NASCARARCA SeriesARCA West at Portland: Teams Reactions and Analysis

ARCA West at Portland: Teams Reactions and Analysis

By Vincent Delforge, special to

The Portland 112, fourth race of the 2022 ARCA Menards West Series season was won by the championship leader Jake Drew, his first career win. A race that took place entirely in the rain, a first in the history of the West Series. 

The Portland race review is available here: 

Complete race results :  

Driver & owner standings:   

As after each race we are going to detail the statistics for each driver, embellished with the reactions collected from many of them, drivers, owners and crew chiefs.   

ARCA West Quick stats    

-Race number 997 since the inception of the West Series in 1954.    

-2022 race number 4 of 11. 

– First race in the rain in history.    

-Race number seven at Portland International Raceway (PIR) since 1986.    

-Win number four for Ford at PIR. Ford leads with 4. Other wins are for Chevrolet (1), Pontiac (1) and Dodge (1). 

-Win number 38 for owner Bob Bruncati and his team Bruncati Sunrise Ford Racing. The most successful owners in history are Bill McAnally (98), Fred Elder (45) and Ernie Conn (41) and Bob Bruncati (38).   

-First career win for Jake Drew (13th career start). Only one other driver has won in his 13th start in history. This is the 1978 champion Jimmy Insolo.   

-Jake Drew is the 200th different race winner in West Series history. The first winner was Dick Rathman (March 28, 1954 at Oakland, CA) and the 100th was Gary Collins (April 24, 1994 at Bakersfield, CA).   

-Jake Drew is the 14th different driver to visit Victory Lane for owner Bob Bruncati. 

-Jake Drew is the seventh different race winner at PIR.  

-Second time in history that the driver starting 2nd at the start wins the race at PIR. The other being Patrick Long in 2010.  

-Win No. 29 for crew chief Bill Sedgwick. The second at PIR after 2011 with driver Luis Martinez, Jr. 

– First time in career that Connor Mosack (second career start) leads a race (9 laps).  

-First career pole position for Daniel Dye in his third career start. 

-79th pole position for Bill McAnally Racing. 

-First career start for Vince Little. 

-Best career result for Connor Mosack (second), Andrew Tuttle (12th and Vince Little (14th). 

The drivers   

No. 05 David Smith (Shockwave Motorsports) – WITHDREW 

“We ran into some unforeseen issues. As it is our debut we wanted everything to be as good as we could. It is the way we operate”. Says Smith. He will be in Sonoma next week. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
0      0      0     0      n/a  n/a 

No. 4 Eric Nascimento (Nascimento Racing) Start: 9th – Fin: 13th 

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Eric Nascimento on track at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

Difficult race for Eric Nascimento. Last year in the dry he had been very good. His 11th position was only due to his disqualification for having cut the first chicane. For his return, the car having been driven since the start of the season by Colombian Sebastian Arias, he was unable to find speed on a wet track.

His father and crew chief Mike Nascimento explaining: “We had several issues due to the rain. Windows fogging up inside and couldn’t see. And we had issues with electrical short due to water intrusion”. The good news is that he will be in Sonoma for the next race. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
7     0      1      2     0      5th (1x)      2 starts, best result : 11th 

No. 6 Jake Drew (Bruncati Racing) Start: 2nd – Fin: 1st  

Failing just for pole position against Daniel Dye, Drew was going to make exactly the same mistake as the latter at the start of the race by pulling straight at the end of the frontstretch. Sliding in the grass, he hit the tire barrier with his rear bumper, fortunately without damage. Left at the bottom of the pack, it was going to prove to be the best in the rain. Back in the top-10 in less than three laps, he entered the top-five on the eighth lap by overtaking Dye.

Bill Sedgwick, his crew chief, then opted not to go through the pitlane during the first caution. Drew found himself in the lead for the restart. From that moment, he did not drop a crumb to his opponents. Alone on his planet! Rolling two to three seconds faster than his immediate pursuers. The restart following the second yellow flag was only a formality and he crossed the finish line nearly 19 seconds ahead of Mosack.

He was able to bounce back after the disappointment of 2021 and his disqualification for having cut the first chicane during the last restart. This time no dispute possible. This first career victory allows him to consolidate his lead in the championship over his teammate Tanner Reif. 

We asked him a few questions: 

Vincent Delforge: First victory in your pocket, your feeling, relieved of a weight? No one will bother you anymore by asking you “So when are you winning?” 

Jake Drew: “I feel relieved to finally get that first win finally checked off especially at a track that the first win really should have happened in 2021. I feel great moving forward hoping to carry this momentum. The point system we use really values the bonus points so it’s good to grab as many as we can.” 

VD: You are leader of the championship with 14 points in advance. Your objective is to always play for victory at all costs, or are you going to play for the big points because the championship is more important? 

