Dylan Lupton took his first career K&N Pro Series West checkered flag last Saturday at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash.
The celebration, however, was cut short when the Wilton native was docked 12 points, his crew chief suspended and fined $2,500 and car owner Bob Bruncati docked 12 championship-owner points when it was revealed that a shock absorber didn't conform in a post-race test.
Lupton, 19, was still declared the winner and keeps his 14-point lead over 16-year-old driver Giles Thornton in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. Lupton is in fifth place in the race for the series title.
"We didn't cheat, and I was told the problem most likely came from debris getting into the (shock absorber) sock," Lupton said from his home in Charlotte, N.C., where he attends the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. "The penalties aren't a good thing, and I'm happy I get to keep my first win, but this does cast a bit of a shadow on it."
Lupton won in just his 12th start in the K&N Pro Series West after receiving some pre-race advice from 2011 series champion Greg Pursley, who shared his knowledge on how to attack the .646-mile speedway for the Napa Auto Parts 150. He then used that advice to hold off Pursley in a wild finish.
"It was my first time ever racing at Evergreen Speedway, and I struggled in practice," Lupton admitted. "In between practice sessions I went up to Greg, introduced myself and told him I was lost out there. I asked him where the line was."
Lupton said the corners are very long on the large track, and were like turning twice in each. The advice from Pursley must have helped, as Lupton held him off after a multi-car crash forced a red-flag stop with 15 laps remaining.
Lupton was able to duck underneath the crash, got a good restart and won by .197 seconds over Pursley.
"Getting the win takes a lot of pressure off of me," Lupton said. "I got the first one under my belt. Now I can just go out and drive."
Fundraiser for family
All American Speedway in Roseville will hold a bake sale Saturday in honor of Street Stock driver Matt Camp, who died Aug. 11 from injuries suffered in a boating accident on Bullards Bar Reservoir in Yuba County. All proceeds will be donated to the Matt Camp Memorial Fund.
Camp, 30, of Lincoln, leaves behind a wife and an infant daughter.
All American Speedway will dedicate Fan Appreciation Night on Sept. 7 to Camp.
While usually closed on Sundays, Squeeze Inn in Roseville, Camp's sponsor and track supporter, will be open Sept. 8 with all sales made that day donated to the Matt Camp Memorial Fund.
Louie Vermeil Classic
The Sixth Annual Louie Vermeil Classic at Calistoga Speedway, held Aug. 31-Sept. 1, has gotten more lucrative.
There is one Honda United States Auto Club Western Midget Sprint Car main event each night, and the winners will earn $10,000.
The winner of the USAC/California Racing Association and Western Classic Sprint Cars Series main event on Aug. 31 will receive $7,500, while the winner for the main event on Sept. 1 will earn $10,000. This will be the highest-paying Louie Vermeil Classic in history.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kyle Larson of Elk Grove, and USAC driver and Carmichael native Bryan Clauson have committed to race Sept. 1.
Super Bowl-winning coach Dick Vermeil, son of the late Louie Vermeil, will attend the event.
For information, go to www.louievermeilclassic.net.
Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.