Thursday, April 22, 2010

West Series Rewind

Race fans who enjoy the grassroots racing action of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in Thursday’s Jimmie Johnson Foundation 100 are accustomed to waiting a full year for the series to return to the Phoenix International Raceway oval. This year, they’ll get a double dose.

A longtime contributor to the history of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Phoenix International Raceway has secured the season finale and will host two races on the regional tour in 2010.

The new autumn race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Phoenix International Raceway will take place November 11, kicking off PIR’s traditional Semi-Final weekend in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“We are honored that the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West has chosen Phoenix International Raceway to host its prestigious season finale,” Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber said. “We are certain that our race fans will be just as excited as the competitors to conclude the season here in the Valley of the Sun.”

Two-time defending K&N Pro Series West Most Popular Driver of the Year Moses Smith resides in nearby Tempe, and drives the No. 16 HASA Pool Products Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing. Smith believes the extra race at Phoenix International Raceway is a benefit to many in the series.
“First of all, with it being my home track, it’s obviously awesome. It’s nice to run in front of the hometown crowd,” Smith said. “It’s great for my sponsor, HASA Pool Products. There are a lot of pools in Phoenix, so we get a good turnout from them. Just the fact that it’s in Phoenix is pretty darn cool.

“Everybody in the series looks forward to Phoenix, especially me. Our cars were meant to go on tracks that were a mile or longer, and PIR is even one of the favorite tracks for the Sprint Cup Series guys. For us to get to run twice here is awesome. We keep trying to get bigger, better, faster tracks, so this is a step in the right direction.”

Since Cale “Yarborough’s victor in the tracks first series race in 1977-an event that followed the drivers second Sprint Cup Series championship by one week- the K&N Pro Series West has competed 33 times at Phoenix International Raceway.

Of those events, 24 have taken place as standard races, with the remaining nine being combination events with the Sprint Cup Series between 1988 and 1996. Seven of the nine combination races, and eight others between 1977 and 1984, also acted as the seasons concluding race. Phoenix

International Raceway hosted two events in the series each year from 2003 to 2006.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West winners at Phoenix International Raceway include Richard Petty (three), Bobby Allison, and Ken Schrader, who leads all drivers with four victories in the series at the track. Current Sprint Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and David Gilliland are other past race champions in the Valley of the Sun. And, West Coast natives Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch are among the drivers to have traversed the noted feeder division on the way to Spring Cup Series success.

Phoenix International Raceway
Official Souvenir Program - Page 78
Photo by Terry Thomson

No comments: