• NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Short Track Action
ROSEBURG, Ore. (Aug. 26, 2017) – Todd Gilliland edged his Bill McAnally Racing teammate Chris Eggleston to win the Clint Newell Toyota 150 Presented by NAPA AUTO PARTS at Douglas County Speedway on Saturday.
The pair waged a fierce side-by-side battle around the tight 3/8-mile track, thrilling fans that packed the fairgrounds venue in Roseburg, Oregon for the annual NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event.
Gilliland, the defending series champion, pulled ahead coming to the checkered flag in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry – to capture his sixth victory of the season and his 13th career series win. He and Eggleston, the 2015 series champion who drives the No. 99 NAPA Belts & Hoses / NAPA Filters Toyota Camry, have won 10 of the 11 series races so far this season.
Their teammate Derek Kraus finished third in the No. 19 Carlyle Tools / NAPA Belts & Hoses Toyota Camry, to give BMR its third 1-2-3 finish of the season.
“That was tough racing right there with Chris Eggleston,” said Gilliland, a 17-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina. “We both had pretty evenly matched cars tonight. It showed when we could race side by side for a really long time.
“It was pretty nerve wracking, but we’re out here for the win and the 16 team got it tonight,” he said. “I want to thank NAPA, Toyota TRD, Frontline Enterprises, and everyone who gets us to the race track.”
Gilliland, who started third on the grid, acknowledged how tough it was to run so many laps side by side.
“It’s really flat,” he said. “The second groove usually doesn’t come in too much. Tonight, we were stuck on the bottom a lot. You just have to be really patient and stay really calm when you’re side by side like that for so many laps.”
Eggleston, who won his fourth pole of the year in qualifying, talked about the battle in which the pair traded the lead back-and-forth nine times.
“It seemed like we got off to a really good start and had a very, very well balanced race car there at the beginning,” said the series veteran from Erie, Colorado. “Even though the 16 and 19 fell way back, I felt we did a good job of conserving our tires, getting only quarter-throttle down the straight away.
“The 16 was probably a little better than us midway through the race,” Eggleston said. “He kind of used us up quite a bit here and there. We did everything we could to keep our composure and keep pace with him. He made a few mistakes in lapped traffic and we were able to get back by him. He used us up, again, and we were able to get back by him cleanly. And he used us up, again.
“I hope the fans liked it, because that was really exciting,” Eggleston said. “I wish we had been on the other side of the fence, obviously – sitting in the winner’s circle. But it was a good 1-2-3 finish for BMR.”
In last year’s Roseburg race, Gilliland and Eggleston tangled while racing for the lead and were knocked out of contention for the win.
Gilliland, a NASCAR Next driver, extended his lead in the championship standings to five points over Eggleston. Gilliland has six wins, eight top-five, and 10 top-10 finishes in 11 starts this season.
Eggleston has four wins, 10 top-five, and 11 top-10 finishes.
Kraus – a 15-year-old from Stratford, Wisconsin – leads the rookie points and is third in the overall standings. He has six top-five and seven top-10 finishes.
Saturday’s win by Gilliland marked the eighth win by BMR in the past 11 series races at the Roseburg track.
The event had a variety of special activities with sponsors, including a Fan Appreciation Gala on Friday evening. Activities on Saturday featured a big Toyota Let’s Go Places VIP Hospitality Corral and a VIP pit tour.
The race, which was the 14th series event at Douglas County Speedway, is scheduled to be televised on NBCSN on Sept. 2 at 5:30 p.m. PT.
Three races remain on this year’s series schedule, with the next stop being at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway on Sept. 30.