K&N West Meridian Win To Self, Eggleston Jumps Restart

Michael Self grabbed his first win of the 2017 season at Meridian Speedway after it was determined that Chris Eggleston jumped the overtime restart. Photo by Otto Kitsinger/NASCAR via Getty Images

Fireworks lit up the night sky after the checkered flag flew on the NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208 at Idaho’s Meridian Speedway. And Michael Self wound up being the one to bask in the glory.

The Park City, Utah native wheeled his No. 9 Sunrise Ford/Sinclair Lubricants Ford to the winner’s circle at the quarter-mile to earn his first victory of the 2017 season and seventh NASCAR K&N Pro Series West win of his career.

It didn’t come without controversy.

On an overtime restart, Derek Kraus lost the lead to Bill McAnally Racing teammate Chris Eggleston, who went on to cross the finish line in first place and was initially declared the winner. However, the finish came under review from NASCAR.

It wad determined that Eggleston jumped the final restart, meaning his first-place finish would not hold. That handed the race win to Self.

“I was pretty happy with second,” Self said while reflecting on waiting for official word from NASCAR. “That was going to be our best finish of the year so far. That last restart in fifth, I actually didn’t think we had a shot at it. But that’s how things go on these quarter-mile short-tracks. So all in all, really happy and pleased with how it ended.”

The result for Self was his fifth top five and 11th top 10 of the 2017 season. But in the grand scheme of his career, this one topped them all.

“It means everything,” Self said in Victory Lane with a smile. “It may seem silly, because people are just gonna say ‘it’s a K&N West win,’ but to do it here, with Sinclair Oil on the car, and in Bob Bruncati’s car. He gave me a chance this year to get back in this car, after I’ve been out of a car for three to four years. And it’s been three years of searching for sponsors and just working my butt off every day, this is the biggest win of my career.”

Championship points leader Todd Gilliland wound up finishing second in his No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, 0.824 seconds behind Self. With the runner-up position and Eggleston penalty, Gilliland extended his championship points lead to 11 (525-514) over his Bill McAnally Racing teammate with two races remaining.

“This thing was super, super good to fire off this race,” said Gilliland, who led a race-high 125 laps. “The first 50 laps we were amazing. This thing was just effortless to drive. After that, it just started bouncing on entry and got super tight. But we got two more races on the West coast that are very important. I have no doubt that everyone on my NAPA Racing team will work through it together. That’s what we’ve done all year, we’ve got a very dedicated group of guys.”

Although Self is all but mathematically eliminated from championship contention, he thinks this win will give him and his team a much-needed shot in the arm heading to California to close out the 2017 K&N West season.

“I think this is a good boost, this is good momentum,” Self said of the final two races left on the season. “We knew we weren’t going to win a championship) at the start of the year), that was going to be out of reach. But to come and win a race and to try and keep finishing in the top five, that’s out goal. And that’s what I’ll keep trying to do and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Will Rodgers, Todd Souza and Kraus rounded out the top five finishers. Kody Vanderwal was sixth, followed by Eggleston, Blaine Perkins, Julia Landauer and Stafford Smith.

Kraus is third in championship points, one ahead of Rodgers, but 79 back of Gilliland. Self is fifth in points.

Boise native Trevor Cristiani led 15 laps but was relegated to a 19th-place finish after crashing on lap 100 into the turn three wall.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will return to action at All American Speedway in Roseville, California on October 14.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
Meridian Speedway – Meridian, Idaho
NAPA Auto Parts Idaho 208 – Sept. 30, 2017

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Status
1 6 9 Michael Self Sunrise Ford/Sinclair Lubricants Ford 215 47 4 Running
2 1 16 Todd Gilliland NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 215 44 2 Running
3 7 7 Will Rodgers * Solvang Brewing Company Ford 215 41 Running
4 11 13 Todd Souza Central Coast Cabinets Toyota 215 40 Running
5 5 19 Derek Kraus * Carlyle Tools Toyota 215 40 1 Running
6 12 32 Kody Vanderwal * Trident Processes Ford 215 38 Running
7 4 99 Chris Eggleston NAPA Filters Toyota 215 38 1 Running
8 10 21 Blaine Perkins Four Star Fruit Chevrolet 214 36 Running
9 3 6 Julia Landauer Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Lucas Oil Ford 213 35 Running
10 14 30 Stafford Smith Stoneys Rockin Country/Chatterbox Ford 213 34 Running
11 18 40 Ron Norman Port of Tucson Chevrolet 213 33 Running
12 19 11 Takuma Koga UBC CKB JKR Chevrolet 213 32 Running
13 17 36 Jesse Iwuji Perfect Hydration/Lights Out Chevrolet 210 31 Running
14 15 34 Tyler Fabozzi * MSI Racing Chevrolet 210 30 Running
15 20 38 John Wood The Patriot Motorsports Group Chevrolet 208 29 Running
16 21 39 Josh Fanopoulos * The Patriot Motorsports Group Chevrolet 207 28 Running
17 13 27 Max Tullman * Zoomi Ford 201 27 Running
18 16 14 Zachary St. Onge * Avalon Collison Center Toyota 198 26 Running
19 2 90 Trevor Cristiani * Pepsi/Cristiani Motorsports Chevrolet 105 26 1 Accident
20 9 33 Nicole Behar Custom Welding Toyota 103 24 Fuel Pump
21 8 10 Matt Levin Port of Tucson Chevrolet 37 23 Accident

 

RACE STATISTICS

Fastest Qualifier: Todd Gilliland, Time: 13.135 Seconds, Speed: 68.519 mph

Time of Race: 1 hrs., 8 mins, 28 secs Average Speed: 47.103 mph Margin of Victory: .824 Seconds

Caution Flags: Laps 2-5 (#34 Spin Turn 1, {Free Pass [None])); 39-51 (#10 Contact with Wall, Turn 1 [14] Red Flag 17:34 mins); 76-83 (#6 Spin Turn 1 [27]); 92-96 (#7 Spin Turn 3 [6]); 100-107 (#90 Spin Turn 3 [11]); 162-166 (#38 Spin Front Stretch [21]); 206-212 (#38 Spin Turn 3 [32]). 7 for 50 laps.

Lap Leaders: Todd Gilliland 1-84, Trevor Cristiani * 85-99, Todd Gilliland 100-140, Chris Eggleston 141-154, Derek Kraus * 155-212, Chris Eggleston 213, Michael Self 214-215.

Total Laps Led: Todd Gilliland 125, Derek Kraus * 58, Trevor Cristiani * 15, Chris Eggleston 15, Michael Self 2.  6 changes involving 5 drivers.

Top 10 Driver Points: Todd Gilliland 525, Chris Eggleston 514, Derek Kraus * 446, Will Rodgers * 445, Michael Self 434, Todd Souza 404, Julia Landauer 396, Kody Vanderwal * 379, Matt Levin 377, Blaine Perkins 375

* Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender

 

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