The aesthetics of the ARCA Menards Series West would not be the same without the visual familiarity that is the pair of orange-and-blue Fords, one donning the No. 6 and the other featuring the No. 9, owned by Bob Bruncati.
And the Sunrise Ford Racing team from Southern California will again be on the track in 2021, starting with Friday’s West Series season-opener at Phoenix Raceway.
2021 WEST OPENER:
Bruncati, the owner of Sunrise Ford dealerships in the San Fernando Valley and in Fontana, California, has been fielding race cars since 2000, when he formed Sunrise Ford Racing so his sons could compete in late model stocks at California’s Irwindale Event Center. The team graduated to what was then the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West (now the ARCA Menards Series West) in 2006.
Sunrise Ford Racing has made more than 300 starts in the series, winning 35 times and capturing championships in 2009 (driver Jason Bowles), 2013 and 2018 (Derek Thorn).
In 2018, the team’s three drivers ranked No. 1, No. 2 and No. 6 in the championship standings. The next year, they won three races, two with Trevor Huddleston and one with Jagger Jones, the grandson of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones. They also won three races in 2020 with Blaine Perkins, who finished second in the championship standings.
Bruncati’s drivers have posted 18 top-five championship finishes since 2007. He has fielded cars for five Sunoco Rookies of the Year: Bowles, Luis Martinez Jr., Austin Dyne, Dylan Lupton and James Bickford.
In 2021, Sunrise Ford Racing again will feature a driver in the No. 6 and one in the No. 9, with the latter competing for another rookie award. That doesn’t include another full-time West Series entry — and another rookie — associated with Bruncati’s team for the season.
No. 6: Trevor Huddleston
- Age: 24
- Hometown: Agoura Hills, California
After starting in the Bandolero class, Huddleston moved up through the racing ranks through sportsman cars to super late models, eventually claiming his first career championship in the late model division at Irwindale Speedway in 2015. In 2017, he finished just three points behind Lee Pulliam for the NASCAR All-American Series national championship with 22 wins in 35 starts.
The 2021 season marks Huddleston’s fourth in the West Series racing for Bruncati. He finished fourth in the series standings in each of the last two years.
No. 9: Jake Drew
- Age: 21
- Hometown: Fullerton, California
Jake Drew arrives at his first season in the ARCA Menards Series West as an accomplished kart racer. A Southern California native, Drew has been racing karts since 2006.
In 2021, Drew Takes over in the No. 9 Ford that Blaine Perkins drove to a second-place finish in the ARCA Menards Series West championship standings last season.
No. 51: Dean Thompson
- Age: 19
- Hometown: Anaheim, California
Thompson and his High Point Racing team enter their first season in the ARCA Menards Series West with a car owned by Bob Bruncati’s wife Maureen, and Huddleston’s father Tim manages the car.
Thompson reaches the West Series with a strong background in late model racing. He and High Point Racing won the 2020 SPEARS Southwest Tour Series rookie of the year award. He also won the 2020 Irwindale Speedway LKQ Pick Your Part late model championship. Thompson still runs full-time in the SPEARS Southwest tour in addition to the West Series.
Thompson and High Point Racing Will Compete for 2021 ARCA Menards Series West Championship pic.twitter.com/fEEE1QhQh6
— Dean Thompson (@DeanThompson51) February 2, 2021