MONROE, Wash. — Round nine of the K&N Pro Series West season belonged to driver number nine, as the Pacific Northwest played host for the 59th race in series history at Evergreen Speedway.
A driver earned his second career win in dominant fashion, a handful of drivers came up just short, and a local driver making his series debut impressed.
Here is everything we learned from the NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Evergreen Speedway.
Huddleston Hustles To Win No. 2
Leading 85 laps from the front row, it was made clear quickly that Trevor Huddleston was the class of the field.
Despite it being extremely tough to pass around the 0.625-mile oval, Huddleston made it look easy, stalking the leader on multiple occasions before pouncing. Once he got by, he opened up his lead with ease and wound up winning by almost eight full seconds.
"The car unloaded pretty quick, the guys at the shop were on top of it, and the guys at the track were on top of it even more because we just kept making the thing better and it showed out there," Huddleston said.
The Agoura Hills, California, native has had a quietly impressive season. Four top fives and an average finish of 5.7 in nine races, including two wins in his second full-time season for Sunrise Ford.
The Evergreen triumph, the second consecutive year Sunrise Ford earned the checkered flag in Washington state, gives driver of the No. 9 Lucas Oil/Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs Ford a much-needed momentum-jolt heading into this weekend’s K&N Pro Series combination event at Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
"Huge, huge, huge momentum," he said. "This is one of the bigger tracks, I guess you could say, going to Gateway where that track is even bigger, I think it gives us that push and momentum we need. The car is in a lot better shape than it was after the Irwindale race, which is good because we need it for Gateway. I’m really looking forward to next week. I’m excited we don’t have to wait too long to race these cars again."
Close But No Cigar For BMR
Derek Kraus and Kennewick, Washington’s Brittney Zamora sat on the podium for Bill McAnally Racing, but came up a little short of earning the victory.
"That was probably one of the tightest race cars I’ve ever had in my life," Kraus said following his first runner-up finish of the season. "It was good though, got a good finish out of it. Can’t thank all these BMR guys enough, they work really hard on these cars all week. Just got to be consistent with this West coast."
After missing the K&N East race at Bristol, the Stratford, Wisconsin, native is now out of the running for that championship. Team owner Bill McAnally ultimately made the decision to focus on the K&N West title chase, which Kraus now leads by 18.
"We’ll do the best we can to keep the points lead, stay consistent and be there at the end of the year," he said. "We gotta keep our points lead, keep leading laps, finishing top three and I think we’ll be fine."
After leading 45 laps from the pole, Brittney Zamora was all smiles as she tied her career-best finish of third, coming at her home track. Given the bad luck she’s experienced in recent weeks, a feel good run in front of her home fans was just what the doctor ordered.
"Getting the pole and coming out with a podium, you really don’t have too much to complain about … besides two more positions," Zamora said with a laugh. "But we’re definitely moving in the right direction. Having these struggles that come with racing, mechanical issue happen. You’ve gotta have all the parts play in your favor on race day, but we’re getting there."
Not Bad For A Debut
Odds are, unless you live in Monroe, you may not know who Trenton Moriarity was coming into Saturday’s race.
But everybody was a witness to the 2017 track and Washington state champion’s talent at Evergreen, as he wheeled the No. 7 Brock Rentals Inc. Ford to a fourth-place finish in his first career series start.
"I think we had a top two or three car," he said. "We didn’t have anything for the No. 9 (Huddleston) car, he was in his own zip code out there this weekend. That No. 99 (Zamora), I don’t know, every time we had a restart we’d get stuck behind her and she wouldn’t go. That was kind of frustrating. We lost a lot of positions in the first segment, ended up having to work our way through the field. Jeff and Jason Jefferson gave me a great Ford Fusion. I’ll take a fourth for my first time."
As for the future with newly formed Jefferson Racing, it may have Moriarity in a car sooner rather than later.
"We’re going to try and go to Meridian," he said. "We got out hopes up and now we know we can race with these top guys."
2019 K&N Pro Series West Standings
- Jagger Jones finished fifth for the fifth time this season. His last four finishes of 12th, second, 11th and fifth have been rather inconsistent for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender.
- Hailie Deegan finished seventh, her seventh top 10 of the season. She scored top 10 finishes in both races at Bristol and Evergreen, doing double duty on both coasts.
- Todd Souza finished sixth, his fifth top 10 of the season. Devin Dodson finished eighth in his 2019 series debut for newly formed JP Racing.
- Takuma Koga, who had his family from from Japan to see him race, blew an engine on Lap 11 and was forced to retire from the race.
#KNWEST 9-year series veteran Takuma Koga brings his family, from Japan, to 1?? race every season. ?
This weekend is THAT race. ?
— #MyTrackMyRoots (@NASCARHomeTrack) August 18, 2019