Sunday, June 24, 2012

Home Sweet Home For Gilliland

California Driver Collects Second Career Sonoma Win
By Shon Sbarra, NASCAR
June 23, 2012 - 7:01pm

See video  

SONOMA, Calif. – David Gilliland used his experience on the road course at Sonoma to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Pick-n-Pull Racing To Stop Hunger 200 on Saturday.

It was a special win and weekend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular out of Riverside, Calif. On Thursday evening he introduced his father, Butch, who was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. On Saturday, he collected his second K&N Pro Series win at the twisting 1.99-mile track, to match the two wins his father had there.

“We really had a great car today,” said the driver of the No. 25 Pick-n-Pull Chevrolet. “Track position is so important here and we were able to win that today.”

Gilliland, who competed at Sonoma as a winning crew chief with his father, expressed his infinity for the track and the race.

1 David Gilliland
2 Derek Thorn
3 Greg Pursley
4 Jim Inglebright
5 Dylan Kwasniewski
“It’s an awesome race track for me,” Gilliland said. “I love it and love coming out here and racing. I’m originally from California. So I love coming out here and seeing my family and friends. It’s a very special race for me. It really means a lot for me to come out here and win and to have my dad and my family here.

“My dad has had a lot of success out here and I’ve had a lot of success our here as a crew chief and different things,” he said. “I got my career best (Sprint) Cup finish here; I finished second.”

Derek Thorn, in his first start at the track, followed Gilliland to a second-place finish while defending series champion Greg Pursley crossed the line in third. Jim Inglebright was fourth, followed by points leader Dylan Kwasniewski in the fifth position.

“I’ve never been here before,” Thorn said. “Working with the guys from the Sunrise Ford team, it was a consistent learning experience. As I made laps, I tried to make myself better. The car has always been underneath me. It’s just a matter of me catching up to it with the little amount of road-course experience I have.

“We had one final shot with Gilliland at the end,” Thorn said. “Following him helped me learn some stuff. With the experience he has, he was able to pull away from me a little bit. It was awesome to run up front like that. The whole combination of our team came together today. Second place, for this being my first time here, we’re ecstatic.”

Pursley, who won the pole in qualifying on Friday, led the first 23 laps before making his pit stop for fuel.

“We elected not to come in and pit on Lap 18,” he said. “It was a little too tight for us to go. The two front guys that got first and second did pit on that (caution). We elected not to. We were hoping it was going to go green flag, like it did the first half of the race and they would probably be in trouble if it did. But they got the cautions they needed.

“Track position is everything here and it put us back a little bit,” Pursley said. “We came out of here with third. It’s our best finish.”

Michael Self, Jonathon Gomez, Austin Cameron, David Mayhew and Cameron Hayley completed the top 10. Three-time series champion Eric Holmes led 13 laps, but his day ended early when smoke erupted from his car. He finished 23rd.

The race featured three lead changes among four drivers - Gilliland, Pursley, Mayhew and Holmes. The pace was slowed by four cautions for 14 laps.

In the championship standings, Pursley closed to within eight points of his teammate Kwasniewski - 345 to 337. Mayhew is third with 317, followed by Thorn at 307 and Holmes at 281. Rounding out the top 10 are Gomez at 274, Self at 268, Hayley at 268, Austin Dyne at 256 and Ryan Philpott at 229.
The Pick-N-Pull Racing To Stop Hunger 200 will air on SPEED on July 12 at 3 p.m. ET.

The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule is the NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Gene Price Motorsports at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., on July 14.


David Gilliland (No. 25) charges back into the lead on a late race restart.
(Getty Images for NASCAR)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pick-N-Pull Racing To Stop Hunger 200 Schedule

10 a.m. Registration opens
10:30 a.m. Haulers enter
12 p.m. Garage opens
6:30 a.m. Garage & Registration open
8:30 a.m. Practice
10 a.m. Final Practice
1:50 p.m. Qualifying
5 p.m. Garage & Registration close
9 a.m. Garage & Registration open
10:30 a.m. Driver/Crew Chief Meeting
12:45 p.m. NKNPS West Race 200K (64L)
All times PT (local zone)  Subject to change

David Gilliland Prepares
For K&N Pro Series West Race

Photo via twitter from @NASCARHomeTrack
Tweet:  @NASCARHomeTrack #NASCAR #KNWest practice discussions for @davidgilliland @RaceSonomat. co/dLyUYVCN

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Pick-N-Pull Racing to Stop Hunger 200

David Mayhew leads a pack of cars in NASCAR K&N Pro Series
West action at Sonoma last year.
(Getty Images for NASCAR)

Statistical Advance: Analyzing The Pick-n-Pull Racing To Stop Hunger 200 At Sonoma

By Kevin W. Green, NASCAR 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West visits the road course in Sonoma, Calif., on Saturday, June 23.

