the Busch North Throwback 100 and some of the selected participants.
Busch North Throwback 100 Race Setup:
Todd Gilliland won his first race of the season last weekend at Berlin and trails Harrison Burton atop the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings by 18 points at the halfway point of the season. This weekend at Thompson, the series will celebrate both its history and its future with a number of its young stars sporting throwback paint schemes and the names of past champions and influential personalities over the passenger-side windows on their cars.
At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park:
• The track opened in 1940 and was immediately dubbed “The Indianapolis of the East” because its .625-mile, banked layout dwarfed all others in the northeast at the time.
• Thompson is the oldest asphalt track in the country.
• In 1951, Neil Cole won the first NASCAR Grand National division race at the track, driving a 1950 Oldsmobile. NASCAR Hall of Fame member David Pearson won a Grand National event at Thompson in 1969.
• The facility plays host to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour several times each season, including the season opener and the season finale. It also has a full accompanying road course that hosts non-NASCAR events throughout the year.
• This is the series’ first visit to Thompson since 2009, when current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor and two-time K&N Pro Series East champion Ryan Truex won.
• Eddie MacDonald is the only driver entered this weekend to have won previously at Thompson, which he did in 2005.
• In 27 previous series races at the track, there have been 20 different winners, including former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ricky Craven and NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik with three wins each.
• In the 27 previous races, there have been 21 different pole winners, led by Sean Caisse with three. Martin Truex and Martin Truex Jr. each won two poles at the track, making them the only father-son combination to win poles at Thompson.
Race: #8 of 14 overall
Race Date: Saturday, July 8, 8:15 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .625-mile banked asphalt oval
Race Length: 100 laps (65.5 miles)
2016 Winner: N/A
2016 Pole Sitter: N/A
1-lap Qualifying Record: Martin Truex Jr., 111.386 mph/20.200 sec (July 2002).
100-lap Race Record: Bobby Dragon, 91.389 mph (July 1988).
Category Leaders at Thompson:
1. Ricky Craven … 3
2. Mike Stefanik … 3
3. Bobby Dragon … 2
4. Brad Leighton … 2
5. Jerry Marquis … 2
Several others … 1
1. Sean Caisse … 3
2. Tom Carey Jr. … 2
3. Kelly Moore … 2
4. Martin Truex … 2
5. Martin Truex Jr. … 2
Several others … 1
Selected Driver Highlights:
Hunter Baize (No. 13 U.S. Forensic Toyota)
• Sits fourth in the current series standings with one top five and five top-10 finishes in seven races to date.
• One of only four drivers to post at least five top-10 finishes this season.
• Finished fourth at Bristol for his best career finish and first top five since Iowa last season.
• Has never competed at Thompson.
Doug Coby (No. 43 Dunleavy Truck & Repairs/Mayhew Tools/A&J Romano Construction Toyota)
• Four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion is making his first career series start.
• Has five career wins at Thompson in a Modified.
• Will honor 1991 Thompson winner Mike McLaughlin as part of the throwback event.
Harrison Burton (No. 12 DEX Imaging Toyota)
• Holds the K&N Pro Series East points lead with six top fives and seven top 10s in six races this season.
• Won at Bristol for his first career K&N Pro Series win.
• Won at Memphis for his third win in a four-race stretch.
• Is the only driver to finish in the top five six times this season and one of only two drivers to finish in the top 10 in all seven races.
• Has never competed at Thompson.
Chase Cabre (No. 6 Max Siegel Inc. Toyota)
• Sits fifth in the overall standings with three top fives and four top 10s in six races this season.
• Posted a career-best finish of second at Memphis.
• Won the pole for both legs of the Twin 100s at South Boston on May 6, his first two career series poles.
• Finished third in the most recent race at Berlin for his third straight top five.
• Will honor 1987 Stafford Motor Speedway winner Tommy Houston as part of the throwback event.
Ruben Garcia Jr. (No. 03 Max Siegel Inc. Toyota)
• Finished a career-best second at Bristol.
• Sits seventh in the overall standings with two top fives and four top 10s in seven races this season overall.
• Was the 2015 NASCAR Peak Mexico Series champion with four wins, 15 top fives and 41 top 10s in 61 career starts in that series.
• Will honor Rogelio Lopez, the Mexican driver who won at Nashville in 2007, as part of the throwback event.
Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Is the reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, having scored six wins, 11 top fives and 13 top 10s in 14 races in 2016.
• Became the youngest champion in NASCAR touring series history at 16 years, five months, and joined his grandfather Butch Gilliland as a K&N West champion (1997).
• Won four of the first five K&N Pro Series West races this season, including a sweep of Twin 100s at Irwindale on March 25, to give him 12 career K&N Pro Series wins.
• Won the most recent race at Berlin for his first win of the season in the East.
• One of only two drivers to finish in the top 10 in all seven races this season, he sits second in the current K&N East standings with four top fives and seven top 10s through seven races.
• Will honor Stub Fadden, who made more than 200 career starts in the series, as part of the throwback event.
Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet)
• Making his first series start since Bristol as part of a part-time schedule.
• Won at Thompson in 2005, the only driver entered this weekend with a K&N Pro Series win at the track.
• In nine career starts at Thompson, MacDonald has one win, three top 10s and five qualifying efforts inside the top 10.
• Has seven career series wins, most recently at Bristol in 2014.
• Will honor four-time series champion Andy Santerre as part of the throwback event.
Ryan Preece (No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet)
• Making his fourth career series start and first since Loudon last season.
• 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion has two career Modified wins at Thompson, including in their most recent event on June 14 at the track.
• Has five career poles and 25 top 10s in 38 career Modified starts at Thompson.
Chase Purdy (No. 17 Bama Buggies / Textron Off-Road Toyota)
• Is third in the current standings with two top fives and three top 10s through seven races.
• Finished a career-high second in the first of two 100-lap events at South Boston and matched that last weekend at Berlin.
• Won his second consecutive pole at Berlin, giving him four straight starts on the front row entering the race at Thompson.
• Is the highest-ranking rookie in the K&N Pro Series East after seven races.
• Will honor Dale Shaw, the 1994 series champion, as part of the throwback event.
Up To Speed:
• The 2017 season is the 31st for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
• The 2017 schedule features 14 races at 13 different tracks across the United States.
• Ronnie Bassett Jr. earned his first career win in the season opener at New Smyrna.
• Point leader Harrison Burton earned his first career win at Bristol and became the series first three-time winner this season with a victory at Memphis.
• Todd Gilliland won the most recent event at Berlin for his first win of the season.