ARCA Menards West Series: Portland II Race Preview

By Vincent Delforge, special to

This Saturday, September 3, 2022, Portland International Raceway will host the eighth ARCA Menards West Series race of the season in Portland, OR. The third and last road races of the year. As for Portland, it will be his second race of the year after June’s which saw championship leader Jake Drew’s first career victory in an apocalyptic deluge! The first race in the rain in the history. 

For more information on the June race, I invite you to read the following articles: 

The 12-turn, 1.967-mile road course is hosting the eighth race of his history and  the 1001th race of the West Series since its inception in 1954. The Portland 112 is a 57-lap (112.12-mile) race starting at 5:35 p.m. PT/8:35 p.m. ET. It will be preceded by a practice session on Friday 2, from 6:05 – 7:05 p.m. PT. Following the next day by the qualifying from 1:35 – 2:05 p.m. PT. 

Race procedures 

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the ARCA Portland 112 is limited to 20 plus provisional positions. This event will be run under the 2022 ARCA Menards Series West rules, procedures, regulations and specifications. 

QUALIFYING: By timed session, impound. All cars must make an attempt, and all drivers must practice before they can qualify. 

RACE PIT STOP: There will be a competition caution at or near Lap 28. Pitting during any caution period in this event will be for adding fuel, making repairs and adjustments only, no tires can be changed unless approved by ARCA Officials. Positions will not be gained or lost among those pitting on the same lap unless penalty or going a lap down on pit road. All cars will be required to make at least one pit stop prior to last 10 laps of race. 

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: The maximum tire use at track for the event is eight (8), plus wets. Tires allowed in pit box for use in race = four (4) for emergency use only with approval by ARCA Official, plus wets. 

ARCA West at Portland  

The West Series was the first NASCAR series on this road track in 1986 with the victory of Hershel McGriff.  

We had to wait until 2009 for the West Series to return to it. The series established its quarters there four years in a row until 2012. Jim Inglebright (2009), Patrick Long (2010), Luis Martinez, Jr. (2011) and Greg Pursley (2012) having joined McGriff in the winner’s circle.   

Last year, for its return, the West Series offered us a crazy race with an incredible finish and the victory of Taylor Gray for David Gilliland Racing after long minutes of waiting. Several drivers having cut the first chicane during the last restart, they had been penalised including the first to cross the finish line, Jake Drew.  

Moreover, to avoid any problems this year, it was decided by Chris Wright, the West Series director, and the officials that during the start and the restarts, the drivers will not take the first chicane and will continue straight until at the fourth turn. Please note that this rule is ONLY valid for the start and restarts. The drivers having to take the chicane during all the other laps during the race and of course the practice/qualifying session.  

This rule will apply again this weekend. 

Among manufacturers, Ford leads the way with four victories ahead of Chevrolet, Pontiac and Dodge, one victory each.    

The Portland International Raceway is a 12-turn, 1,967-mile road course. This will be the third time the West has used this configuration since 2021. Previously it was the 1,950-miles or 1,980-miles. A road track made up of two long straightaways and a very technical winding section. It will have to be covered 57 times to complete the distance of 112-miles.   

As is also the case in Sonoma, Calif., Bill McAnally Racing has never known the joys of winning on this road track. Eric Holmes twice finishing second in 2010 and 2011. Conversely, the great rival Bob Bruncati met with success there in 2011 with Luis Martinez, Jr. and this year in June with Jake Drew.   

The Drivers 

The preliminary entry list is made up of 13 cars. It is time to detail it driver by driver.   

No. 4 Sean Hingorani (Nascimento Racing)  

After a very convincing debut at Evergreen where he was heading for his first top-five. Sean was unfortunately the victim of a collision with Landen Lewis. As a result, he had to give up. He is going to discover Portland. If Eric Nascimento had no luck with this car last June, he had a superb race last year with this same chassis. Ty Joiner will again be the crew chief and we could see a nice surprise when the checkered flag is raised. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
14th  n/a 

No. 6 Jake Drew (Bruncati Racing)  

Second in 2021 following a penalty, when he went under the checkered flag first, Drew took revenge this year by obtaining his first career victory last June here. Since then he has been almost unbeatable. Winning the races in Sonoma, Irwindale and finishing second at Evergreen following a last restart which was not favorable to him when he was leading the race. He intends to do the sweep in Portland, whatever the weather conditions. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
16         3          11          14          5          1st (3x)      2 starts, best result 1st     

No. 7 Takuma Koga (Jerry Pitts Racing)  

Whether it’s sunny in 2021 or rainy at the start of the season, one thing is certain, Koga loves the Portland road track. Both times he got fifth place. And yet each time he had not had an easy race with clashes! We could see this Saturday the Japanese get his best result in his career for his 98th race. Denny Moyer will be his crew chief in duo with Jerry Pitts since Kyle Keller, the team’s second driver will not be present this weekend. And Pitts knows how to win here as he did it in 2012 with Greg Pursley. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
97          0          3          19          0          5th (3x)          2 starts, best result 5th (2x)     

No. 9 Tanner Reif (Bruncati Racing)  

