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Chris Eggleston’s ear-to-ear smile reflected his emotion after he won the June 10 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West NAPA/Toyota 150-lap race at Colorado National Speedway in Dacono.“The car is running very well today,” Eggleston said during the preparation for the race. “The car feels good, I feel good and I am ready to race.”He apparently was ready to race as the Thornton resident piloted his No. 99 NAPA Filters/H2O Fire Protection car to the fastest lap, called quick time, as he circled the 3/8th mile paved oval in 16.817 seconds and then completed the 150-lap main event ahead of the field to take the checkered flag.He battled a field of 21 drivers in the 150-lap main event. The report from the track stated the race was marked by a number of crashes that brought out the yellow flags. But Eggleston led much of the race and was in front for the final third of the event to earn the win.The body of the No. 99 car he drives is a Toyota Camry. It is powered by a 358-cubic inch engine which produced about 650 horsepower so Eggleston can hit speeds of 165 to 170 miles an hour on the straight section of the track at Colorado National Speedway. The car has a manual transmission and the car without the driver weighs 3,300 pounds.Eggleston, who grew up in Westminster, said his dad raced as a hobby and took him to a lot of races. He said he quickly grew to love racing and his desire to drive a race car was triggered when his dad took him to a car show when he was three.“I saw the race cars and wanted to drive. At five, we bought a quarter-midget which basically is a go-kart with a roll cage,” the 28-year-old said. “I traveled to race and drove quarter midget cars until I was 15. I also started driving a legend car in local races. I started driving late model race cars when I was 16.”He was behind the wheels in a number of different kinds of race cars for the next 10 years and, in 2014 he became a driver for Bill McAnally Racing in the NASCAR K & N Pro Series West. He won the K & N Series race at Colorado National Speedway and became a full-time driver for the team that year. The next year he won the series championship.“The 2016 season didn’t go well for me and I finished fifth or sixth in points,” he said. “But things are going better this year. The June 10 win is my second victory of the K & N racing series.”Eggleston drives for the K & N team at the 14 races in the series. When not on the road with the team he races his legend car and his super late model car at Colorado National Speedway.Legend cars are 5/8th scale replicas of American cars made in the 1930s and 1940s. Rules require the cars be mechanically basically the same. The Legends cars are powered by Yamaha 1,200 or 1,250 cc motorcycle engines that produce about 140 horsepower. Eggleston is first in Legends car points at Colorado National Speedway. He currently is in first place with 160 points, 10 points ahead of Kyle Clegg. There are 37 legend drivers on the points list at CNS.“The K & N cars are fun to drive and I like being behind the wheel,” he said. “But I think my favorite races are in the legend car. It is a very touchy car and it isn’t very forgiving if you make a mistake. You have to be on your toes all the time.”
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