All roads eventually wind their way back home.
For three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers this weekend, it’s a road course that turns back towards where it all began: the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. NASCAR’s top developmental series heads to Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California, for the Carneros 200 on Saturday.
The 1998 K&N Pro Series West champion, Kevin Harvick, will join recent first-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner Ryan Blaney and current Monster Energy Series rookie Daniel Suarez in the field for the Carneros 200. All three drivers began their respective NASCAR careers at the K&N Pro Series level.
Harvick, the 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, won at Sonoma during his K&N Pro Series West title-winning season. Suarez, a NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Mexico Series champion, has three career K&N Pro Series East wins to his credit, while Blaney — who recently won at Pocono — won his only career K&N Pro Series West start at Arizona’s Phoenix International Raceway in 2011.
“I’m going to be the old guy that shows up,” Harvick said recently. “I have fun when I go do those events… It’s a series that gave me several breaks and several opportunities to showcase what I did as a kid.”
Others to showcase their abilities on Saturday, includes current series points leader Todd Gilliland and his Bill McAnally Racing teammate Chris Eggleston, who sits second in the standings. Gilliland and Eggleston have combined to win all seven of the series’ races this season and both will be looking to redeem themselves after a rough 2016 Carneros 200 showing. Heading into Sonoma, Eggleston has won two straight races to close his deficit in the championship standings to just seven points at the midway point of the season.