Tuesday, Oct 03

Bickford eyes Colorado track after first NASCAR K&N victory

Tuesday, Jul 22 1537

Youthful James Bickford, of Napa, Calif., is looking for his second consecutive win in the NASCAR K&N West Series at Colorado National Speedway here on Saturday night.

Bickford, 16, the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Late Model Series champion at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., passed veteran driver Greg Pursley with four laps remaining to win his first K&N Series race on July 12 at State Line Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho.

Now, with the series having been idle last weekend, Bickford and his Sunrise Ford/Interstate Plastics team, owned by Bob Bruncati, are seeking to keep their momentum in the NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota 150 on the three-eighths-mile track in Colorado.

"My first aim at Colorado is to qualify well," said Bickford. "This is another short track, and a good starting position is very important. If you can start near the front on a short track you have a much better chance of winning the race.

"Winning the race in Idaho gave me and the team a lot more confidence and we are hoping to build on that as I drive on some unfamiliar tracks as the season progresses. But I'm excited about those tracks because now there's less pressure to win and everything is just about going out and doing your best."

On Aug. 1, the series goes back to Newton, Iowa, where Bickford finished fourth on the seven-eighths-mile track earlier this year and then to half-mile Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif., on Aug. 30. In an earlier event at Bakersfield, Bickford was in contention for the victory but was involved in a late-race incident and finished sixth. Between those two, however, the schedule takes the team to .646-mile Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., a track Bickford has never seen.

At the halfway point of the 2014 season Bickford has one win, two top-5's and four top-10's.

Bickford, a cousin of four-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon, is currently leading the points for Rookie of the Year and is fifth in overall K&N West Series points. His goal is to complete another season in K&N and then move up through the ranks of NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series, but playing a major role in those plans is the task of finding a full-time primary sponsor.



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