Already two victories for the young Californian rookie. For his first career road race, here last June, he was solid despite the terrible weather conditions with a sixth position. But since Tanner has gained experience and he will be a formidable candidate for victory. Jeff Schrader his crew chief has a victory on road track, it was in Tooele, UT in 2020 with Blaine Perkins. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
7          2          3          5          2          1st (2x)          1 start, best result 6th  

No. 13 Todd Souza (Central Coast Racing)  

After the disaster of 2021, Souza had obtained an excellent third position for his first career race in the rain in last June! His best result in five races at Portland. Souza remains on a top-five at Evergreen two weeks ago. His second of the year. But with a taste of unfinished. And there is nothing more dangerous than a Souza thirsty for victory! 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
104         1          16          57         0          1st (1x)          5 starts, best result : 3rd  

No. 14 Davey Magras (Davey Magras Racing)  

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Davey Magras’ car for the ARCA Portland 112, Photo Courtesy of Zach Magras via Vincent Delforge.

Davey Magras announced on May 12 that he would make his West Series debut in Portland on September 3. More informations: 

His son Zach will be his crew chief. The team has been preparing meticulously over the past few months by carrying out tests to perfect the basic setup of the car. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
–  –  –  –  –  –  – 

No. 16 Landen Lewis (Bill McAnally Racing)  

He will start in Portland. Since joining BMR, Landen has finished fifth and sixth at Irwindale and Evergreen respectively. But his performance in Sonoma with McGowan-Cook Technologies had been very convincing. He could have won the race without an accident which he had nothing to do with at the very end of the race. And it was his first experience on a road track. Good omens ! Note that its crew chief, Charlie Wilson, has already obtained two top-10 here in 2011 with the sixth position of Brett Thompson and this year with the ninth position of Austin Herzog. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
4         1          2          3          0          1st (1x)        n/a 

No. 39 Andrew Tuttle (Last Chance Racing)  

The race of the month of June was quickly placed in the category of races to forget! Tuttle has since shown progress race after race. If last June it was Mike Parker his crew chief, since the following race in Sonoma it is his wife Taniesha who occupies this position. Together they got at Evergreen their best result with an eleventh position. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
13        0         0         0         0         11th (1x)         1 start, best result 12th  

No. 52 Ryan Philpott (Philpott Racing)  

Victim of an accident in Sonoma while heading for the top-10 as in 2021, it is with pleasure that we see Ryan Philpott make a second race this season. He knows Portland for having raced there twice in 2011 and 2012 with a tenth position as the best result in 2011 when he drove for the team of John Wood and Mike Holleran. His old friend Chuck Dozhier will once again be his crew chief. 

Starts        Wins        Top5        Top10        Pole        Best result        At Portland 
36      0       0       8      0       6th (1x)    2 starts, best result: 10th  

No. 54 Joey Iest (Naake-Klauer Motorsports)  

Fourth last year, he did not experience the same success last June in the rain. With an excellent performance at Evergreen two weeks ago, he intends to surf on this good momentum to find the way to victory. Mike Naake, his owner/crew chief already has experience here in addition to the top-five of Iest with two other top-10s just like Tom Klauer, the co-owner of the team, who in three races as a driver, obtained two top-10s here.  

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
20          1          8          10          0          1st (1x)          2 starts, best result 4th  

No. 85 Vince Little (Last Chance Racing)  

For his first career race last June, Vince Little did not have it easy with electrical and visibility problems. Difficult for an independent driver even if he benefited from the help of the Last Chance Racing team for the logistics. After taking the decision to sell his car to Andrew Tuttle, the owner of LCR, he returns this time as a “simple” driver. He will use the same car as in June. Note that it is then planned to see him during the last three races of the season on ovals. As in June Darrell Herzog will be his crew chief. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
1       0          0          0          0          14th            1 start, best result : 14th  

No. 88 Bridget Burgess (BMI Racing)  

We know Bridget’s talents on the road circuits and she demonstrated it in June by obtaining her best result of the season with seventh position. And yet she was not spared problems in the rain. This time if the weather is dry she should be a candidate for the top-five with the help of all her family and especially her mother and crew chief Sara Burgess. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland  
27         0          0          8          0          7th (2x)           2 starts, best result : 7th  

 No. 99 Cole Moore (Bill McAnally Racing)  

We can’t say Portland succeeds in Moore. In two races, he only obtained an eleventh position as his best result. However if this year in the rain, he had great difficulties, mainly due to the fog on his windshield making the visibility almost zero, he had shown to be very fast last year on dry track before a chaotic end of the race. Still looking for his first career win, Moore knows Portland is his last hopeful shot at winning the championship. Because with 46 points behind… Mario Isola his crew chief has already obtained a fourth position as the best result in Portland but it was in 2011 with Moses Smith. 

Starts          Wins          Top5          Top10          Pole          Best result          At Portland 
24         0          8          14          0          2nd        2 starts, best result: 11th      

Final notes

– Note the absences of Trevor Huddleston, whose 2022 program is limited to oval races, Chris Lowden, Kyle Keller and Colombian Sebastian Arias for the same reasons.   

– Bobby Hillis, Jr. is also absent for budgetary reasons.  

-Performance P-1 Motorsports, the team of Joe Nava not being present for lack of agreement with a driver. 

-Who will be the 201th winner in the history of the West Series? The 200th being Jake Drew here at Portland in June this year. 

Featured Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

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