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K&N Pro West Stat Advance: Sonoma

Analyzing the Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway
Travis Barrett, Special to
June 21, 2017 - 1:38pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West tackles its only road course race of the season Saturday at California’s Sonoma Raceway. Below is a look at the Carneros 200 and some of the selected participants.

Carneros 200 Race Setup: 
• Chris Eggleston of Erie, Colorado, paced the field for a second straight race, winning both the pole and the NAPA/Toyota 150 at Colorado National Speedway.
• Eggleston is now within seven points of leader Todd Gilliland atop the K&N Pro Series West standings.
• Eggleston is the only driver to finish in the top five in all seven races this season, while Gilliland has a series-high four wins in 2017.

At Sonoma Raceway:
• Sonoma has hosted at least one K&N Pro Series West race every year since 1978.
• The Sonoma track opened as Sears Point Raceway in 1968, with its inaugural event occurring on December 1 of that year. The road course was initially a 2.52-mile layout, but reconfigurations in 1998 and 2001 resulted in the current 1.99-mile design for NASCAR events.
• The track features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest to lowest points. The highest point at Turn 3 reaches 174 feet, while the lowest point at Turn 10 is just 14 feet.
• Eighteen different drivers have visited Victory Lane in series action at Sonoma. 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 victors at the historic road course include Butch Gilliland, who scored back-to-back win in 1996 and 1997, and his son, David Gilliland, who notched victories in 2007 and 2012, Jason Bowles made consecutive trips to the winner’s circle in 2008 and 2009.
• Of the 17 drivers who have won series events at Sonoma, 12 won NASCAR championships. Ten of those were NASCAR K&N Pro Series titles.

• Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won four of the past six competitions at Sonoma – Joey Logano in 2011, David Gilliland in 2012, Kyle Larson in 2014 and Chase Elliott in 2016. Three current Cup Series drivers are entered this weekend — Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez.
• Twenty different drivers have qualified on the pole at Sonoma. McGriff leads with three poles at Sonoma, while Butch Gilliland, Jim Bown, Roy Smith and Tim Williamson each have two poles at the road course.
• Eleven of the previous 38 series races at Sonoma were won from the pole position and nine were won by the driver who started on the outside of the front row. Insolo came from the furthest back, charging from 19th to win in 1978.

Sonoma Data:
Race: #8 of 14 overall
Race Date: Saturday, June 24, 1:30 p.m. PT
Airdate: NBCSN, Thursday, June 29 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT
Track Layout: 1.99-mile, 12-turn road course
Elevation change: 160 feet
Race Length: 64 laps (127.36 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data:
2016 Winner: Chase Elliott
2016 Pole Sitter: Chase Elliott
1-lap Qualifying Record: Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 77.203 seconds (92.794 mph), June 19, 2010.
150-lap Race Record: Andrew Ranger, 1 hour 50 minutes and 30 seconds, 67.595 mph, June 19, 2010.

Category Leaders at Sonoma:
Jim Insolo … 3
Hershel McGriff … 3
Bill Schmitt … 3
Jason Bowles … 2
Butch Gilliland … 2
David Gilliland … 2
Several others tied with… 1

Hershel McGriff … 3
Jim Bown … 2
Butch Gilliland … 2
Roy Smith … 2
Tim Williamson … 2
Several others tied with … 1

Laps Led
Rusty Wallace … 146
Hershel McGriff … 137
Mark Martin … 136
Bill Schmitt … 115
David Gilliland … 113
Roy Smith … 103

Selected Driver Highlights:
Nicole Behar (No. 33 Custom Welding & Fabrication Toyota)
• Currently sits sixth in the K&N Pro Series West standings with one top five and five top 10s in seven starts this season.
• Finished a career-best second at Irwindale in 2015.
• Finished 10th in the final series standings in 2015, her only full season with the series.
• Finished 23rd at Sonoma in 2015, in her only career start at the road course.

Ryan Blaney (No. 88 Cline Racing Ford)
• Is making his first K&N Pro Series start since finishing second at Iowa in 2012 and his first K&N Pro Series West start since 2011 at Phoenix.
• Earned his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win this month at Pocono.
• Won in his only K&N Pro Series West start at Phoenix in 2011.
• Has one career road course win in one of NASCAR’s national series, a Camping World Truck Series race, at Ontario’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2014.

