EGGLESTON ENTERS IRWINDALEadmin
Erie, CO driver Chris Eggleston is used to winning everywhere he goes, but he has yet to score his first Spears Srl Southwest Tour Series victory. He hopes to put that streak to an end at the RJ Allen Inc. 100 presented by Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse San Dimas” at Irwindale Speedway on July 20th. The personable 29-year-old driver will be making his fifth start in the series, where he has a best finish of fourth at Rocky Mountain Raceway in 2017.
The 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion has seen his fair share of success at Irwindale Speedway. In the “West” Series he has four starts at Irwindale, scoring a win, two seconds and a third-place result. His success at the track, and the former potential for the facility to close, was a big influence on Eggleston’s decision to make the 1,020-mile trek to Southern California.
“I love Irwindale”, Eggleston told the SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour Series! “We have had some success there in a K&N (Pro Series West) car and have always wanted to run a Super (Late Model) there. After the threat of that place shutting down year after year, we finally decided that we need to get out there and run.“
Eggleston’s last start in the SPEARS Southwest Tour Series was in 2017, in a special combination race with the Northwest Super Late Model Series, at Rocky Mountain Raceway. Eggleston had his best series finish of fourth in that event, but he has not had the opportunity to compete with the drivers of the SRL with any frequency. Even so, Eggleston is aware of the series reputation through events such as the Winter Showdown, and his knowledge of drivers like four-time series champion Derek Thorn.
“The SRL has some good guys in the series, and the series itself has a good reputation”, Eggleston stated. “They always run a professional weekend, and I look forward to racing out there. Obviously, Thorn is one of the main guys to beat out there, and who knows who else will be out there running up front, as I haven’t really followed results up close.”
Eggleston has an extensive resume when it comes to short track racing. The nine-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series winner also has had success in the Late Model ranks. He was the winner of “The Race”, a $75,000-to-win event for the PASS South Series at North Wilkesboro Speedway in 2011. He was the winner of the “Chilly Willy 150” at Tucson Raceway in 2018 and the 2017 “Turkey Shoot 125” at the same facility. In 2007 Eggleston was the American Speed Association Late Model Champion for the Northern Division, scoring two victories.
Chris has also found success at his home track, the always competitive Colorado National Speedway (CNS). He counts over 20 Super Late Model wins, including the tracks most prestigious event, the Colorado Challenge Cup. He currently sits fifth in the 2019 championship standings, despite missing one event.
In 2018 Eggleston made four of his ten career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts. In each event, Eggleston finished in the top-15, scoring a tenth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for DGR-Crosley Racing. Twice the 29-year-old chauffer qualified in the top-five.
With a resume like Eggleston’s, it is not a surprise that he expects to win at Irwindale and take home the $5,000 winner’s prize, thanks to the “Winner’s Bonus” sponsored by Performance Friction Brakes.
“It would be silly not to have a goal to show up and win”, Eggleston admitted. “However, I’ve never have been there in a Super (Late Model), and a lot depends on our preparation in the shop, and how we unload. If we don’t unload with some speed off the trailer, it will be hard to make up so much ground.”
Adding to his confidence is the fact that Irwindale Speedway fits his driving style, as well as his previous successes in the “West” Series.
“Irwindale is a fairly flat, low grip racetrack, which fits right into my wheelhouse of tracks, that I often do a little better at”, Eggleston appraised. “You really have to drive the car with the throttle and steering wheel, which is different than other stomp and steer racetracks I have been to. I also feel like I have some experience with managing tires on low grip tracks, which may come to an advantage late in the race, as long as we have a balanced racecar to start the race off with.”
Eggleston is thankful to those who have made this trip possible for the father of one.
“It’s been really great to have Core & Main / BlazeMaster Fire Protection on board this year, to help get us to the racetrack each weekend. This trip is obviously not in our back yard and we need to travel a long way to get to (Irwindale). I really appreciate my dad and George back at home, for all the help prepping for this race.”
Come out to Irwindale Speedway on July 20th, to see Chris Eggleston take on the cars and stars of the SRL Series. He will also be competing against a fellow Colorado National Speedway hotshoe in 2019 Rookie of the Year hopeful Jace Hansen. Eggleston will look to get even with the two-time CNS Championship runner-up, after Hansen took the victory last May in Dacono, CA in their only 2019 appearance together.