Sonoma Race Setup• Dylan Kwasniewski leads the championship standings over his Gene Price Motorsports teammate Greg Pursley, as the series hits the midway point of the 2012 season. Kwasniewski, a 17-year-old from Las Vegas, is in his sophomore season after having a record-setting season as a rookie.

• Drivers entered at Sonoma range in age from 15-year-old series rookie Cameron Hayley to 84-year-old Hershel McGriff, who won the series championship in 1986.

• This race is the third of four road course events on the series schedule this year. Drivers consider Sonoma, with more than 160 feet of elevation change, the “most technical” of the four road courses visited.

Sonoma DataRace: #8 of 15 (6/23/12)
Track Layout: 1.99-mile road course
Race Length: 64 laps (127.36 miles)

Records1-lap Qualifying: David Gilliland, 77.887 seconds, 91.979 mph, June 23, 2007
64-lap Race: Andrew Ranger, 1 hour 50 min 30 seconds, 67.595 mph, June 19, 2010

Series Race Winners at SonomaJim Insolo, 3
Hershel McGriff, 3
Bill Schmitt, 3
Jason Bowles, 2
Butch Gilliland, 2
(9 different drivers), 1
Jim Bown, Doug George, David Gilliland, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Andrew Ranger, Jim Robinson, Roy Smith, Brian Vickers.

Series Pole Winners at SonomaHershel McGriff, 3
Jim Bown, 2
Butch Gilliland, 2
Roy Smith, 2
Tim Williamson, 2
(11 different drivers), 1
Bob Bondurant, Jason Bowles, Brandon Davis, Scott Gaylord, David Gilliland, Eric Holmes, Ron Hornaday Jr., Patrick Long, Bill Sedgwick, Glen Steurer, Brian Vickers


 • Sonoma has hosted 22 series races since 1978. In addition, the series participated in nine combination events with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Northern California road course between 1989 and 1997.

• The Sonoma track, located in Northern California near the intersection of Highways 37 & 121, opened as Sears Point Raceway in 1968, with its inaugural event on Dec. 1, 1968. The road course was initially a 2.52-mile layout, but reconfigurations in 1998 and 2001 resulted in the current 1.99-mile design.

• The road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest to lowest points. The highest point at Turn 3a reaches 174 feet, while the lowest point at Turn 10 is just 14 feet.

• The berms on the turns of the road course are painted blue and gold in honor of raceway President and General Manager Steve Page, who attended nearby University of California, Berkeley. The University of California Marching Band (CalBand) will perform the national anthem before this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday.

• Fourteen different drivers have visited Victory Lane in series action at Sonoma. Three drivers – Hershel McGriff (1983, 1985, 1987), Jim Insolo (1978, 1979, 1980) and Bill Schmitt (1981, 1988, 1989) – lead the list of winners, with three wins each.

• Other multiple winners at Sonoma include Butch Gilliland, who scored back-to-back wins on the historic road course in 1996 and 1997, and Jason Bowles, who had consecutive wins in 2008 and 2009. 

• Sixteen drivers have qualified on the pole. While McGriff leads with three poles at Sonoma – Butch Gilliland, Jim Bown, Roy Smith and Tim Williamson each had won two poles there.

• Bill Schmitt also leads in terms of top-five finishes, with eight, and top-10 finishes, with nine.

• Hershel McGriff has led the most laps, meanwhile, running out front for 142 laps.

• McGriff and Jack Sellers have the most series starts at Sonoma, with 13 each. In addition, Sellers also competed in six combination events.

• The age gap between the youngest and oldest drivers attempting to qualify for this year’s race is 69 years. Hershel McGriff is 84 years old, while Cameron Hayley is just 15.

• The event in 2008 was the only series race at Sonoma that was extended for a green-white-checkered finish since the format was introduced.

• Five of the 22 series races were won from the pole position. Seven were won by the driver who started second on the grid. Jim Insolo came from the furthest back, charging from 19th to win in 1978.

• 255 different drivers have raced in series competition at the Sonoma track.

Below is a statistical look at the performance of selected drivers:

Johnny Borneman (No. 61 Red Line Oil Chevrolet)• One top five, two top 10s in five starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of fifth in 2009
• Has led five laps at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 15.6
• Only previous series start this season was at Phoenix
• Three career series wins
• One career series pole
• 100 career series starts

David Gilliland (No. 25 Pick-N-Pull Chevrolet)• One win, two top fives in four Sonoma starts
• Victory was in 2007
• One Coors Light Pole Award at Sonoma, 2007
• Led 92 laps at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 15.75
• Only previous series start this season was at Phoenix
• Three career series wins
• Four career series poles
• 47 career series starts

