Calif. (May 6, 2013) – Derek Thorn dominated the NASCAR K&N Pro
Series West competition at Stockton 99 Speedway on Saturday in
winning the G-Oil 150.
It marked the third
career series win for the 27-year-old Lakeport, Calif., driver – who
led all 150 laps of the race.
Sergio Pena grabbed
second with dive-bomb, three-wide move late in the race to get past
Cameron Hayley and attempt to get the lead. It paid off for a
runner-up finish, leaving Hayley with third. Luis Tyrrell, making
his series debut, finished fourth, with three-time series champion
Eric Holmes fifth.
Thorn wrestled the
initial lead from Hayley, who started on the pole, and then had to
fend him off following numerous restarts.
“There were a lot of
restarts – with caution after caution after caution,” said Thorn,
who used the inside lane on some restarts and the outside lane on
others. “The first 50 laps was a little rough. It was one of those
days where everything went in our favor. We were able to get out
front every restart and kind of stay there and manage the race
ourselves. We didn’t have to worry about falling back into second.”
Thorn credited his team
on the No. 6 Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Eibach Ford with stepping up
their effort this season.
“These guys really
worked hard in the off season to give us this opportunity,” he said.
“We were good last year and I think we came back with some better
stuff this year. Hopefully, it’s just a glimpse of stuff to come
this year. It’s good to fire off the second race of the year and
have a win already. I can’t thank (car owner) Bob Bruncati enough.”
While Hayley challenged
Thorn throughout the race, it was Pena who made the biggest charge
in the closing laps.
“Sergio Pena did a move
I haven’t seen in quite some time,” Thorn said. “And all of a sudden
I seen this blue car come out of nowhere. It could have ended very
badly. We were able to kind of squeeze by there on the outside. I
Hayley kind of got the
short end of the stick. But I’ve got to give Hayley credit. He
handled himself well in that situation. And he raced me clean all
Pena, who was making
just his second series start after three successful seasons
competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, knew time was running
“We just had to kind of
go for it there at the end,” he said. “We made it stick with
Cameron, but couldn’t get by Derek.
“I had such a blast out
here racing at Stockton,” Pena said. “It’s short-track racing at its
best. It reminds me of racing back at Bowman Gray (Stadium), just a
little more banking. Coming out here from the East to the West is a
little bit different move, but they’re tough out here.
“Two top five finishes
the first two races of the year – I think it’s the first time I’ve
done that,” Pena said. “I’m excited what the rest of the season’s
going to bring.”
Despite slipping to
third late in the race, Hayley was positive about the outcome.
“My Cabinets by Hayley
Ford Fusion was great,” said Hayley, who broke the track record in
winning his first career series pole in qualifying earlier in the
day. “We went away a little bit through the center of (turns) one
and two about half way through. Just didn’t quite have enough for
Thorn. At the end there, it was every man for himself. There was
beating and banging. But we were really happy with the run tonight.”
admitted he still needs to work on his restarts, meanwhile.
“We had solid restarts
all night,” he said. “I’m still learning restarts. All these
veterans out here know how to do it. I’m trying to keep up with
them. But we had a great run. We’re happy with tonight.”
The action throughout
the pack increased in intensity in the final laps, with plenty of
contact between various competitors as they charged to the checkered
flag. When the smoke had cleared, sixth through 10th were Dallas
Montes, Giles Thornton, Brett Thompson, Dylan Lupton and Greg
With the win, Thorn took
the points lead over Hayley – 88 to 84. Pursley, who won the opener
at Phoenix, dropped to third with 82 points. Pena is fourth with 81,
followed by Thompson with 72. They are followed by Michael Self at
70, Lupton at 65, Jamie Krzysik at 64, Carl Harr at 64 and Carlos
Vieira at 59.
The G-Oil 150 is slated
to air on SPEED on Thursday, May 16 at 3 p.m. ET.
The next event on the
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule is at Brainerd (Minn.)
International Raceway on May 25.
Race fans can
also learn more about Derek Thorn on his official website at
Derek Thorn thanks
his sponsors Sunrise Ford, Road Safety, Inc. Lucas Oil Products,
Eibach Springs, Loctite, RPM12, and Blakesley Sports Media for their support.