BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Ryan Partridge may not have a shot at winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship tonight, but he isn’t going to let that shy him away from chasing the final checkered flag of the season.
And, he wants to make it a clean sweep of celebrations for his car owner, Bob Bruncati. His teammate, Derek Thorn, will clinch the 2018 championship just by taking the green flag and Partridge will look to join him in celebration as the winner of the season-finale.
Partridge was the fastest car in both practice sessions for the NAPA Auto Parts 175 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame at Kern County Raceway Park on Saturday. He posted a lap of 18.515 seconds (97.218 mph) in the first session, and his circuit in the final practice was a time of 18.536 seconds. His best career finish at Kern is a second-place effort in 2016, but he will look to better that run.
Trevor Huddleston, who won the 2017 NASCAR California championship while racing at Kern, was second fastest. Huddleston used local experience to post a time of 18.565 seconds (96.957 mph) driving for Bob Bruncati — making it a clean sweep of the top two positions for the team.
Kody Vanderwal, who scored a pair of victories at Tucson Speedway earlier this season, was third. Vanderwal’s fast lap came in the first session, a time of 18.614 seconds. Thorn was fourth, while David Mayhew rounded out the top five.
RACING-REFERENCE: K&N Pro Series West Championship Standings
Derek Kraus, a winner at Kern in March, was sixth, followed by Hailie Deegan, Cole Rouse, Todd Souza and Matt Levin.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West returns to the track for qualifying at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday evening. The NAPA Auto Parts 175 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame will take the green flag at 8:30 p.m. PT.