The NASCAR K&N Series West series arrived at Sonoma Raceway in Wine Country on Saturday, prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Over the course of 64 laps around the 1.990-mile road course there were many on track incidents and lead changes.
Thirty cars made their way to the start of the Chevys Fresh Mex 200. As the green flag fell the #17 MMI racing Chevy of David Mayhew had engine trouble causing a chain reaction which wrecked several cars. Mayhew and Johnny Borneman were knocked out of the race in the incident. After a brief cleanup of the racing surface, racing continued. Ryan Partridge took the lead from pole sitter Chase Elliott (son of Hall of Fame NASCAR driver Bill Elliott). As the race wore on Elliott dropped back to the fourth position but maintained a close proximity to the leaders as they each tackled the hills and turn of the historic road course. With the race winding down Elliott worked his way back to the second position with just 5 laps remaining. Elliott driving his #24 Chevy to the limit, attempted to chase down the #7 Speed Vegas Ford of Noah Gragson. With three to go Gragson made a slight bobble in turn four and his Ford hit the inside rumble strip harder than he had planned, sending him sliding way to the outside of the groove allowing Elliott to drive the nose of his Chevy to the inside of him. As the two drivers made their way to turn 7 Elliott had the preferred inside line and made the pass and took over the lead. Once in the lead Elliott was able to stretch the lead out and capture his first K&N Pro Series West event victory and his first victory on his first attempt tackling the historic road course in Sonoma.
Elliott won the NASCAR Nationwide Championship in 2014 and took over the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet after Vallejo’s own Jeff Gordon retired at the end of the 2015 season. Elliott is in his Rookie Season and sits in sixth position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings.