ANTELOPE, California -- NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series driver Steve Portenga and the #16 NAPA AUTO PARTS/NAPA Belts & Hose team knew they had a great speedway car for the Relocate Here 200 at the California Speedway. During both practices, the #16 NAPA Chevrolet was in the top five on the scoring pylon. The team was ready for the 100-lap race. During the late afternoon qualifying session, Portenga would set a time of 43.182 which put him starting in eleventh.
“We didn’t qualify as good as we wanted,” said Portenga, “but we have a great handling car to run the 200 mile race.”
Portenga made an early run for the front at the start of the race and by lap 10, the #16 NAPA Chevrolet was in eighth. When the first round of pit stops came under a caution period at lap 36, Portenga was running in fourth. Portenga and a majority of the lead-lap cars came in at lap 38 and lap 39 for fresh tires and fuel. During the fourth of four cautions of the night at lap 55, crew chief Dusty O’Connell made the call to top the #16 NAPA Chevrolet off with fuel. The race was restarted at lap 63 with Portenga running in fourth when the #16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet began to experience a loose condition. Portenga would lose a couple of positions and finish the Relocate 200 in 7th place. Portenga remains third in the chase for the series championship title and is only 68 points out of second with three races left in the season.
The next NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series event will take place at the ½-mile track of Douglas County Speedway in beautiful Roseburg, Oregon on September 17th. For information on the NAPA 200 presented by NAPA Belts & Hose, please go to www.co.douglas.or.us/fair/ . Note: Oregon residents - Discount tickets are available at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store. For more information on Bill McAnally Racing and our race partners, please got to our website at www.billmcanallyracing.com.