By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
Colorado National Speedway will be the scene of the return of the ARCA Menards Series West.
The NAPA Auto Parts Colorado 150 is race number four of 2021 and the first West race since July 3rd. In that race, Jesse Love stole the victory from Dean Thompson taking the lead late. Thompson absolutely dominated the race at Irwindale and almost looked for sure en-route to his first career victory. He had to settle with a runner-up finish but enters this weekend’s race tied with Todd Souza for the points lead.
The ARCA Menards Series West has raced at Colorado National Speedway 18 times in its history. Love not only enters as the last race winner in the West but also the defending race winner in Colorado. Love held off Blaine Perkins for the victory last season where he earned the final victory of his 2020 championship campaign.
Past winners in Colorado include Hailie Deegan, Ryan Partridge, Derek Thorn, Greg Pursley, Dylan Kwasniewski, Paulie Harraka, and Ron Hornaday Jr. just to name a few. Chris Eggleston holds the most victories at CNS with four including back-to-back victories in 2016 and 2017.
BREAKING IT DOWN:
Rookie Dean Thompson had the best race of his career in the last West race at Irwindale. He did everything right but it just wasn’t meant to be but he still left tied with Todd Souza for the points lead. Making his fourth career ARCA Menards Series West start Saturday, Thompson will look to officially take the points to lead and use the momentum from his career night at Irwindale to compete for the victory. Thompson has made sure everyone knows who he was by the end of Irwindale and something says he’s just beginning.
Todd Souza has continued to roll off the momentum from the West opener at Phoenix. Finishing eighth at Phoenix, fifth at Sonoma, and seventh at Irwindale, Souza has managed to keep himself in the points lead. He and Thompson are tied for the points lead as he is headed into a track he has a lot of experience. He has five ARCA West starts along with three NASCAR AutoZone Southwest Series. He has the best finish of 3rd in 2019 and finished 8th last year. He’s managed to successfully hold the points lead this long, can he leave Colorado with it?
The Bill McAnally Racing organization is beginning to put pressure on the rest of the field. Cole Moore is the highest placed driver of the organization in third but Love tallied the sole victory for the team in the last race at Irwindale. Moore finished 14th in his CNS debut last season and is currently third in ARCA West points.
The field may have gotten the jump on the BMR cars but they are beginning to go fishing in the West.
Sunrise Ford has two solid drivers so far this season with Jake Drew leading the way for the organization. Drew will have to rely on Huddleston for advice though as he has no starts at CNS in his ARCA career. Huddleston has three career starts at Colorado National Speedway with the best career finish of third in 2018. He’s never finished outside the top-10 at CNS in his career and he will look to push Sunrise Ford Racing past BMR as the season progresses.
The NAPA Auto Parts Colorado 150 at Colorado National Speedway goes live on NBC Sports Gold: TrackPass. ARCA will broadcast an audio feed of the race via the ARCA website. Tickets for the NAPA Auto Parts Colorado 150 start at $20 and can be purchased by clicking here.