You’ll have to excuse NASCAR next driver Dylan Lupton (@LuptonDylan) if he’s extremely quiet this weekend when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (#KNWEST) tour heads to Colorado National Speedway.
Lupton, the rising teenage sensation has enjoyed a stellar season on the tour. He’s qualified well, led laps and even produced seven straight top-10 finishes to start the year, but the Wilton, California native is still (surprisingly) winless.
That’s a statistic he hopes to conquer in Saturday night’s NAPA Auto Parts / Toyota 150. And should earning his second-career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West come at the expense of appearing a little distant, that’s OK.
“We are ready to win,” said 20-year old Lupton. “We’ve done pretty much everything else this year, but win. We know it’s coming, but it’s just a matter of when. I’m just focused right now, more than ever. We have a lot of great things happening with our Sunrise Ford Racing team, we just need to be able to capitalize on them.”
In Lupton’s most recent K&N Pro Series West race at Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho, the team continued to show speed and resilience, and control the field for five laps, but left the track with a subdued eighth place finish.
“We were going back for the lead and unfortunately, got crashed,” Lupton stated. “Can’t say I’m exactly thrilled with our finish at Stateline, but it’s (still) a top-10, so we have to take good even with the bad,” sounded Lupton. “It’s a bullring. However, we survived and that was our primary goal going into the weekend. It’s just frustrating to know that we couldn’t capitalize on it when our No. 9 Sunrise Ford / Go Pro / Lucas Oil Ford Fusion was so good. Just have to stay focused and march on. Like we always do.”
And there’s even a bigger reason to stay focused, especially at Colorado National Speedway. Last year’s race didn’t go as planned. After struggling in qualifying, Lupton methodically used the event to adjust the handling of his No. 9 Vadio / Lupton Excavating / Sunrise Ford, but was only able to climb up to 10th when the checkered flag waived. A finish that Lupton considers unacceptable this season.
“Last year, Colorado was a struggle for the team, but we have grown since last year and I believe we can get a win,” he mentioned. “We are bringing the same car to Colorado that we had in Idaho, which has always been good to us on short tracks.
“There is some pressure on me to get to victory lane and I feel like we should have been there a couple of times so far. However, we will just need to rally the second half of the season, start to dominate, and get the points lead. We have been showing speed every track we show up at so I am excited to get to Colorado National Speedway.”
With seven races down and seven to go, The Sunrise Ford Racing driver controls second in the championship standings, 26 points behind veteran and points leader Greg Pursley. With his run at Stateline, Lupton was able to maintain his position in second, but lost a few points on Pursley.
“Right now, everyone’s chasing Greg,” Lupton explained. “He’s been flawless this season. There’s no hiding that. We’ve been right there too, he just carries a little bit of a better average finish, which has given him that cushion in the standings. We know that this weekend, we could go up or down, but we have to be strategic to make sure we stay in this championship battle.”
In addition to Sunrise Ford, Go Pro and Lucas Oil, Eibach Springs, Immersion Media, Capitl and Company will adorn their logos on his Ford Fusion this weekend at Colorado.
Entering Colorado, Lupton has 25 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West starts to his credit with one career victory at Evergreen Speedway (2013). During his NASCAR K&N tenure, Lupton has accumulated eight top-fives and 19 top-10 finishes. A third place qualifying effort at Lebanon I-44 Speedway (June 2013) is his best time trials effort to date. He has controlled the K&N field twice for 11 laps.
The Napa Auto Parts 150 is set for Saturday, July 12. The 150-lap feature will commence shortly after 9:00 p.m. Pacific. This weekend will mark the series’ first visit to the track since 1985. It is the seventh of 14 events on the 2014 schedule.
Dylan Lupton PR
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