JD:I think the way to make sure we win the championship is to win races and gain the very valuable extra points. Granted, consistency is key too. The mindset every race is to complete all the laps. I’m lucky to be on a team that provides me great equipment where completing all laps is a great shot at victory!” 

VD: Have you ever raced in the rain? How do you explain that you were so fast? Do you have to be very gentle in your driving in these conditions? Because let’s be honest, a West car is already not very agile on a road circuit, so in the rain, it’s folklore! 

JD:  “I have spent a fair amount of time in the rain in my karting days and had great success so I may have been the only one smiling when rain was falling before the race. Yes, being gentle with every input is huge as well as staying on track and limiting mistakes, I know I went off too, it’s not always the fastest guy that wins. Limiting mistakes and having consistency takes you miles farther than being able to turn a fast lap now and then.” 

VD: We discussed who would be the 200th different winner of the West. Or the importance of registering your name during the 1000th race. Are you passionate about the history of the West Series? For you it’s just an opportunity that presented itself in your career, or did you dream of riding there when you were younger? 

JD: “I’m definitely growing an excitement for the history of the West Series. It’s very cool to hear some of the names that have come and gone along with some amazing stories. I’ve said before, stock car racing was never on my mind as a kid.

“Now I’m growing more and more fascinated with everything from the history, the dynamics of the car and what changes to make to the different driving and race styles for conditions and tracks. I’m really enjoying my time and happy to have been given the opportunity to not only race but now we’re starting to achieve some great things.” 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
13     1      8      11      3      1st (1x)  2 starts, best result: 1st 


No. 7 Takuma Koga (Jerry Pitts Racing) Start: 6th – Fin: 5th   

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Takuma Koga earned a top-five finish at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

Practicing karting assiduously in Japan where the weather is not always good, Koga has revealed himself to observers. His Top-five is no coincidence. He made the whole race in the top-five. Even being second for several laps. It is the first time that he has achieved two top-five consecutively on the same track.

Koga loves road circuits and does not hide his joy: “Jerry Pitts Racing team did a great job! It was good to be able to concentrate all the time. We want to be the best at Sonoma.” 

Its owner and crew chief Jerry Pitts explains to us, however, that the race was not easy: “Yes we was pleased with our run in these conditions. We fought a miss fire in the engine most of the race most likely water in ignition system but got though it. On they don’t go together very well (note: water and electricity) but fortunately no damage just a lot of clean up for the next race.” 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At portland 
94      0      3      18      0      5th (3x)      2 starts, best result : 5th (2x)  

No. 9 Tanner Reif (Bruncati Racing) Start: 4th – Fin: 6th 

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Tanner Reif at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

For a first in Portland and in the rain, the rookie’s race was good. Avoiding the first turn trap at the start, he led the opening lap. He was going to make two mistakes that cost him a podium. While fighting for second position, he missed his braking at the first chicane and to avoid Mosack, hit the wall lightly. Then had to mark the stop since he had pulled straight into the chicane. Then he went into a huge, well-controlled slide in the backstretch, putting two wheels in the grass as he wanted to overtake Tuttle, who he was taking a lap. Fortunately, without consequence. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
4      1      2      3      1      1st (1x)      1 start, best result : 6th 

No. 12 Kyle Keller (Kyle Keller Racing) – WITHDREW 

Forfeit due to lack of money. Next race for Keller will be Irwindale in July. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
5      0      2      3      0      4th      n/a 

No. 13 Todd Souza (Central Coast Racing) Start: 5th – Fin: 3rd  

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Todd Souza ran well at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

The veteran has adapted very well to the rain. He was always in the top five fastest cars, no matter how much rain. This third position makes it easy to forget the disaster of last year when his engine never worked. It is his first top-five of the season and his best result in Portland, the previous being an eighth position.

Souza says: “It was crazy! And foggy windshield made it almost impossible to see.  I think we are lucky we didn’t have too many cars on track or half of our field would’ve been wrecked. Most of those cars needed the space!” 

Michael Munoz, the crew chief, feels that this good result is a boost for the confidence of the team: “The race was fun, filled with a lot of ups and downs, racing in the rain brought a whole new challenge but it was a cool experience. My driver and team worked hard for a good finish and I hope it brings us some motivation going into Sonoma.” 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
101     1      15      54      0      1st (1x)      5 starts, best result: 3rd  

No. 16 Austin Herzog (Bill McAnally Racing) Start: 10th – Fin: 9th  

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Austin Herzog at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

Despite testing in Sonoma which had gone well to prepare for his first career race on a road course, Herzog’s race was complicated. The main reason being the weather. The top-five being inaccessible, he could claim a sixth or seventh position. But a few errors and a visibility problem made it difficult for him. This “poor” performance takes him out of the top-five in the drivers’ championship.  

