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San Bernardino, California (May 16, 2016) - The last time the NASCAR K&N West Series visited Orange Show Speedway Jimmy Insolo beat Bill Schmitt by two car lengths to win the Midland Motor Home 100. That was September 23, 1978. Saturday night (May 23), almost 38 years after that victory, Insolo will be the grand marshal and honorary starter when the K&N West Series returns to the historic quarter-mile race track for the Sunrise Ford 150.

The weekend will get under way with practice from 5 to 10 p.m. PDT Friday. Pit gates will open at 8 a.m. and spectator gates at 2 p.m. Saturday. Practice for the K&N entries will begin at 1 p.m., the driver's meeting at 4:45 p.m. will be open to the public and that will be followed by qualifying at 5:30.

Racing will begin at 7 p.m. with a 30-lap main event for the speedway's LoanMart Street Stocks and a 50-lap Open Late Model contest. K&N driver introductions are scheduled for 8:15 p.m. with the 150-lap race getting the green flag at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for Friday's practice and $12 for adults ($20 for both days) and $10 for seniors and children on Saturday, when active military personnel and children under 5 are admitted free. Parking is $3.

The K&N race, co-sponsored by Sunrise Ford, Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse and K&N Filters, is the fourth of 14 on this year's championship schedule and the first of just three on a quarter-mile oval.

The fact it has been so long since the series visited this particular quarter-mile, which opened in 1947 and is the oldest continually-operating track in the nation, accounts for the rare Friday practice session.

It's also the cause of the uncertainty Ryan Partridge has as the 28-year-old from nearby Rancho Cucamonga, California, prepares to resume his rivalry with 16-year-old (as of Sunday) Todd Gilliland of Sherrils Ford, North Carolina.

Gilliland, whose father David and grandfather Butch both were West Coast short track stars, won the poles and the races in his NAPA Auto Parts Toyota with Partridge second both times on the half-miles at Kern County Raceway and Irwindale. Two weeks ago (May 7) on the 3/8-mile oval at Tucson, Arizona, Partridge got the double win in his Sunrise Ford/Eibach Springs/Lucas Oil Ford Fusion with Gilliland second.

They'll go into Saturday's race with Gilliland leading the standings by 4 points over Partridge and Chris Eggleston of Erie, Colorado, 12 points farther back after a trio of top 5 finishes.

Partridge, who will be back at Orange Show Speedway August 20 with the Lucas Oil Modified Series, has done some testing at the facility since the Tucson race and said he is “not sure what to think” about his preparations because of the series' 38-year absence.

“None of the times (from the 1978 race) are relevant so you can only guess how good you're doing,” said Partridge, who also won the Lucas Oil Modified race at Tucson April 9. “It's frustrating. I think we've got the car dialed in, I think we're where we need to be.

“It's a real tight quarter-mile, it's definitely a bull ring, but at the same time it does have some grip. I didn't see much tire fall-off. We were able to run real consistent times, but it demands 110 percent every lap.

“There's going to be a lot of luck involved. Track position will be very valuable. It's real hard to pass so there's going to be some bumping and running. It's going to be a tough, tooth-and-nails, drive hard every lap kind of race.”

The last time the West Series was at OSS, the late Jim Robinson won the pole with a record lap of 63.51 miles per hour and led the first 22 laps before Insolo went ahead to stay in owner Gerald Craker's Lake's Drywall Pontiac. The race took 30 minutes and 35 seconds to run, thanks to six caution flags for 32 laps, the average speed was 49.046 mph and 12 of the 20 starters were running at the finish.

John Krebs, Pat Mintey and Ray Elder rounded out the top 5 and the field included such southern California short-track lumninaries as John Borneman, Richard White, Dean Huss, Ivan Baldwin, Rick McCray and Alan “Brownie” Brown, who is the technical director of the Lucas Oil Modified Series.

It was the eighth Winston West race overall, but the first at the track since 1973.

Insolo took home $1,150 for his ninth win of the season and two races later was crowned the series champion.

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