The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will conclude their 2018 season on Saturday night Kern County Raceway Park in California. Derek Thorn enters the final race of the season up by 26 points on Cole Rouse, as he looks to lock up his second K&N Pro Series championship driving for Bob Bruncati.
Derek Thorn’s path to his next championship trophy rolls into his home state for the finale.
The Lakeport, California, driver opened his season with a second-place finish at Kern — a run that would be more than enough to clinch the title Saturday. After four years off from full-time competition, Thorn has compiled two victories and top-10 finishes in all of the races this season — a year that is just 175 laps from him celebrating championship glory.
Derek Thorn will win the title by finishing 21st or better, 22nd or better with a lap led, or 23rd of better with most laps led, regardless of what Cole Rouse and Ryan Partridge do.
Rouse is coming off his first career win at All American Speedway last time out. He finished third at Kern in March, and has finishes of second or better in four of his last five races.
Partridge, who is teammates with Thorn at Bob Bruncati Racing, does have a best finish of second at the .375-mile track.
Derek Kraus is starting to look like the modern master of Kern. The Stratford, Wisconsin, driver is has three career starts at Kern, and has finished inside the top two in all of them — winning the last two times on the track. In March, Kraus led just 17 laps, but pulled away from Thorn in the final stages.
With nine different winners in the first 13 races, the only drivers to repeat as winners are Thorn, Kraus and Kody Vanderwall.
NAPA Auto Parts 175 presented by West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame
|PLACE||Kern County Raceway Park, Bakersfield, California|
|DATE||Saturday, October 27|
|TIME||8:30 p.m. (approx.)|
|TELEVISION||NBCSN, Thursday, November 1, 6 p.m.|
|TRACK LAYOUT||Half-mile paved oval|
|2017 WINNER||Derek Kraus|
|2017 POLE||Todd Gilliland|
|EVENT SCHEDULE||Saturday: Garage Opens: 10:30 a.m., Practice: 1-1:45 p.m., Final Practice: 2:45-3:30 p.m., Qualifying: 6 p.m., NAPA Auto Parts 175 presented by West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame: 8:30 p.m.|
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The maximum starting field for the NAPA Auto Parts 175 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is 26 starters, including provisional positions. The first 22 drivers will secure starting positions based on the qualifying session. The remaining four positions will be determined through the provisional process.
NASCAR group qualifying is in place for this event. Qualifying order will be determined by each vehicle’s single lap from the official practice session(s). The number of groups will be determined by NASCAR. Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the single fastest lap speed of each vehicle will determine starting positions 1st through 22nd. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on a vehicle after the vehicle enters the track to begin the qualifying session. Vehicles may not return to the track or make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. If a vehicle returns to pit road, the vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete. Once an attempt is complete, the vehicle must proceed directly to the designated impound area once it enters pit road. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying and must qualify on their race set up.
The NAPA Auto Parts 175 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame is to be run in three (3) segments. The five (5) minute breaks will occur at or near the conclusion of laps 63 and 125. Once the yellow flag is displayed at the start/finish line, the caution vehicle will pick up the field. Once pit road is open, vehicle’s electing to pit may enter pit road. No work is to be performed until authorized by NASCAR Officials. A maximum of four (4) uniformed crew members will be allowed in the vehicle servicing area. At the three (3) minute mark, start moving your vehicle onto the track behind the caution vehicle. At the five (5) minute mark, any vehicle that is not on the track may be assessed a penalty. At the end of the breaks, vehicles will line up with lead lap vehicles to the front. Lead lap vehicles that elected to pit will line up behind the lead lap vehicles that elected not to pit in the order of running. Lap down vehicles that elected to pit will line up behind the lap down vehicles that elected not to pit in the order of running. Fuel may only be added during the breaks.
The NAPA Auto Parts 175 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame will be 175 laps (87.5 miles).
The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) tires for practice, four (4) tires for qualifying an additional two (2) tires for use during the race for a total of ten (10) tires.
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Redemption was sweet for @jeremydoss75 at The Bullring on Saturday night, when he won the $15,000 Open Comp at the Senator’s Cup Fall Classic! Kyle Keller also locked up the Jr. Late Models season title. Recap & results: https://t.co/Cq7gqYFsks pic.twitter.com/I2VkAlxIdA
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— Speed51.com – PFC Brakes News Feed (@speed51dotcom) October 21, 2018