Saturday, August 21, 2021

ARCA West 2021 At Irwindale: Race Preview

ARCA West 2021 At Irwindale: Race Preview

August 21, 2021 “NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Sunrise Ford at Irwindale Speedway” Irwindale, CA (150 laps/75 miles)

By Nascarvd Nascarvédé

#ARCA West 2021 At Irwindale: Race Preview


Here we are at the mid-season of the ARCA Menards West Series. And what could be better than returning to the magnificent half mile of Irwindale, CA. We were there not too long ago since it was July 3rd. A race won by the 2020 champion Jesse Love.



I'm not going to redo the presentation of the oval, just to point out that Bill McAnally Racing is increasing his lead even further in terms of victory since this figure is now 15 out of 29 races. Very very far ahead of Bruncati Racing (4) and Performance P-1 Motorsports (1).


This will therefore be the 30th race of the West Series on this oval since 1999.


Beautiful entry list made up of 20 drivers including a newcomer in the person of the Colombian Sebastian Arias. A very "international" list but I suggest you see all this in detail now.


#08 John Wood

Discreet, but so appreciated, return to Colorado for our veteran who led his Chevrolet to 12th position.v

This will be his 5th race at Irwindale, the first since 2016. His best result being a 16th position in 2014 and 2016. It will be his 86th start in the West Series. Mike Holleran will be the crew chief. A largely century-old duo (almost 118 years old!) If we add their respective ages!


#4 Eric Nascimento, Jr.

Bubba had a great race in Colorado getting 5th position. With his family team, he should be a strong candidate for the top 5 because he has shown that he knows how to use the excellent Toyota from Don Wood's Velocity Racing team. His crew chief will again be a Nascimento with Henry at the helm and no longer his father Mike.


#5 Sebastian Arias

The Bogota, Colombia native, he will make his West Series debut. But he will immediately have an excellent car as he will drive the #5 entered by BMR. Aged 21, he started karting at the age of 11. And then ... Not much to say about his career. A career, so far funded by his father, which he will really start at a high level here at Irwindale. He will have the opportunity to show his skills in two more races in Las Vegas and Phoenix. He hopes to be full-time in 2022. He will be the 84th driver to compete in a West race for BMR but the first to use the #5. Gary Collins will be the crew chief.


#6 Trevor Huddleston

Trevor knows this oval perfectly, he won his first career victory in 2019 and last year he finished 2nd behind Jesse Love. But he was only 6th this year. Before another disappointment in Colorado with a modest 10th position. To his defense, there were problems with engine cut-offs causing him to lose a lap that he will not be able to resume. Truly a difficult season for the experienced Bruncati Racing driver.


#7 Takuma Koga

Another driver to experience terrible bad luck this season. On paper, Takuma had to explode his stats with Jerry Pitts' #7. But the reality is quite different. Mechanical problem or accident… In July in Irwindale, he was hooked by Amber Balcaen. This means that his 10th position obtained in 2020 still remains his one and only top10 here despite 11 starts.


Like John Wood, this Saturday will be his 86th career start.


#8 Johnny Borneman, III

It's his oval! 12 top10s in 22 races. The most experienced of all the drivers entered, since it will be his 122nd start this Saturday, hopes so much to obtain his first victory on this oval. He finished 8th in July crossing the finish line epically as he climbed Todd Souza's car at the same time. Will there be a scent of revenge in the air? It's up to Tony Caputo, his crew chief, to find the right words to calm Johnny's ardor!


#9 Jake Drew

4th here in July, he got a 3rd position in Colorado. The rookie is in good shape and improving race after race. It does honor to Bob Bruncati, talent scout since 2004! He will be a serious contender for victory.


#13 Todd Souza

Until this year, Irwindale had never really succeeded in Todd with a mere 10th position as the best result in 7 races. But 2021 is an incredible season for him and he was able to transcend himself and get a 7th position in July after having made "buddy-buddy" with Johnny Borneman. In Colorado he finished 7th again. He's no longer the championship leader, but he remains in the title race. For a full time driver, he has the best position average at the start of the races with 4.0 and still has the 2nd best average at the finish with 6.8. Just behind Cole Moore (6.3). This will be his 93rd race in the West Series.


#16 Jesse Love

100% victory at Irwindale as in two races he has known nothing but the joys of Victory Lane. If the championship leader wins the race for the 3rd time in a row, he will join Brendan Gaughan, Jason Bowles and Todd Gilliland, the only other drivers to have achieved this performance at Irwindale.


#19 Amber Balcaen

The Canadian made her West Series debut here in July. A relatively disappointing race. If she had been able to keep a pace close to the top10, her accident on the 117th lap did not allow her to materialize. It's up to her to use her experience in the field to join the top10.


#27 Bobby Hillis, Jr.

It will be his 85th career start, 12th at Irwindale and surely his first top10 here! Finally, I hope I will bring him luck since the fluorescent yellow Chevrolet #27 will have nice VD stickers on its body! I invite you to read the interview with Bobby that I conducted and which is available on the website by clicking on the following link: the-ultimate-underdog /


#31 Paul Pedroncelli

He took a liking to it! It will be his 4th career race. After retiring due to a transmission problem in Colorado, he hopes to do as well as in July when he posted his career best result with an 11th place finish.


#33 Paul Pedroncelli, Jr.

The impressive start to the season came to a halt in July when P.J. retired due to engine failure. But in Colorado, he showed that his performances at Phoenix and Sonoma were no fluke as he got a new top10 with the 6th position. He hopes that his 4th attempt at Irwindale will finally be crowned with success.


#38 Hiroyuki Ueno

He learns and has fun at the same time. But Hiroyuki isn't ridiculous either. In addition, he shows us that he has the combative spirit of "never give up". Because despite an accident, he had returned to the track after long repairs in Colorado to cross the finish line.


#51 Dean Thompson

What happened in Colorado? Only 11th after a difficult end of the race. But it’s Dean’s time to return to the top of the rankings. In July, he took pole and finished 2nd behind Jesse Love. Still 4th in the championship, he's only 9 points behind the leader.


#54 Joey Iest

First victory in his pocket, obtained in Colorado, Joey finally seems to have rid himself of the bad luck that stuck to his skin in the West Series. A victory that will call others, I'm sure. And why not this Saturday? He had already performed very well in July by obtaining the 3rd position.


#77 Mariah Boudrieau

After a first race at home in Colorado, Mariah was able to find the budget to put her first experience in the West Series to good use and try to get her first top10. The PP1M team has already experienced victory here with Joe Bean on August 19th…. 2000. It's not yesterday, isn't it ? LOL. At the wheel of Toyota #77 Nick Joanides had obtained the 9th position in July. So we know what the car is worth.


#80 Brian Kaminsky

Brian has already done 3 races in the West Series between 2020 and this year. But all on road tracks. So seeing him registered for Irwindale is above all a surprise. It's impossible to know what the Californian will manage to do with a chassis that works well in the "road" configuration since it has already obtained two top10s ... But we do not know anything in the "short track" configuration.


#88 Bridget Burgess

The 9th position in Colorado made us forget her accident in July at Irwindale where her best result is still her 12th position obtained last year. But the Australian family aims to do much better this time around.


#99 Cole Moore

For his first race in West at Irwindale last July, Cole was able to finish 5th after a modest qualifying session (10th). He knows by heart this oval which he frequents in BMRDA races. Second in the championship just 2 points behind Jesse Love, the battle between the BMR drivers promises to be superb. Cole's ambition is nothing more and nothing less than getting his first victory this Saturday.


ARCA West 2021 At Irwindale: Race Preview


Now it's time for the show.


Have a good race!v

All results here:



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