Drake Looks to Maintain Momentum

Nick Drake

"When we tested there (Bowman Gray), it went fairly well. I think if we can just stay out of trouble, we’ll be right up there at the end.”

Coming off back-to-back career-best finishes, Nick Drake will look to keep his momentum rolling as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East heads to Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150 on Saturday.

Drake, a Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender who wheels the No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing, will be getting his first experience in series action on the flat bullring.

“When we tested there, it went fairly well,” Drake said. “I think if we can just stay out of trouble, we’ll be right up there at the end.”

The 18-year-old from Mooresville, N.C., won his first career series pole and finished third at Richmond International Raceway in April. He followed that up with a runner-up finish at Iowa Speedway earlier this month.

While Drake has shined on the bigger tracks, only one of his top five finishes this year came on a track of a half mile or less in size.

“The short track stuff, we sort of struggled with at the beginning of the year, except for Daytona,” he said.

Drake is second in rookie points and fifth in the overall championship standings for the K&N East. He has three top-five finishes in six series starts this season. In addition, he competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season opener at Phoenix International Raceway – where he finished third.

Drake made the move this year to stock cars from open-wheel sprint car racing.

“It’s been a big transition, but I think I’ve adapted to it pretty quick,” he said. “We’ve had some success.”

Two of the biggest differences are the heavier weight of the stock cars and racing on asphalt tracks.

“It’s been difficult,” Drake said. “There are a lot of differences and not too many similarities. I feel like the horsepower part of it, I was accustomed to – with the open wheel cars having a lot of horsepower. The stock car deal, the cars are so much heavier and they’re on asphalt, as opposed to dirt.”

Other than competing as a youngster in Quarter Midgets on asphalt, the majority of Drake’s racing experience, especially the past three years, has been racing on dirt tracks.  

Related Topics:

KN Pro Series East

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