IRVINE, CALIFORNIA (JULY 2, 2011)After having to withdraw from the starting line up with mechanical woes at the Bullring at Vegas earlier this month, Lakeport's Derek Thorn is ready to get back on track with the competitive NASCAR K&N Pro Series West this Saturday in Irwindale, California. The event is the Toyota Dealers of Southern California 200 presented by King Taco at the famed Toyota Speedway, a facility where Thorn made a name for himself in this series back in January at the Toyota All Star Showdown.


Thorn will be behind the wheel of the Byron Campbell Racing #44 Chevrolet that carries primary sponsorship from Four Star Fruit with additional support from Superior Crankshaft and Hronis Racing. This will be Thorn's third actual start of the year in the series that features the future stars of NASCAR. Coming off his second win of the season this past Saturday in the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series, Thorn hopes his recent success will carry into the K&N Pro Series in the form of momentum at the track where he performed so well earlier this season.


"Our win at Madera is a huge confidence booster for everyone, especially returning to Toyota Speedway after we had such good success there at the Showdown," said Thorn. "The group of guys we've got working on our equipment is top notch and almost all of them that work on our SRL program work on the NASCAR West program also. Byron Campbell and Four Star Fruit have had a great group assembled from the start and it has allowed us a lot of success together."


Earlier this month, Thorn was prepared to return to action in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at the Bullring at Vegas. After qualifying third in the field, the team made the decision to withdraw from the line up as they continued to struggle with a mechanical issue on the car. Thorn is a competitive driver who enters every race with the goal of winning. In Vegas, knowing the car was handicapped before the green flag even waved Thorn, Joiner and the Campbell team made the wise decision to park the car for the night.


“It was hard parking our Fourstar Fruit, Hronis Racing Chevy at Vegas. Especially after qualifying third, “said Thorn.”But that's the great thing about this team.  With our limited schedule we show up for one reason and that's to win. We felt with the problems we were having with the car exceeded the risk of us causing problems for other cars on the track. It was a hard pill to swallow but we felt in the long run it would only help our program especially with how much equipment gets tore up at those short tracks."


Back in January at Toyota Speedway Thorn made his start in the Byron Campbell owned #44 with veteran crew chief Junior Joiner as his lead wrench. It was at this track that the 25-year old Lakeport resident caught the attention of many as he earned the pole position for the high profile NASCAR Toyota All Star Showdown in Irwindale.


After earning that pole position, Thorn continued to show he was born to race at the NASCAR level, leading the first 100 laps of the event. After falling back to fourth he advanced back into second place late in the running and challenged for the lead when contact occurred with the leader and resulted in NASCAR making the decision to place him at the rear of the field. Despite the setback, Thorn once again proved what he was made of as he rallied back hard to finish an impressive seventh place finish.


Continuing with the series in February at Phoenix, Thorn again showed a strong performance behind the wheel of Campbell's #44 Chevrolet. Thorn drove to fifth place in qualifying. When the checkered flag waved, Thorn posted a third place finish on one of the tour's largest tracks, rallying back after falling to fifth place with 20-laps to go when he missed a shift while charging to the green flag restart.


Derek Thorn is proud to carry the sponsorship of Four Star Fruits and Hronis Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Additionally Thorn has a number of marketing partners and associate sponsors supporting his efforts in this tour. Among the sponsors are: Eibach Springs, Joiner Race Cars, Superior Crankshaft, JRI Shocks, Joe's Racing Products, NEO,  Finishline Signs, Sigma Engineering and Fastenal.


"I can’t thank Byron Campbell with Four Star Fruit, Hronis Racing, and Superior Crankshaft enough for there awesome support in the West series. I owe a lot to Mike Keen, Dan Smith, and Junior Joiner for keeping everything organized within the operation, these guys work their butts off to make sure we've got the equipment to make it happen," adds Thorn. “My crew guys and Four Star Fruits crew have been putting in the overtime as this is the fourth week in a row we have been racing in two different series not to mention the testing we have been doing. For them to give the commitment to make it to all of these races just shows the caliber and loyalty of the crew we have behind us. I feel honored to be driving for this entire group."


To learn more about this talented young driver visit Derek Thorn's personal website at www.derekthorn.com. Further information can also be found at the site of one of his title sponsors, www.superiorcrankshaftracing.com.



Copyright 2012 Derek Thorn Racing / Blakesley Sports Media