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K&N West Stat Advance: Kern & Irwindale

Analyzing the NAPA Auto Parts 150 & NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s
Travis Barrett, Special to NASCARHomeTracks.com
March 21, 2017 - 12:32pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will hold three races in three days with the NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, on Thursday, March 23, and the NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California, on Saturday, March 25. Below is a look at the three events and some of the selected participants.

NAPA Auto Parts 150 Race Setup: 
• For the sixth time in history, Kern will host the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West after opening in 2013.
• Chris Eggleston of Erie, Colorado, holds the series point lead after winning the season-opening event last week in Tucson over Bill McAnally Racing teammate Todd Gilliland.
• Gilliland won the race at Kern from the pole last season.
• If Eggleston can win the NAPA Auto Parts 150, he will be halfway to winning the $100,000 NAPA 500 Challenge Series.

NAPA Auto Parts Twin 100s Race Setup: 
• The K&N Pro Series West will hold two 100-lap events at Irwindale, with each standing as a separate points-paying event.
• Todd Gilliland won the only race at Irwindale in 2016, the season opener, to become the sixth different winner at the track over the last six races there.
• The races are the final two races in the NAPA 500 Challenge Series, which promises a $100,000 bonus to the driver who can win all four races to begin the season.

At Kern County Raceway Park:
History:
• Kern County opened in 2013 with a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event.
• The track has held one K&N West race each year since its opening, with the lone exception being the 2014 season when it held two races.
• Greg Pursley is the only repeat winner at Kern.

At Irwindale Speedway:
History:
• Irwindale Speedway opened in March 1999 and has capacity for 6,500 spectators.
• The facility is in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California and is just 25 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.
• There are multiple racing configurations available with half-mile and third-mile ovals along with a 1/8-mile drag strip.
• The half-mile track was home to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, a special non-points event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, from 2003-11.

Kern & Irwindale Notebook:
• This is the series’ sixth event at Kern and the 25th race in its history at Irwindale.
• Four different drivers have won at Kern, with Greg Pursley winning twice.
• Fourteen different drivers have won at Irwindale, led by Austin Cameron with five wins.
• Four different drivers have won the pole at Kern, led by Pursley’s two, and three times the race has been won from the pole.
• Fifteen different drivers, led by Jason Bowles with three, have won the pole at Irwindale.
• Nine different drivers, led by Butch Gilliland with five, have earned the pole award at Irwindale.

Kern Data:
Race: #2 of 14 overall
Race Date: Thursday, March 23, 7:45 p.m. PT
Air date: Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Track Layout: .500-mile banked asphalt oval
Banking/Corners: Progressive, between 12-14 degrees
Banking/Straights: 8 degrees
Race Length: 150 laps (75 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data:
2016 Winner: Todd Gilliland
2016 Pole Sitter: Todd Gilliland
1-lap Qualifying Record: Gray Gaulding, 17.908 seconds, 100.514 mph, Oct. 26, 2013.
150-lap Race Record: Greg Pursley, 1 hour 10 minutes 46 seconds, 63.589 mph, Oct. 26, 2013.

Category Leaders at Kern:
Wins
Greg Pursley. … 2
Dylan Lupton … 1
Dalton Sargeant … 1
Todd Gilliland ... 1

Poles
Greg Pursley … 2
Gray Gaulding … 1
Dalton Sargeant … 1
Todd Gilliland … 1

Laps Completed
David Mayhew … 764
John Wood … 494
James Bickford … 465
Johnny Borneman III … 460
Dylan Lupton … 455
Greg Pursley … 455

Laps Led
Greg Pursley … 338
David Mayhew … 146
Dalton Sargeant … 75
Gray Gaulding … 59
Todd Gilliland … 54
Ryan Partridge … 45
Jesse Little … 26
Johnny Borneman III … 20

Irwindale Data:
Race: #3 and #4 of 14 overall
Race Date: Saturday, March 25, 7 p.m. PT
Air date: Saturday, April 1 at 7 p.m. & 8 p.m. ET/4 p.m. & 5 p.m. PT
Track Layout: .500-mile banked asphalt oval
Banking/Corners: Progressive, between 6-12 degrees
Race Length: 100 laps (50 miles)/100 laps (50 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data:
2016 Winner: Todd Gilliland
2016 Pole Sitter: Todd Gilliland
1-lap Qualifying Record: Butch Gilliland, 17.871 seconds, 100.722 mph, June 19, 1999.
100-lap Race Record: N/A

Category Leaders at Irwindale:
Wins
Austin Cameron … 5
Jason Bowles … 3
Brendan Gaughan … 3
Bobby Dotter … 2
Steven Portenga … 2
Nine different drivers … 1

Poles
Jason Bowles … 3
Austin Cameron … 2
Mike Duncan … 2
Eric Holmes … 2
Scott Lynch … 2
Greg Pursley … 2
Sean Woodside … 2
Nine different drivers … 1

Laps Completed
Johnny Borneman … 3,353
Brett Thompson … 3,108
Austin Cameron … 2,922
Steve Portenga … 2,759
Scott Gaylord … 2,712
Jack Sellers … 2,590

Laps Led
Brendan Gaughan … 674
Jason Bowles … 406
Austin Cameron … 404
Steve Portenga … 257
Scott Lynch … 206
Greg Pursley … 206

Selected Driver Highlights:
Garret Archer (No. 27 Recruit 4 Business Ford)
• Finished a career-best third in the season opener at Tucson.
• Has made only two career K&N West starts and has never competed at Kern or Irwindale.

Nicole Behar (No. 33 Custom Welding & Fabrication Toyota)
• Finished 10th in the season opener at Tucson last week.
• Posted a career best finish of second at Irwindale in 2015.
• Finished 21st in only career attempt at Kern.

Chris Eggleston (No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota)
• Has six career K&N West wins with 20 top fives and 23 top 10s in 32 career starts.
• Was the 2015 series champion as a rookie for Bill McAnally Racing.
• Won the season opener at Tucson after leading a race-high 80 laps.
• Has finished fifth in each of his two career starts at Kern, where he’s never started worse than third.
• Has one career win at Irwindale in two starts, having finished third at the track last year.

Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Won six of 14 races last season with 11 top fives and 13 top 10s en route to the K&N West championship, becoming 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).
• Finished second in the season opener at Tucson.
• Won the pole and the race last season in his only career start at Kern.
• Also won the pole and the race last season in his only career start at Irwindale.
• Plans to run both the K&N West and K&N East schedules in 2017.

Julia Landauer (No. 6 Lucas Oil/Eibach/Sunrise Ford)
• Finished fourth in the final standings last season to become the highest finishing female driver in K&N West history.
• Finished 12th in the season opener at Tucson.
• Finished 10th last season at Kern in her only career start at the track.
• Finished eighth at Irwindale in 2016 in her debut at the track.

Derek Kraus (No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota)
• Made his his K&N Pro Series debut with the East at New Smyrna and finished third, following that effort with a sixth-place finish in the West season opener at Tucson.
• Has never competed at either Kern or Irwindale.

Will Rodgers (No. 7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford)
• Competed in six races a year ago and will run for K&N West Rookie of the Year this season.
• Finished a career-best sixth in the season opener at Tucson.
• Has never competed at either Kern or Irwindale.

Up To Speed:
• The 2017 season is the 64th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
• The 2017 schedule features 14 races at 12 different tracks across the United States.
• Third-generation driver Todd Gilliland won the season opener last year at Irwindale Speedway, the first of two straight wins to open the year.
• This marks the first year that Irwindale will host two, separate events on the same night for the K&N Pro Series West.