But the rookie learned a lot and had fun as he explains to us: 

Vincent Delforge: It was your first race on a road course in the West Series. You had tested in Sonoma under the sun. How did you feel in the car with the rain? 

Austin Herzog: “The cars were very unstable in the rain unfortunately more than i thought they would be. The rain also made it almost impossible to see out of the windshield even with our defrosters we had.”  

VD: What was your goal? Survive given the rotten weather or did you hope for better than this 9th position, how was your race? 

AH:The main goal was to just survive and keep it on the pavement. Is was a very fun race track to run, it was a good learning experience for any other future rain races.” 

VD: Like other pilots, you had visibility problems with your windshield? How do you drive in these conditions? 

AH:Unfortunately we had to pit before the half way point to wipe the inside of the windshield. I was driving using other drivers marker lights to get around the track at some points.” 

VD: Sonoma next week, opportunity to bounce back. Do you like Sonoma? 

AH:Really looking forward to Sonoma, loved the track when we were there testing a couple weeks ago. I feel we will have a good chance in Sonoma to make up some ground.” 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
5      0      1      4      0      3rd      1 start, best result: 9th 

No. 17 Connor Mosack(McGowan Motorsports with Cook Racing Technologies) Start: 3rd – Fin 2nd  

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Connor Mosack competed in both the Xfinity race and ARCA West race at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

A specialist in road circuits despite his young age (23), the TransAm driver put all his experience into aiming for one goal, the victory. He was clearly better than the others except for Jake Drew. Mosack made almost no mistakes. He did some great overtaking. He was impressively efficient. Having done the NASCAR Xfinity Series race just before was beneficial because it was contested in the same weather conditions. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
0   1   2   0   2nd (1x)   1 start, best result : 2nd 

No. 31 Paul Pedroncelli (P.J. Pedroncelli Racing) Start: 15th – Fin: 16th   

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Paul Pedroncelli started and parked due to the weather conditions at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

To preserve the car, he did not do the practice/qualifying session. Finally he just took a lap before returning the car to the garage. New start and park. Too bad because last year, he had a good ninth position here. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
12      0      0      1      0      8th      2 starts, best result: 9th  

No. 32 Dale Quarterley (Quarterley Racing) Start: 14th – Fin: 15th   

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A mechanical issue park Dale Quarterley at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

His return to the West Series will not leave good memories in Quarterley. Never in the blow in the wet during the practice/qualifying session. He quit the race after just one lap due to an electrical problem. Indeed, water having infiltrated the ignition box. 

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

No. 33 P.J. Pedroncelli (P.J. Pedroncelli Racing) Start: 7th – Fin: 8th   

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PJ Pedroncelli at Portland.

What do last year’s race have in common with this one for P.J.? The answer is simple, there is none. The day and the night. As fast as P.J. was on the dry track, here it was hell. Especially once relegated to the middle of the field, without visibility, he lost a lap on the leader. This eighth position, however, allows him to maintain a good position in the championship.

A fun but forgettable race as P.J. explains: “I was just riding at first to see how people were going to race. Then started coming back forward, we had motor electrical issues around half way. Then starting in the rear of the halfway point it was impossible to see anything and was just riding around at that point. I don’t think anyone was really truly prepared for that. It was a cool and different experience, but I’m glad that it is done with.”. He is confident for the next race in Sonoma where it should be sunny. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
26      1      6      9      2      1st (1x)      2 starts, best result: 2nd  

No. 39 Andrew Tuttle (Last Chance Racing) Start: 16th – Fin: 12th   

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Andrew Tuttle stalled in the chicane at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

Catastrophe for Tuttle during the tests where he could not do the slightest lap as he explains to us: “The race day started off to a slow start. We had issues with getting fuel to the motor. Once we had got that issue fixed we had stripped teeth from the fly wheel so we had some issues getting started. It caused us to miss practice, so we had to start on a provisional at the back of the pack.” 

Regarding his race, it was not easy. Causing the first yellow flag, immobilized in the first chicane, he was going to experience many difficulties. He managed to bring the car back to the finish and even got his best career result.

Tuttle summarizing his race: “Once we got the race going we had a spring drop on us the reason for the left side drop. Made the car difficult on top of the rain and zero visibility. The race was still going decent. I did my best to run my own race and keep a line open for the faster cars.

“About midway the rain was coming down pretty good causing some standing water on the track, this made it hard to drive the car hard it would step out on me every time I got to hard on the throttle or even higher rpm’s. Causes us to spin coming into the backstretch. The second spin was do to getting loose off turn three I gassed it to hard off the rumble strip. So other then Bridget driving into the back of me right after the green flag we had minimal damage. We have it going back together now and will be ready for Sonoma.” 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
10    0     0     0     0     12th (1x)     1 start, best result: 12th 

No. 43 Daniel Dye (Bill McAnally Racing  with GMS Racing) Start: 1st – Fin: 4th  

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Daniel Dye had an adventurous Portland race. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

For his first race of his career on a road track, the young Dye was impressive. Fast from his first lap, he obtained a superb pole position. The 79th for BMR. Indeed, BMR providing the car and part of the logistics and crews in collaboration with GMS Racing.

