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Partridge Takes Advantage of Wreck in K&N Pro Series West Race at Douglas County

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Todd Gilliland won pole at Douglas County Speedway

Todd Gilliland won the pole for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Douglas County Speedway. It was his sixth pole position of the season and his fourth in a row.

Ryan Partridge won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Douglas County Speedway in Oregon after the race leaders collided.

Partridge took the lead on lap 115 when Todd Gilliland and Chris Eggleston, the top two drivers in the race, crashed. Partridge drove around the wreck and led the remaining 36 laps of the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 to win his second race of the season. He also won the K&N Pro Series West race at Tucson Speedway in Arizona in March.

“Watching the 16 (Gilliland) and 50 (Eggleston) during the race, I kind of immediately went into conserve mode, just try to settle into a good position, not drive too hard, keep the rear tires on it,” Partridge said. “But I could still see the 16 and the 50 were better through the center than us. They were just cutting through the center better and able to get to the gas better than us. We had tons of drive off, but just couldn’t cut the center.”

Ryan Partridge victory lane Douglas County Speedway

The Sunrise Ford Racing ream celebrates winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Douglas County Speedway in Oregon. It was their second win of the season.

Gilliland won the pole and led the first 114 laps of the race. Partridge started on the front row with Gilliland, but Eggleston took over the second place position early in the race. Gilliland and Eggleston raced close over the first 100 laps of the race. But they made contact on lap 114, giving Partridge the opportunity to take over the lead.

“When they wrecked, none of that matters anymore,” Partridge said. “Now we’re out front and all we got to do is keep the cars behind us. Just kept the focus out front, digging, hitting our marks, it was a white-knuckle ride for the last 20 laps but we made it.”

Partridge admitted after the race that luck played more into his winning the race than skill.

Todd Gilliland leading at Douglas County Speedway

Todd Gilliland leads the field in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Douglas County Speedway in Oregon. Gilliland won the pole and led the first 114 laps of the race.

“I’d rather have luck than talent any day of the week,” Partridge said. “We had a strong car from unloading on Friday night testing. I think we lost our balance throughout race day. I think the track rubbered up. Those factors, I think, snugged up the race car, snugged up the track condition. Our balance kind of fell to the tight side.”

Todd Gilliand and Chris Eggleston collide

Todd Gilliland (16) collides with Chris Eggleston in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Douglas County Speedway, in Oregon.

Gilliland won his sixth pole in 10 K&N Pro Series West races this season. He was also going for his fourth in a row. He ended up in sixth place.

“I thought we had a really strong car in qualifying. It was good for pole,” Partridge said. “Todd showed me again that it wasn’t. His car was turning just a little bit better than ours. I was really hungry for it too.”

Gracin Raz benefited from Gilliland and Eggleston crashing. He passed both cars and chased Partridge across the finish line in second place. It was his seventh top-five finish in 10 K&N Pro Series races this year.

Ryan Partridge portrait at Douglas County Speedway

After winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Douglas County Speedway, Ryan Partridge is five points behind leader Todd Gilliland in the K&N Pro Series West standings.

“It was definitely a hard-fought night,” Raz said, adding his crew deserved most of the credit for his second-place effort. “In the heat, they beared down in the heat, gave me the best car they could. They really struggled in Friday’s practice, but we tried to give it the best we could today. Don’t know if we had the winning car. Things were definitely going to have to play our way.”

Riley Herbst crossed the finish in third place. It was the second race in a row he finished in third and on the podium.

Ryan Partridge leading at Douglas County Speedway

Ryan Partridge (9) takes the lead in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Douglas County Speedway in Oregon. He led the final 36 laps of the race.

“Back to back weeks at third place, it’s really good for our NOS Energy Drink Toyota Camry,” Herbst said. “It’s really tough once you start on the outside. Never got a break, always started on the outside. Had to fight all the way down to the bottom and try to move forward.”

Herbst said he felt like he had a winning car. His track position on restarts cost him a chance to make a pass for the lead, he said.

“I feel like this one honestly slipped away from us,” Herbst said. “I felt like we were a little bit better than the 9 (Partridge) and the 27 (Raz). We just needed a caution to get by them.”

Partridge cut in to Gilliland’s lead in the K&N Pro Series West standings. He trails Gilliland by five points with four races remaining.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Partridge said. “I think it’s just in time. We can close that point gap and get back down to contending for a championship.”

The next K&N Pro Series West race is at the Utah Motorsports Campus on September 10.


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