Jonathon Gomez (No. 22 Century Boatland Chevrolet)• Finished 11th in only previous start at Sonoma, 2011
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 15th at MMP, seventh at Brainerd
• Best career series finish of second
• 34 career series starts

Daryl Harr (No. 71 iWorld Connect Chevrolet)• Best finish of 18th in six starts at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 27.0
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 21st at MMP, 11th at Brainerd
• Best career series finish of fifth on four occasions
• 98 career series starts

Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota)• Five top fives in six starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of second in 2008
• One Coors Light Pole at Sonoma, 2008
• Has led 11 laps at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 6.83
• In two previous road course events this season; finished second at MMP, sixth at Brainerd
• 16 career series wins
• 13 career series poles
• 82 career series starts

Jim Inglebright (No. 1 ESEF Apparel Chevrolet)• One top five and three top 10s in seven starts at Sonoma
• Best finish of third in 2008
• Led one lap at Sonoma
• Average finish of 15.86
• First series start this year
• Three career series wins
• One career series pole
• 66 career series starts

Scott Ivie (No. 74 MSI Development Ford) • Four starts at Sonoma, with best finish of 12th in 2010
• Average finish at Sonoma of 19.75
• In only previous road course event this season; finished a career-best sixth at MMP
• 11 career series starts

Dylan Kwasniewski (No. 03 Royal Purple/Rockstat Ford)• Finished 26th in only previous start at Sonoma, 2011
• In two previous road course events this season; finished fourth at MMP, second at Brainerd
• Four career series wins, two this year
• Four career series poles, two this year
• 20 career series starts

David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services Chevrolet)• One top five in four starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of second was in 2009
• Average finish at Sonoma of 20.25
• In two previous road course events this season; finished ninth at MMP, fifth at Brainerd
• Four career series wins, one this year
• Eight career series poles, two this year
• 60 career series starts

Hershel McGriff (No. 04 Park Corporation Chevrolet)• Three wins and six top 10s in 13 starts at Sonoma
• Wins were in 1983, 1985 and 1987
• Led 142 laps at Sonoma
• Average finish at Sonoma of 12.23
• First series start this year
• 35 career series wins
• 37 career series poles

Ryan Philpott (No. 52 Philpott Race Cars Ford)• Best finish of 19th (2011) in two starts at Sonoma
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 16th at MMP, 14th at Brainerd
• Best career series finish of seventh
• 24 career series starts

Greg Pursley (No. 26 GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford)• One top five in four starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of fourth in 2011
• Average finish at Sonoma of 22.0
• In two previous road course events this season; won at MMP and finished third at Brainerd
• 11 career series wins, two this year
• 12 career series poles, one this year
• 62 career series starts

Michael Self (No. 21 Rockwell/Golden Gate Meat/RCR Chevrolet)• One top five in two starts at Sonoma
• Best finish at Sonoma of fifth in 2010
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 18th at MMP and scored his first career series win at Brainerd
• 35 career series starts

Jack Sellers (No. 15 Bay Bio Diesel Chevrolet)• 13 starts at Sonoma, with a best finish of 11th in 1989
• Average finish at Sonoma of 21.85
• Also competed in six combination events at Sonoma with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
• In two previous road course events this season; finished 24th at MMP, 16th at Brainerd
• Best career series finish of seventh, on four occasions
• 259 career series starts

Stan Silva Jr. (No. 65 A&S Metals/Stan Silva Jr Trucking Chevrolet)• Three top 10s in six starts at Sonoma
• Best Sonoma finish of eighth on two occasions
• Led one lap at Sonoma (2006)
• Average finish of 14.5
• First series start this year
• Best career series finish of seventh on two occasions
• 29 career series starts

Monday, June 18, 2012

K&N West Tackles Sonoma

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Moment to Remember “Little Bill” France

It has been just five years since the passing of William Clifton France (April 4, 1933 – June 4, 2007). Better known in the NASCAR community as Bill Jr. or “Little Bill” this NASCAR Icon was the executive who served from 1972 to 2000 as the head of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR).

 Read More

Bill France Jr. served as an official
when Daytona racing was held on the beach
Photo Courtesy NASCAR

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Prelude to the Dream - Supports "Feed The Children"

One of the biggest NASCAR-oriented charity events of the season will take place Wednesday night as 12 Sprint Cup drivers participate in the 26-driver field for Prelude To The Dream invitational at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway.


Competing in Dirt Late Model cars on the half-mile track, the race will raise funds for the charity Feed The Children. The funds are raised through sales of the telecast on HBO Pay-Per-View. 

The three-time Cup champion Stewart has held the event for charity since 2005. He owns Eldora Speedway. 

“It’s great for us as competitors because we get a chance to go out and do something that we don’t get the chance to do all season long with each other,” Stewart said. 

