CALIFORNIA (July 18, 2012)
– Despite a practice accident that relegated him to start at the
rear of the field on Saturday night, Derek Thorn drove the backup #6
Sunrise Ford car to a satisfying third place finish in the NASCAR
K&N Pro Series, West race at Evergreen Speedway. The effort keeps
Thorn in the championship hunt with six races remaining on the 2012
Thorn had a left front tire go down in the first practice session on
Saturday afternoon crippling the primary car, but quickly recovered
to run sixth quickest in the second practice aboard the backup car
after the crew hustled to get the car ready. The Bob Bruncati-owned,
Bill Sedgewick-led team prepared Thorn well for qualifying on the
fast 5/8ths mile speedway and he timed in seventh quick.
Despite qualifying seventh quick, Thorn was ordered to start at the
rear of the field for utilizing the backup car under NASCAR rules.
Undaunted, Thorn showed his talent and navigated the 23 car field
quickly and by lap 23 was up into the tenth position. Lap 62 saw
Thorn crack into the top three and was looking to make up some
ground on the top-two cars in the field.
The field was brought together by the scheduled halfway break at lap
75. Coming back to green, Thorn battled it out with David Mayhew to
keep the third position before being able to set his sights on the
top-two. Thorn was challenged briefly by Jonathon Gomez on the lap
142 restart, but was able to safely maintain the third position to
the finish in a solid outing by the Sunrise Ford team.
With the third place finish, Thorn finds himself just eight points
behind Mayhew for third in the series standings. In nine starts
this year, Thorn has one-win, six top-fives, and seven top-tens.
The 2012 season is Thorn's first full-time effort in the NASCAR K&N
"The guys at
Sunrise Ford did an awesome job transitioning from our primary to
our backup," Thorn said. "They didn't miss a beat, and it showed it
on the time sheets. Starting that far back in the field becomes a
game of survival, but it didn't take long for me to realize how good
of a car we had. It was a lot of fun working into the top-three and
I did all I could to get to the front."
gears, Thorn continues his busy summer by looking forward to this
Saturday's race at the Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, UT
for the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour. The 3/8ths mile speedplant is
located just 20 miles from the Tooele, UT Miller Motorsports Park
road course where Thorn raced earlier this year with the K&N West.
The picturesque and state-of-the-art 3/8ths mile track is where
Thorn hopes to improve on his series points lead aboard the Mike
Keen-prepared, Byron Campbell-owned #43 Four Star Fruit Ford. Thorn
set fast-time in his first start at the venue last year before
ultimately finishing third in the race.
Thorn's 2012 campaign in the SRL has been nothing short of
spectacular, including fast-times at both Madera Speedway races as
well as at the Las Vegas Bullring in May. Thorn won the event at
Vegas to give him two wins along with a win at Stockton 99 Speedway
Most recently, the SRL raced at Madera Speedway where Thorn broke
the track record in qualifying and raced his way to the front after
a nine car invert. Thorn led until the final lap of the race before
being marred in traffic and settling for second. RMR will look to
serve as a comeback race for Thorn as he hopes to get back to
victory lane in the Four Star Fruit / Hronis Racing #43.
"We've had a great
year so far with Byron Campbell Motorsports in the SRL Southwest
Tour," Thorn said. "We have high expectations for ourselves and are
really looking forward to Saturday's race at Rocky Mountain
Raceway. Mike Keen and the crew have continued to make our
equipment even stronger and I'm really looking forward to being
behind the wheel!"
Thorn’s SRL performances not only continues to impress race fans
nationwide but has also propelled Thorn to a large lead in the
national points for the Sunoco Driven Challenge. The Sunoco Driven
Challenge ranks drivers from Late Model tours across the country
with the season long champion earning a test in a NASCAR K&N Pro
Series, East car with Joe Gibbs Racing this winter.
Derek Thorn would like to thank the following sponsors for their
support in 2012: Sunrise Ford, Four Star Fruit, Hronis Racing, Lucas
Oil, Eibach Springs, Joe’s Racing Products, Oakley, Double Eagle
Transportation, Victory Circle Chassis, PepperJack Kennels, and
Blakesley Sports Media.
Race fans can
learn more about Derek Thorn at