The Pick-n-Pull Racing to Stop Hunger 200 will pit some of the top drivers in the NASCAR Pro Series West in a battle for bragging rights at the road course in Sonoma, June 22-23, during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend.
The 2012 season is shaping up to be one of the most challenging in the 59-year history of the NASCAR Pro Series West, as drivers compete on a 15-race schedule that features 13 venues in 10 states and includes three inaugural events.
Piloting the two Pick-n-Pull Chevrolets are No. 25 David Gilliland, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular and 2007 race winner, as well as Hayward’s Jessica Brunelli, who will drive the No. 88 car.
The competition features an interesting mix between veterans of the series and talented newcomers.
The spotlight shines brightly on current point leader Dylan Kwasniewski, who is coming off a record-setting season as a rookie. The 17-year old Las Vegas native has posted two victories and seven top-five finishes so far this season, and shows no sign of slowing down. He became the first 15-year-old to compete in the series when he made his debut in April of 2011, driving the No. 03 Rockstar/Royal Purple Ford to a fourth-place finish at All American Speedway in Roseville. At 16, Kwasniewski celebrated with his first series win and became the youngest winner in the history of the NASCAR Pro Series West. Kwasniewski capped his season off by becoming the youngest driver in the series to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.
One of Kwasniewski’s biggest competitors this year is teammate Greg Pursley; who dominated the competition in the first half of 2011 en route to winning the series championship. Pursley, a 44-year-old from Southern California who now lives in Parker, Ariz., drives the No. 26 Gene Price Motorsports/Star Nursery Ford. He won six of the first eight races in 2011.
Not to be overlooked in the title hunt this year is three-time series champion Eric Holmes of Escalon. The driver of the No. 20 NAPA Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing rebounded from early troubles last year to score two consecutive wins late in the season and finish second in the championship standings. With that comeback, Holmes maintained his streak of finishing first or second in points in his five full seasons of series competition. And with his three titles coming in even number years, the 37-year-old will be attempting to continue the trend this year.
A long-time series veteran who continues on the circuit this season is Jack Sellers of Sacramento. The driver of the No. 15 Bay Bio Diesel Chevrolet holds the record for the most starts in the modern era of the series.
In addition to its regular competitors, the series attracts a contingent of road-race specialists each year at its road course events. Last year, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Joey Logano held off Gilliland in a battle of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers with West Series roots to win the Saturday feature. Be sure to be in your seat this Saturday when the 64-lap feature goes green at 12:45 p.m.
Sonoma Raceway PR