The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will kick off its season with the Star Nursery 100 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track on Thursday, running for the first time as a companion event with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and as part of a big weekend of racing in Las Vegas.
All the Bill McAnally Racing teams were fast when the series made its first visit to the half-mile dirt track last season and they look to build on that performance in this year’s opening event.
The K&N West race will air live on FansChoice.TV, the streaming digital platform that’s slated to carry the entire NASCAR regional series schedule live this year. In addition, the race is set to be televised on NBCSN on March 5 at 3 p.m. PT.
Derek Kraus, in the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, begins his third year with BMR in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Hailie Deegan is in her second season with BMR in the series, driving the No. 19 Monster/NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota Camry. Brittney Zamora will be making her K&N West debut in BMR’s No. 99 ENEOS/NAPA Filters Toyota Camry.
Deegan set the fast mark in qualifying for last year’s Las Vegas race, becoming the first female driver to win a pole award in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. She led 13 laps and came away with a runner-up finish.
The 17-year-old from Temecula, California had a history-making season last year – also becoming the first woman to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race and the first female to win the Rookie of the Year Award in the series. In addition to her pole award at Vegas, she also won the pole on the paved high-banked, half-mile track at Kern County Raceway Park near Bakersfield, California.
Kraus – a 17-year-old Stratford, Wisconsin – started on the outside of the front row in last year’s race at Las Vegas. He led 31 laps, but got caught up in a late-race accident and failed to finish.
He concluded last season by leading the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in terms of wins, with four; and poles, with five. He also led the most laps of competition in the series.
Kraus has momentum on his side, after winning this year’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida during NASCAR Speedweeks earlier this month. Deegan was fast at New Smyrna, turning in the fastest lap in practice and leading the field to the green flag. She was slowed and later sidelined, however, by mechanical trouble.
Deegan and Kraus are both members of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s emerging stars.
Zamora is a 19-year-old, second-generation driver from Kennewick, Washington. After getting caught up in a late-race incident at New Smyrna, she is anxious to get back on track in her first K&N West event.
Thursday’s event will mark the first time for the K&N West and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series to race at the same track on the same day. It’s part of a big weekend of racing at LVMS, that includes competition on the 1.5-mile speedway with a NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series event on Friday, a NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, and a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event on Sunday.
BMR will host a group of NAPA guests from Las Vegas NAPA stores at Thursday’s K&N West race.