IRVINE, CA (7-31-11) – Derek Thorn of Lakeport, California is proud to announce he will become a full time competitor in the NASCAR K&N Filters Pro Series West for the 2012 championship racing season.  After making his debut with the team last week, Thorn has signed with veteran car owner Bob Bruncati for a fulltime seat in the #6 Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Lucas Oil Ford and will make a run at the 2012 championship along with the rookie of the year honors.


"Bob Bruncati and Bill Sedgwick are two of the best in the business and to have the opportunity to be driving their equipment is an honor and to be able to run fulltime in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West is a dream come true. Working with this team will allow me to continue to grow as a driver as we hunt for a championship together," added Thorn.


Last weekend Thorn made his fourth start of the season in the NASCAR West Series at Portland International Raceway for the Bi-Mart Salute to the Troops 125. The event marked the first time strapped into the seat of the well known Sunrise Ford #9 as he teamed with Bruncati to make his very first start on a road course. Much like he has done in nearly every venue which he competes; Thorn shined in the event and found his way to a podium finish while his teammate, Luis Martinez Jr. drove to his very first victory.


“We at Superior Crankshaft are extremely proud of Derek and all our partners involved and we look forward to working with Bob and his team. Our plans for next year will be to continue to support Derek and the JRC program. We would like to have Derek run fulltime again in the SRL so we will be looking at the schedules of the two series as they become available and working with the Sunrise Ford team and Joe Farre of JRC in an attempt to make this happen.” said motorsports marketing manager Marty Melo of Superior Crankshaft.


The start behind the wheel of the Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs  #9 came on Thorn's busiest weekend of his racing career as he flew back and forth from Oregon to Utah to compete in the both the NASCAR West Series and the Spears SRL Southwest Tour where he finished third in both venues. The double duty weekend was made possible by Thorn's sponsors and supporters in the SRL Series, Superior Crankshaft, Joiner Race Cars, PepperJack Kennels, and Sigma Engineering to name a few.. It has also been this same group of supporters that have been working hard along with Thorn’s natural talent to open doors at the next levels of racing. Thorn and Bruncati will continue to build their program by testing and running select events for the remainder of 2011 with their next event scheduled at Roseville, CA.


"Getting to know everyone on the team at the test and at Portland was a lot of fun. They’re a great group of people and I am really looking forward to winning races with them. Sunrise Ford has shown a lot of strength as a team over the years, winning many races and championships. To be considered as a driver for such a prestigious team is a great feeling. I want to thank Bob and everyone involved for this opportunity"


The Sunrise Ford team is one of the most competitive teams on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West tour. Bruncati has presented a multitude of up and coming drivers with a solid start to their racing careers behind the wheel of a quality cars backed by a talented team that has been a force to contend with on tracks of all sizes from the tight ovals to the twisting road courses. In their recent history, Sunrise Ford has been home to former series champion Jason Bowles who earned the title with Bruncati in 2009. Recently nationally recognized names like David Gilliland and top road racer Patrick Long have also graced the cockpit for select events.


“Bill and I have been following and watching Derek at the tracks since the Showdown and the kid just keeps getting better so we made the decision to get him in our program fulltime next year and start preparing for this the remainder of this year. I was so proud of him at Portland he is a great kid and I want to be part of developing him for the next level so he will get his shot and we will give him all the resources needed” said Bob Bruncati owner of the Sunrise Ford teams.


Thorn will compete in select events remaining on the 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West tour with Sunrise Ford before taking a full shot for the championship title in 2012. He will continue to compete in the Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series where he is currently fourth in the championship point standings aboard the Junior Joiner wrenched Superior Crankshaft-Joiner Race Cars #26 Toyota Camry that he has driven to two victories already this season. Thorn has long dreamed of a full time opportunity in the NASCAR West series. Now that dream is reality and undoubtedly the Sunrise Ford team will be a championship contender for 2012.


To learn more about or how to support 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