K&N West Race Preview: Colorado

Chris Eggleston

Chris Eggleston hopes a return home will help him continue building momentum in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Chris Eggleston hopes a return home will help him continue building momentum in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The series heads to Colorado National Speedway in Dacono, Colorado, on Saturday, June 10 for the NAPA/Toyota 150.

The 2015 series champion chipped into his points deficit at California’s Orange Show Speedway in the series’ most recent event, earning his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season en route to the victory, putting him within 11 points of the K&N Pro Series West points leader and Bill McAnally Racing teammate Todd Gilliland. Eggleston’s victory was his second of the season — but it was his first since the season opener at Arizona's Tucson Raceway — and it snapped Gilliland’s dominant run of four straight wins.

Eggleston, who is from Erie, Colorado, just eight miles down the road from the .375-mile oval, returns to his home track where he’s a multi-time Legends track champion and a multi-time Super Late Model feature winner. His first two career NASCAR K&N Pro Series starts came at Colorado National Speedway, the second of which he won after qualifying third in 2014.

In his four career starts at Colorado National, Eggleston has two wins, three top fives and an average finishing position of fourth. As the series hits the halfway mark of the season, Eggleston finds himself in prime position to inch closer to a second K&N Pro Series West title.

Fast Facts

The Race: The NAPA/Toyota 150 will be the seventh of 14 races on the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 22 cars, including provisionals. The first 18 cars will secure starting positions based on the group qualifying process. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps covering 56.25 miles.

The Track: A .375-mile asphalt oval, the track features four degrees of banking on the straights and progressive banking of six to 12 degrees in the corners.

Race Winners: There have been 11 different winners in the 14 previous K&N Pro Series West races held at Colorado National. Mike Duncan, Eric Holmes and Chris Eggleston each have two wins at the track.

Race Notes

Looking To Rebound: Most teams in the garage would be happy to qualify fourth and finish sixth after leading a handful of laps, taking their finish and looking to build on it.

But for point leader and defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Todd Gilliland, that exact effort at California’s Orange Show Speedway marked the worst outing of the year for the 17-year-old Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, driver — snapping an historic four-race winning streak.

In fact, the sixth-place finish was Gilliland’s worst since finishing eighth in the 2016 season finale. Fear not Gilliland fans, by finishing sixth, Gilliland extended his streak of top-10 finishes to 14 straight dating back to a 24th-place finish nearly one full year ago at Sonoma.

With four wins, five top fives and six top 10s in six races this season — including the first five poles of the year — Gilliland still leads Eggleston by 11 points atop the series standings with eight races remaining.

Up Front: Qualifying has been key over the course of history at Colorado National Speedway. Eleven consecutive winners have come from inside the top three on the starting grid.

In 12 of the 14 K&N Pro Series West races in history at the track, the winner started inside the top three. Four winners came from the pole position, while five event winners started on the outside of the front row.

No driver has started worse than 14th — Steve Portenga in 2001 — and gone on to win at Colorado National Speedway. Mike Chase won the inaugural series race at the track in 1995 from the ninth starting position.

Self Taught: For the first time this season, Michael Self finds himself inside the top 10 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West standings.

Self, who missed the first race of the season, finished eighth at Orange Show for his fifth straight top-10 finish. The Park City, Utah, driver has six career wins and finished a career-high of fourth in the 2013 standings.

In four career starts at Colorado, Self has three top 10s and a best finish of fourth in 2012.

Quiet Charge: Nicole Behar has been quietly stringing together an impressive return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

After running only a handful of races last season, Behar’s family-owned team has five top 10s through six races this season and ranks fourth in the overall standings. Only Gilliland and Eggleston, the top two drivers in the standings, have more top 10s than Behar this season.

Behar, of Spokane, Washington, opened the year with five straight top 10s, including a season-best finish of fourth at Irwindale, and was running inside the top 10 again before a crash ended her night early in the most recent run at Orange Show.

In her only career start at Colorado, Behar finished ninth.

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Each Wednesday at 4 p.m. (ET), hosts Kyle Rickey and Buddy Long give you all the news, race results and highlights from NASCAR Modified and K&N Pro Series East and West races from all over the country along with interviews with race winners and news makers.

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