Chris Eggleston edged his Bill McAnally Racing teammates to win the NAPA/Toyota 150 at Colorado National Speedway on Saturday, scoring his third victory in four years in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West competition at his home track.
For the driver of the No. 99 NAPA Platinum Filters Toyota Camry, it marked his second straight win on the circuit, his third trip to Victory Lane this year, and his eighth career series win.
It was also the seventh win in seven races this year for BMR, with Eggleston and Todd Gilliland accounting for all the wins in the first half of the season.
In addition, it marked the second time this season that BMR has swept the top three spots in a race – with 15-year-old series rookie Derek Kraus finishing second in the No. 19 NAPA Belts & Hoses/ Carlyle Tools Toyota Camry on Saturday and Gilliland, the defending series champion, taking third in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry.
“It was an awesome night for BMR’s NAPA Platinum Filters Toyota team,” said Eggleston, the 2015 series champion who hails from nearby Erie.
He also edged his BMR teammates in qualifying to win his second consecutive pole. Kraus was second quickest and Gilliland third on the chart, giving BMR a 1-2-3 start for the third time this season.
Early in the race, Gilliland took advantage of a restart to jump into the lead. He paced the field until Lap 100 – when Eggleston moved by on the outside.
“Todd had really good short-run speed,” Eggleston said. “We did everything we could to keep pace with him. It seemed like he was able to stretch it easier and that we were using our stuff just trying to keep up with him.
“We were able to get the balance back in our race car on the long runs,” he said. “At about the halfway mark, it seemed like Todd was getting a little snug and we were able to catch him. We started searching around and found a little bit of speed on the top side. Once we started rolling the top, we were able to get a fender on him on the outside and get by.”
Although out front, Eggleston still had to contend with challenges from both his teammates – with multiple restarts in the later portion of the race. He was able to pull away in the closing laps, however, to secure the win.
With his victory, Eggleston pulled within seven points of Gilliland in the championship standings, with Kraus remaining third in points. Eggleston is the only driver to finish in the top five in all seven races this season.
Gilliland – a 17-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina – has four wins, six top-five, and seven top-10 finishes.
The runner-up finish by Kraus matched his best series finish of second, which he had previously registered twice this year. The Stratford, Wisconsin driver has four top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes and leads the rookie standings.
Saturday’s race marks the sixth BMR win in the past 10 races at the 3/8-mile track just north of Denver. In addition to Eggleston’s three wins, Eric Holmes went to Victory Lane there in 2008 and 2010 and Paulie Harraka won there in 2009.
NAPA activities at the track on Saturday included the popular NAPA Hospitality event. BMR also provided VIP pit tours to NAPA guests.
The NAPA/Toyota 150, which was the 15th visit by the series to this CNS, is scheduled to be televised on NBCSN on June 15 at 4 p.m. PT.
The next event on the K&N Pro Series West schedule will be the Carneros 200 at California’s Sonoma Raceway on June 24.