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K&N Pro West News & Notes: Tucson

Gilliland Looks To Keep Streak Alive Out West
By Brooke Franceschini, NASCAR
May 3, 2016 - 12:24pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Todd Gilliland will try to make it 3-for-3 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Saturday at Arizona’s Tucson Speedway for the NAPA Auto Parts WildCat 150.

The 15-year-old kicked off his rookie campaign with back-to-back wins at California’s Irwindale Speedway and Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, and sit at the top of the series standings with 95 points. 

Gilliland's run for history ended at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway when he finished ninth. He entered the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race attempting to set the record with five consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series victories to start his career. 

A win out West won’t come easy to Gilliland as Jefferson Pitts Racing will look to capitalize on their success at the .375-mile oval last season and collect their first win of the season. Last year, Noah Gragson earned his first career series victory in a wild green-white checkered finish with Gracin Raz finishing second.

Ryan Partridge, who sits nine points behind Gilliland in the standings for second, could also be a threat to the Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader. Partridge, who has a pair of runner-up finishes this year, was fourth at the Arizona oval last season.

RACE: NAPA Auto Parts Wildcat 150
DATE: Saturday, May 7
TIME: 8:30 p.m. PT
TV SCHEDULE NBCSN, Thursday, May 12 at 6 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .375-mile paved oval
2015 WINNER: Noah Gragson
2015 POLE SITTER: Ron Norman
EVENT SCHEDULE: Garage opens: 10 a.m.; Practice: 1-1:45 p.m.; Final Practice: 2:15-2:55 p.m.; Driver/Crew Chief Meeting: 4:45 p.m.; Qualifying: 5:30 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 6:15 p.m.; Driver Introductions: 8 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts Wildcat 150: 8:30 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Tim Rominger, (520) 248-0582, tim@tucsonspeedway.com
TRACK TWITTER: @TucsonSpeedway
EVENT HASHTAG: #Wildcat150
NASCAR IMC CONTACT: Brooke Franceschini, (386) 631-6142, bfranceschini@nascar.com

RACE CENTRAL LIVE: EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST

FAST FACTS:

The Race: The NAPA Auto Parts WildCat 150 is the third race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season. It is the third of 11 oval track events and 14 races overall on the schedule. This is the series’ second visit to the track since March 10, 2001.

The Procedure: The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials will the remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps covering 56.25 miles.

The Track: Tucson Speedway was known as Tucson Raceway Park until 1993 and was named Raven Speedway from 1968-93. The track was built in 1968 and originally has a clay surface. The track was closed in 2010 and was re-opened in 2013. Tucson re-joined the NACAR Whelen All-American Series in 2014.

The Records: The one-lap qualifying record was set by Ron Norman on May 2, 2015 at 15.794 seconds (85.475 mph). The 150 lap race record was established by Noah Gragson at 1 hour and 5 seconds (58.419 mph) on May 2, 2015.

NAPA AUTO PARTS WILDCAT 150 NOTES:
Norman and Levin Return Home: Hometown team Norman Levin Racing will return to their neighborhood track Saturday. Norman, who won the pole at Tucson last year, is the 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Arizona champion. He won his ninth Super Late Model Title at Tucson in 2014 – his fourth under the NASCAR banner – en route to the state title. Levin, finished second in the Super Late Model class in 2014 and third overall in Arizona. Levin and Norman raced in the K&N Pro Series West full-time last year and finished 11th and 12th, respectively, in last year’s NAPA Auto Parts WildCat 150.

Smith Making Debut:
Stafford Smith will be making his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut Saturday at Tucson. The Eagle, Idaho, teen races at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway and currently is eighth in the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modifieds division. 

K&N West Make Second Trip to Tucson:
This weekend will mark the NASCAR K&N West’s second trip to Tucson since March 10, 2001. Prior to last year’s return, the track had undergone major renovations with the most recent remodel occurring in 2013 by new owners John Lashley and Brad Cornelious. Since 2012, over two-miles of cracked asphalt was torn out and the surface was repaved and resealed. 

Home Tracks: Local Racing to Prelude K&N West Race
Saturday night feature a jammed packed racing schedule. Prior to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, three local divisions will continue their fight for their respective titles. Keith Lopez leads the Modifieds Division with 64 points, only six points ahead of Denny Arcas. Brandon Farrington will look to extend his points lead, he has a 28 point lead over Jeremy Smith (243-215). The Mini Stock Division will also hit the track. Tim Blodgett and EK Ongley are tied with 61 points and will look to break the tie Saturday night. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action will be broadcast on FansChoiceTV.