KNPSW: Eggleston Scores Home Track Victory; Colorado National Driver Captures First K&N Pro West Checkered

RaceChaser Staff Featured, NASCAR, West 0 Comments

DACONO, Colo. — By John Tejada, NASCAR — Sarah Glenn/Getty Images for NASCAR photo — Chris Eggleston used knowledge of his home track to his advantage against the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West regulars.

Making just his second career series start, Eggleston’s No. 99 NAPA Filters/H20 Toyota led a race-high 107 laps and held off the top championship contenders in the NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150 from Colorado National Speedway on Saturday en route to his first series victory.

“It’s awesome,” said Eggleston. “What better way to go off with a bang – with a win here at Colorado National Speedway.”

Dylan Lupton made a late charge following a Lap 139 caution but couldn’t overtake Eggleston. He finished .434-seconds back for his fifth top five of the season and second runner-up finish. Lupton was followed by teammate James Bickford, championship points leader Greg Pursley and Brandon McReynolds.

Eggleston made his first K&N Pro Series West start at this event in 2011 and finished 11th. He also has a half dozen NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts to his resume.

The 25-year-old driver from nearby Erie, Colorado, has recorded about a dozen Super Late Model wins in the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I, and won the track’s Legends Division championship last year.

“The whole Bill McAnally Racing team gave me a great car for tonight’s 150,” Eggleston said. “It was just stellar. We struggled a little bit in practice on the short runs, but I tell you what, this car was just phenomenal on the long runs.

“I got a little nervous there at the end. We started using that right rear pretty bad. But we had just enough to beat the Sunrise Ford teams.”

Said Lupton: “It was a great race. On restarts, we passed cars one by one and ended up getting into second place on that last restart. We just didn’t have enough to get first. … I’m getting kind of frustrated with these second places, which sounds ridiculous. But these Sunrise Ford guys are giving me great race cars every week. So the win will come.”

“It was just trying to bounce back from a sixth-place qualifying,” said Bickford, who won two weeks ago at State Line Speedway in Idaho. “As the race went on and people wore out their cars, we moved up.”

Exiting the car in Victory Lane, Eggleston climbed the front stretch fence to celebrate with the hometown fans. It was the first time he’d done that since he won the track’s Legends championship for the first time in 2006.

“No other win came close to that championship as this win tonight,” Eggleston said. “Just a perfect night.”

Eggleston became the third driver to record their first NASCAR K&N Pro Series win this season, following Patrick Staropoli and Bickford. Staropoli also drove the No. 99 Bill McAnally Racing ride to Victory Lane, at Irwindale, California, in March.

Coors Light Pole Award winner David Mayhew led early in the event, but was overtaken by McReynolds on Lap 22. He would continue to contend for the lead until an accident with a lapped car on Lap 81 forced him to pit road. Mayhew would return to the track just before Lap 100, finishing the event in the 14th position.

McReynolds led seven laps before giving way to Pursley. Eggleston, who qualified third, took the lead for the first time on Lap 41. Unlike Mayhew, who selected the inside lane for the restarts, Eggleston chose outside. It worked as he was able to launch his car off Turn 2 and pull into the lead a couple laps into the green-flag runs.

“I’m going to say that’s probably where the home town advantage came into play,” Eggleston said. “I usually know how this track races as it progresses. I was surprised he chose the bottom. The bottom is definitely pretty good on where you want to qualify and such. But it just eats up your tires so bad in (Turns) 1 and 2. Especially getting off 2 with how rough and bumpy it is.

“So I knew when he gave me the outside, we could roll the top pretty good and conserve our tires pretty  good. We were better on the bottom in (Turns) 3 and 4. I moved around a little bit to try to find the right speed.”

Thomas Martin was sixth, followed by Brett Thompson, Bill Kann, John Wood and Jairo Avila.

Lupton was able to shave a couple points off Pursley’s lead, which is now 25 after eight of 14 races. McReynolds is third in points, followed by Mayhew and Bickford.

The NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, Aug. 3, at 9 a.m. ET.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West next heads to Iowa Speedway for the second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race of the season. The Autolite Iridium XP 150 is set for Friday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. CT.

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