BAKERSFIELD, CA- Rising short track star Blaine Perkins will take his first step in his quest for the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Rookie of the Year title this Saturday at Irwindale Speedway, in the season opening Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150.
Perkins, who spent the 2015 season traversing the West Coast from behind the wheel of both a Late Model and Open Wheel Modified, will team with veteran Steve Portenga for a fulltime K&N Pro Series West campaign.
“This is going to be the biggest year of my career, and I don’t plan on forgetting that for a second all season,” says the confident teenager. “This is the opportunity I’ve been dreaming of, and now it’s my job to make something of it. I believe in our program, our equipment and the people I’m surrounded with. I can’t wait to get to Irwindale”
The 16-Year Old joins an impressive crop of freshman intent on staking their claim as the top up-and-comer on the West Coast.
“As talented as the [K&N Pro Series] West roster is, it’s a privilege to be a part of,” notes Perkins. “The amount of talent that’s on the rise in this Series right now is pretty incredible”
“I think all of our events this season are going to be really competitive, but the season opener for any tour or series is always special,” continues Perkins. “Every team wants to establish themselves as a threat for the championship, and every driver wants to work overtime to thank their team for all of the work over the offseason. I think this Saturday is going to be a phenomenal event”
Perkins will look to rely on his familiarity with Irwindale’s half-mile confines, after having competed fulltime in the speedway’s weekly Late Model division in 2015.
“Irwindale is home for me, so I can’t help but feel as though that’s something we can use as an advantage,” says Perkins. “I know that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to this style of car, but having our first race on home turf is a huge relief for us. Knowing my way around this track is going to make it easier to get comfortable enough with the car to get the most out of it for 150-laps”
“The race itself isn’t overly long, so I don’t want to hang back for too many laps and get lost in the shuffle,” explains Perkins. “But, at the same time, I don’t want to burn our stuff up early and have nothing for the second half of the race. It’s going to be a balancing act, depending on what the tempo of the race is. But as long as we have something left for the last 50-laps, I think we’ll have an excellent chance at a strong finish.”
Blaine Perkins’ 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut is made possible thanks to the support of Golden Gate Meat Company, Good Life Organics, Steve Portenga Racing, Four Star Fruit, Double Eagle Produce & Transportation and Reeves Auto Care.
Fans can keep up with Blaine’s progress all weekend long by visiting the official Blaine Perkins Racing page on Facebook, and be sure to follow the all new @BlainePerkinsRacing page on Instagram.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)