Friday, April 20, 2012

Thorn wins West Series race in Havasu

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West made its first visit to Havasu 95 Speedway in Arizona and plenty of new faces came to the forefront.
Derrek Thorn, a driver from Bakersfield, won his first K&N Pro Series West race, leading the last 42 laps in the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Gene Price Motorsports.
Thorn won the pole, another K&N Pro Series West first, and led a race-high 141 laps.
“I’ve got to pay a tribute to the Sunrise Ford team, (car owner) Bob Bruncati and (crew chief) Bill Sedgwick and all the guys at the shop,” Thorn said. “It was really hard coming here to this track, because no one had raced here. It’s hard to take something from practice and prepare yourself for a 150-lap race, because at 125 laps the car is doing something completely different than it was at Lap 50. It was a lot of guess-work, but the guys did an awesome job of putting an awesome car underneath me. I’m so thankful to be here and get this victory in (the) K&N (Pro Series).”

David Mayhew, the leader in the K&N Pro Series West standings after two races, was second. He passed Dylan Kwasniewski on the final laps to move into the runner-up spot, but was not able to chase down Thorn.
“He drove a good race, made no mistakes and it was fun,” Mayhew said, who started the race from the seventh spot. “To come out of here with a second after how it was looking is real promising for everybody.”
Kwasniewski, a driver for Gene Price Motorsports, led nine laps, but fell back to third when the checkered flag dropped.
“Derek did a great job of holding me off,” Kwasniewski said. “I was trying as hard as I could. Believe me I was definitely trying.”
A number of drivers were making their K&N Pro Series West debuts at Havasu 95 Speedway and turned in top-10 performances.
Rookie Cameron Hayley was sixth. Austin Dyne, making his first K&N Pro Series West start, was seventh. Ryan Partridge, another driver making his West Series debut, was ninth. Braeden Havens, in his second K&N Pro Series West start, was eighth.
 Greg Pursley, the reigning K&N Pro Series West champion, was 10th.
The next K&N Pro Series race is the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park on April 28. The West Series teams have visited Phoenix International Raceway, a 1-mile oval, and Havasu 95 Speedway, a quarter-mile oval. Miller Motorsports Park is one of three road courses on the West Series schedule.
“We’ll get through the road course next week and that will show who’s got the real package going from a big track to a short track to a road course,” Mayhew said. “We’re definitely going for it.”
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Gene Price Motorsports will be broadcast on Speed on May 10 at noon PDT.

Photo: Derek Thorn leads Dylan Kwasniewski at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Havasu 95 Speedway in Arizona. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

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