Chris Eggleston (No. 99 NAPA Filters Toyota)
• Has eight career K&N Pro Series West wins, 26 top fives and 29 top 10s in 38 career starts.
• Was the 2015 series champion with Bill McAnally Racing.
• Has won two straight races (California’s Orange Show Speedway and Colorado National Speedway) entering this weekend, and is second in the overall K&N Pro Series West standings.
• Posted a career-best finish of 13th at Sonoma in 2015.

Todd Gilliland (No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
• Won six of 14 races last season with 11 top fives and 13 top 10s en route to the K&N West championship, becoming the youngest champion in NASCAR touring series history at 16 years, five months, and joined his grandfather Butch Gilliland as a K&N West champion (1997).
• Won the first five pole awards of the season and four straight races — California’s Kern County Raceway Park, California’s Irwindale Event Center (twice) and Washington’s Spokane County Raceway.
• Has four wins, six top fives and seven top 10s in seven races this season to lead the series standings by seven points over Chris Eggleston.
• Finished 24th last season in his only career start at Sonoma — the only finish of his career outside the top 10 (22 races).
• Was named to the 2017 NASCAR Next class in May.

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Fields Ford)
• The 1998 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, won at Sonoma during his championship season — one of six wins in 22 career starts in the series.
• Is currently fourth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, where he won the championship in 2014.
• Has one career road course win in a NASCAR national series, at Watkins Glen in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2007.

Derek Kraus (No. 19 Carlyle Tools Toyota)
• Sits third in the current standings with four top fives and five top 10s through seven races.
• Finished a career-best second at Kern County in March.
• Made his K&N Pro Series debut with the East at New Smyrna and finished third.
• This will be his first series start at Sonoma.

Julia Landauer (No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Braille Batteries/Lucas Oil Ford)
• Finished fourth in the final standings last season to become the highest finishing female driver in K&N West history.
• Sits seventh in the current series standings with three top 10s in seven races, including four top 10s in her last five starts.
• Qualified sixth and finished 11th at Sonoma last season in her only series career start at the track.

Michael Self (No. 9 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Braille Batteries/Lucas Oil Ford)
• Despite missing the season opener, ranks eighth in the current standings with two top fives and six top 10s in six starts.
• Has six career K&N West wins, including two at both Minnesota’s Brainerd International Raceway and Iowa Speedway.
• Has a career-best finish of third at Sonoma, along with two top fives and three top 10s in four starts at the track.

Todd Souza (No. 13 Central Coast Racing Toyota)
• Finished a season-best third at Orange Show for his fourth career top five.
• Sits ninth in the current standings with one top five and four top 10s in seven starts this season.
• Owns three sixth-place finishes in nine career starts at Sonoma, most recently in 2010.
• Only career win in 47 series starts came on the road course at Utah Motorsports Campus in 2008.

Will Rodgers (No. 7 Solvang Brewing Company Ford)
• Competed in six K&N Pro Series West events last season and is contending for the series’ Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award this season.
• Ranks fifth in the overall standings with four top fives and five top 10s in seven races this year.
• Posted a career best finish of third at Kern County in March.
• Made his series debut a year ago at Sonoma and finished 17th.

Daniel Suarez (No. 12 ARRIS Toyota)
• His 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship made him the first Mexican driver to win a championship in one of NASCAR’s national series.|
• Has four career K&N Pro Series East wins and has a combined total of 46 starts, 13 top fives and 24 top 10s in the K&N Pro Series East and West.
• Has never competed with the series at Sonoma.
• Is running for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year award.

Kody Vanderwal (No. 32 Billtrite & Signs/General Air Ford)
• Sits fourth in the series standings two top fives and five top 10s in seven starts as a rookie this season.
• Finished eighth in his series debut at the season opener in Arizona’s Tucson Speedway.
• This will be his K&N Pro Series West debut at the California road course.

Up To Speed:
• The 2017 season is the 64th for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
• The 2017 schedule features 14 races at 12 different tracks across the United States.
• Third-generation driver Todd Gilliland won the season opener last year at Irwindale Speedway, the first of two straight wins to open the year.
• Gilliland, who won the first five poles of the season, swept the Twin 100s at Irwindale in March as part of a stretch of four straight wins.
• Chris Eggleston won the season opener at Tucson and the two most recent events at Orange Show and Colorado National.