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|