A little too ambitious at the start, he arrived too quickly in the first turn and shot straight into the grass. A waterlogged grass. Having lost time to get out of it, he would then quickly climb back to the top-five on the fourth lap. But he would then do two spuns on the 23rd and 38th laps. Finally he finished fourth.

Dye who really enjoyed this race despite the difficult conditions: “Road course racing was so much fun, and the team brought a great race car to compete with. Getting the pole, especially in the rain, is really cool. I think if I were able to see out the windshield, we could’ve given those guys a better run for sure. I’m already looking forward to Mid Ohio and Watkins Glen. Thank you so much to everyone at GMS and BMR for the hard work and opportunity.” 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
3    0     2     2    1     2nd (1x)     1 start, best result: 4th 

No. 54 Joey Iest (Naake-Klauer Motorsports) Start: 11th – Fin: 10th 

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Joey Iest at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

Joey’s race was not a long calm river. Stuck in the pack, he was able to avoid an accident when Souza spun off just in front of him. But he crashed into the tire barrier of the last turn causing the second yellow flag.

He also had visibility problems, as his owner/crew chief Mike Naake explains to us: “We were a top five just ran off the race track and got stuck in the mud visibility was very challenging as it was for everyone.” 

Finally after losing two laps in the incident he saved a top-10. “Had a fast car, struggled to see and hard to pass cars! We had a really fast car but was just trapped towards the back of the pack. Just really struggled to see in the rain! Got off course, lost a couple of laps and finished in 10th! Car is great and ready for Sonoma.” Iest says. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
17      1      6      8      0      1st (1x)      1 start, best result : 4th  

No. 77 Clark Lukens (Performance P-1 Motorsports) – WITHDREW 

Forfeit for Clark Lukens due to family issue. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
 0  0   0   0   0   n/a  n/a 

No. 85 Vince Little (Last Chance Racing) Start: 13th – Fin: 14th   

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Vince Little at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

First career race and he will remember it. Not easy indeed with a new car, bought from Kyle Keller Racing, and which had to be set up for the road track. He just didn’t have the speed. Benefiting from the free pass during the first yellow, he would then lose a lot of time in his pit box following numerous electrical and visibility problems.

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

No. 88 Bridget Burgess (BMI Racing) Start: 8th – Fin: 7th 

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Bridget Burgess earned her career best ARCA West finish at Portland. Photo Courtesy of Luis Torres via Vincent Delforge.

Excellent race for the young Australian. In the top-five for most of the first half of the race, she came out of the top-five after having to stop when she missed the chicane. An exit from the track at the end of the race when the rain was falling harder, did not allow her to climb higher than seventh position. Tied her career best finish on the Las Vegas bullring in 2020.

Her mother, owner and crew chief Sarah Burgess saying:  “Bridget had a great run at PIR, the road courses are definitely the races we feel we have a chance. She did like racing in the rain, reminded her a little of her Off Road days (Note: in the LOORS championship).” Last year in Sonoma, she surprised us with her speed. This year, everyone is expecting a great performance from her on the California road track. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
24     0      0      6      0      7th (2x)       2 starts, best result: 7th  

No. 99 Cole Moore (Bill McAnally Racing) Start: 12th– Fin: 11th  

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Cole Moore at Portland.

What a complicated race for Moore. Last year he had an excellent race before a contact during the last restart which lost him the podium. This year, in the rain, nothing worked for team No. 99. Not fast enough from practice. He would very quickly lose time for lack of visibility. In addition to the fog, his windshield wiper no longer works. A race to forget. Positive point, he retains his third position in the championship but is now 21 points behind Drew. 

Starts      Wins      Top5      Top10      Pole      Best result      At Portland 
21      0      6      12      0      2nd    2 starts, best result: 11th 

Next race June 11, 2022 for the second road race of the season at Sonoma Raceway (1.990-mile) in Sonoma, Calif., for the General Tire 200.   

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

Vincent Delforge
Vincent Delforge
Born in 1957 in Belgium, it was after a trip at the age of seven that my love for NASCAR caught hold of me! It was the 1964 World 600 in Charlotte. Since NASCAR it's my life! A large collection of objects and papers make up my personal little NASCAR museum. Passionate about the history and statistics of NASCAR, I have contributed to numerous magazines and websites mainly in French language (Europe and Canada). Those websites included,, and One of my greatest pride is my full-time collaboration at from 2003 to 2021. Today I continue to write for fun.


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