Oh the memories.
This weekend, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (NKNPSW) tour returns to Evergreen Speedway, the site of NASCAR Next driver Dylan Lupton’s first career win. Last August, Lupton only led six of the race’s 150 laps, however, he led the most important one, the last, earning him a trip to Victory Lane in just his 12th career start for Sunrise Ford Racing.
Of course, winning is never easy in any form of racing, but Lupton is hopeful to defend his title in Saturday night’s NAPA Auto Parts / Toyota 150 at a place that forever hold memories that truly do last a lifetime.
“I’m really excited to head back to Evergreen Speedway again this year,” said Lupton, driver of the No. 9 Sunrise Ford / Go Pro / Lucas Oil Ford Fusion. “I was able to get my first win last year at this track and it really helped my confidence. We have been running so well lately, other than Iowa, and I believe it’s time for us to get another win. And where better, then the track I scored my first win in this series.”
It goes without saying that Lupton’s return to Evergreen Speedway could not have come at a better time. In the series’ most recent event at Iowa Speedway, the Sunrise Ford Racing team struggled, but through hard work and determination, the sophomore K&N driver was able to keep their consecutive streak of top-10 finishes in 2014 alive to nine straight.
“Iowa’s a place that I just want to forget about,” Lupton said of his seventh place finish. “For whatever reason, the last two years we have struggled there, so we were lucky to escape with a seventh place finish. We learned a major thing a couple weeks ago. We can’t afford many mores races like that though. Time to move on.”
Luckily the tremendous consistency, which includes two runner-up finishes this season has been the strength of the team, making Iowa’s result old news, even though the coveted checkered flag continues to elude them. Though, this weekend after all is Evergreen Speedway and many have already dubbed Lupton’s No. 9 as a pre-race favorite, meaning many would not be surprised if Lupton scored back-to-back wins at the 0.646-mile oval Saturday night.
“Confidence is everything in this sport,” Lupton added. “Our racing program at Sunrise Ford Racing has been consistently fast at every track we’ve been to this year, so there’s no reason why we couldn’t go out and win there again. It’s not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but we know what it took us to be at the front to lead those final six laps. We believe we can do it again.”
No doubt that a win or a top-five finish this weekend will help Lupton in his quest for the championship title. A virtually flawless season by series veteran and points leader Greg Pursley this season has him in command of the standings, but Lupton and his team aren’t willing to give up the fight until the very end.
“I absolutely think we still have a shot at winning this championship,” Lupton explained of his 34-point deficit. “The only way we will be able to make up points to do so though, is to go out and dominate these last five races, starting here in Washington. That’s exactly what we hope to do.”
And if gunning for his first victory of the season not to mention chase a championship is enough, Lupton is abandoning his summer sweet spot in his home state of California to return to North Carolina, where he’ll resume his college education at the University of North Carolina Charlotte this fall, where’s he pursuing a business degree in his junior year.
“It’s been a great summer in California, but it’s time for me to head back to North Carolina for school,” Lupton sounded. “Heading back to school on the East Coast definitely adds stress onto my schedule. However, my education and racing means the world to me, so the added stress is worth it. My schedule for this fall semester isn’t bad though. I will be attending classes Monday – Wednesday allowing me to race Thursday – Sunday, so life will be good!”
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 Evergreen, Lupton has 27 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 21 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.
Dylan Lupton PR