“There are a lot of us drivers who get a chance to race at dirt tracks or run at Late Model pavement tracks across the country, but we never get to do it together as a group.” 

The Cup drivers participating are Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Bobby Labonte, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Aric Almirola, David Gilliland, Dave Blaney and J.J. Yeley. 

Other drivers scheduled to participate are part-time Cup drivers Kenny Schrader and Bill Elliott; former team owner and crew chief Ray Evernham; Nationwide Series drivers Danica Patrick, Austin Dillon, Justin Allgaier and Kenny Wallace; Camping World Truck Series drivers Jason Leffler and Ty Dillon; IndyCar Series driver Tony Kannan; NHRA drivers Ron Capps and Cruz Pedregon; and World of Outlaws drivers Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz. 

Patrick, who is in the midst of her transition from IndyCar to NASCAR, has never raced a car on dirt. “When I heard that you get sideways when you get out of the throttle, I thought, ‘Well, that just sounds like fun,’” she said. “So I think it’s just going to come from running it. “And, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how I do. It just matters that we’re all there, and that we’re putting on a good show.” 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NASCAR Home Tracks are about community and neighbors; they're about late nights in the garage tuning a motor and a get together with your family. Those late nights and get togethers are all across North American and Europe at NASCAR Home Tracks.

Pursley Battles Back For Vegas Victory

Veteran Edges Teammate Kwasniewski For Win At Bullring
See video

LAS VEGAS - Greg Pursley spoiled Dylan Kwasniewski's Las Vegas homecoming, but both drivers were all smiles after giving Gene Price Motorsports a 1-2 finish in Saturday night's Star Nursery 200 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Pursley picked up his second NASCAR K&N Pro Series West win of the season, the 11th of his career, and successfully defended his race title at the .375-mile track.

Pursley displayed his dominance of a year ago, when he won six of the first eight races and seized the victory at Las Vegas with a wire-to-wire win. Starting third on the grid, he grabbed the lead on Lap 12 from Kwasniewski, who had won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award on his hometown track earlier in the day.

Pos Driver
1 Greg Pursley
2 Dylan Kwasniewski
3 Jonathon Gomez
4 David Mayhew
5 Cameron Hayley
While Pursley set the pace – his younger teammate, who had celebrated his 17th birthday two days earlier, appeared ready to challenge for the lead on restarts following the numerous cautions. 

Kwasniewski finally got by for the lead on Lap 160, during a green-flag run, and appeared that he might snatch the win away. He opened up a margin over Pursley as the paired battled through lapped traffic. But Pursley was able to take advantage of a restart after a late-race caution to make a power move on the outside to take the lead and the win. He crossed the line with a margin of .7 seconds over Kwasniewski.

“It was a great race,” Pursley said. “We had a really good car probably about the first 150 laps. We had a real good battle with Dylan. The kid’s a great driver, but our car was just a little bit better and had a little bit more at the end. That’s two in a row here.”

With 10 cautions in the race, Pursley stressed the need to get a strong restart.

“It’s pretty critical to get a good restart here,” he said. “You want to be on the bottom. I over drove Turn 3 just a touch and that let him peek under me and get the position. I knew we had a little bit better car than him. So I was going to try to get it back a little later. And it worked for us. I’m really proud of my Gene Price Motorsports guys. They gave us a great car. It’s a brand new car.”

Pursley expressed his confidence in running side-by-side with his young teammate.

"It doesn't matter if he's 17 or 60, I’d race side by side with him any time," he said.

Kwasniewski was equally enthusiastic after the race.

“I didn’t know how much we were going to be able to hold off Greg,” Kwasniewski said. “I was trying my hardest, but he had a good car. There’s nobody more I’d rather lose to than Greg. We’re one-two in the points championship and it was a good race.”

Jonathon Gomez finished a close third. David Mayhew, who had been penalized to the back of the pack for aggressive driving on Lap 62, battled back to finish fourth. Series rookie Cameron Hayley finished fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Tim Bell, Austin Dyne, Dylan Hutchison, Taylor Cuzick and Ryan Philpott.

Kwasniewski was able to maintain a 12-point lead over Pursley in the championship standings, with Mayhew another 13 points back. Derek Thorn – who ran with the leaders, but had a flat tire in the closing laps – is fourth in points. Fifth in the standings is three-time series champion Eric Holmes, who was sidelined by engine problems and ended the night with a 19th-place finish. Gomez, Hayley, Michael Self, Dyne and Daryl Harr complete the top 10 in points.

The Star Nursery 200 will air on SPEED on June 14 at 3 p.m. ET.

The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule is the Pick-N-Pull Racing To Stop Hunger 200 on the road course in Sonoma, Calif., on June 23.

Greg Pursley leads teammate Dylan Kwasniewski during Saturday's
Star Nursery 200 at The Bullring At Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images for NASCAR