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Dean Thompson
Dean Thompson, driver of the No. 51 Thompson Pipegroup Ford, celebrates winning the General Tire Pole Award ahead of the NAPA Auto Parts 150 for the ARCA Menards Series West at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California, on July 3, 2021. (Meg Oliphant/ARCA Racing)

QUALIFYING: Dean Thompson earns first ARCA pole at home track in Irwindale

IRWINDALE, Calif. — Dean Thompson is new to the ARCA Menards Series West, but he is no stranger to Irwindale Speedway.

His familiarity with the half-mile paved oval outside of Los Angeles is a big reason why the 19-year-old from Anaheim won the General Tire Pole Award on Saturday ahead of the evening’s NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame.

Thompson, a rookie in the West Series who won the the 2020 Irwindale Speedway LKQ Pick Your Part Late Model championship, logged the fastest lap in the afternoon’s 75-minute, combined practice/qualifying session at 18.525 seconds (97.166 mph) in the No. 51 Thompson Pipe Group Ford.

Thompson and his High Point Racing team are running their first West Series season. Sunrise Ford Racing owner Bob Bruncati’s wife Maureen owns the car, and Tim Huddleston, the owner and operator of Irwindale Speedway, manages the car.

Joey Iest (18.611 seconds/96.717 mph) qualified second ahead of Todd Souza (18.674 seconds/96.391 mph), the West Series points leader entering the third of nine events on the 2021 schedule.

Amber Slagle, who is making her ARCA Menards Series West debut Saturday night at Irwindale, qualified fourth for her first race with a lap time of 18.728 seconds (96.113 mph).

Trevor Huddleston, the son of the track owner who is competing full-time in the West Series for Bruncati’s team, qualified fifth (18.799 seconds/95.852 mph).

Jake Drew, Jesse Love, P.J. Pedroncelli, Nick Joanides and Cole Moore rounded out the top 10 in qualifying.

The NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame at Irwindale is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET.

The race will be shown live on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass.

Starting Lineup: NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by the West Coast Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame

Pos. Car No. Sriver Sponsor & OEM Best Time Best Speed In Lap Laps Diff.
1 51 Dean Thompson * Thompson Pipe Group Ford 18.525 97.166 28 31  –
2 54 Joey Iest * AG Center 59 Ford 18.611 96.717 23 25 0.086
3 13 Todd Souza Central Coast Cabinets Toyota 18.674 96.391 49 53 0.149
4 17 Amber Slagle * MMI Racing Chevrolet 18.728 96.113 36 37 0.203
5 6 Trevor Huddleston Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Haas Dev/Terra Clean Ford 18.779 95.852 29 37 0.254
6 9 Jake Drew * Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil Ford 18.82 95.643 11 36 0.295
7 16 Jesse Love NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 18.824 95.623 8 24 0.299
8 33 Paul Pedroncelli, Jr. Select Mobile Bottlers Toyota 18.866 95.41 32 47 0.341
9 77 Nick Joanides Jan’s/Malins/Everlast/Wallace Sign Toyota 18.903 95.223 16 27 0.378
10 99 Cole Moore * NAPA Power Premium Plus Toyota 18.913 95.173 32 34 0.388
11 8 Johnny Borneman, III BT1 Ford 19.019 94.642 21 22 0.494
12 19 Amber Balcaen * Icon Technologies Limited Toyota 19.041 94.533 47 48 0.516
13 7 Takuma Koga Laundry Toyota 19.081 94.335 40 42 0.556
14 88 Bridget Burgess HMH Construction Chevrolet 19.434 92.621 59 62 0.909
15 8 Josh Fanopoulos Stoney’s Roadhouse/Kart Idaho Chevrolet 20.302 88.661 4 11 1.777
16 27 Bobby Hillis, Jr. First Impression Press Chevrolet 20.704 86.94 23 24 2.179
17 38 Hiroyuki Uno * Holleran Performance Ford 21.08 85.389 13 20 2.555
18 31 Paul Pedroncelli * Pedroncelli Mobile Bottlers Chevrolet 21.498 83.729 5 11 2.973