Big Event, Big Effort for Jax Hughes and Team
Colorado National Speedway was the host for the NAPA/Toyota 150 this weekend, bringing the NASCAR K&N West series drivers from as far away as North Carolina and New York – and even JAPAN - and teams from all over the western United States to Denver for their annual event here. The Pro Trucks, Figure 8s, and Super Stocks were all on hand as well to fill out an exciting program of racing to a huge crowd that turned out for the event.
Congrats to our own Chris Eggleston for the win, and a shout out to CNS regulars Kody Vanderwal and his Dad, Rudy Vanderwal, for their fifth and fifteenth place finishes. Great show!
28 Super Stocks, as well as the Pro Tucks and Figure 8s were on a shortened schedule for the day, leaving as much track time as possible for the K&N West cars. There were just two short practice sessions, and no dashes (heat races) on the agenda. The 51 car was a little off in the previous race, so we hoped to make some adjustments that would get us back where we were. We were happy to have Kyle Patee in the pits for some help, and really appreciate his knowledge and experience.
With no dashes, qualifying was of the highest priority. Starting from the middle or back of the pack could very well mean finishing there, too. Kyle had a good coaching session with Jax, and his inspiration helped him him to lay down a good effort, landing at 8th.
When Jax pulled the car onto pit road, he put the car in neutral while waiting for the traffic to clear. He couldn’t get the car back into 1st. Earlier in the day, we noticed a slight drip coming from the clutch throw-out. We topped off the hydraulic fluid for it and thought we’d keep an eye on it. Sure enough, it was leaking when there was pressure on it (pushed in). We tightened it up the fittings, but did not have time to drop the transmission and change it. It was up to Jax not to sit with the clutch pushed in – get to your gear and get off of the pedal.
The pill draw moved Jax up one spot for the main. 7th put him on the inside row instead of the outside, and this would prove to be a good place to be. The field spread out a little, and Jax held that inside line. The number 5 Nova of Glen Poston had gotten turned around a few laps in and was working hard to stay in front of the leaders. Jax was running with the 2015 SS champ Brett Yackey in Kody Vandewal’s borrowed car when they caught up to Glen. They ran several laps side by side, each looking for a line that would get them by. Meanwhile, the 1 car of Mikayla Grote was just waiting and watching for a chance to join in and pick up a spot or two. They held her off, got by the 5, and continued on.
Brett had some contact with Brinlee in the 99 and lost several spots. Jax kept the excitement alive for the fans, running with Brinlee and Grote for the rest of the race, and finishing in the 6th spot.
Congrats again to the number 49 Ford of Chris Cox in his 3rd win of the season. Chris was followed by Brian Yackey in the 22 and Mike Cox in the 3. Jeff Dempewolf and the 99 of Brinlee rounded out the top 5. Jax holds on to the 4th position in season points.
A big thanks to Colorado Axle and Gear, Sundance Automotive Repair, and KLG Motorsports for the help and support. We return with the Super Stocks on Saturday, June 24 for the CNS Law Enforcement Appreciation night along with the Super Late Models, Grand American Modifieds, and the fan favorite Trains. We’ll be right back the next weekend, but on Sunday night (July 2) as CNS celebrates the 4th of July with two nights of racing and fireworks.