ROSEVILLE, Calif. – Austin Dyne has spent most of this season chasing Cameron Hayley for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Now as the season winds to a close, the roles have been reversed.
With two races remaining, Dyne has taken command in the rookie standings and has an opportunity to lock up the prestigious title when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West visits All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., for the Toyota / NAPA Auto Parts 150 on Saturday, Oct. 13.
It won’t be an easy task, however. The historic third-mile oval is home turf for the Bill McAnally Racing team for which Hayley drives. BMR has tallied six wins in eight races at Roseville. And Hayley – a Canadian from Calgary, Alberta, who turned 16 in July – finished third last year in his only start at All American Speedway.
He has registered three top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 13 starts this season in BMR’s No. 20 NAPA Batteries/Cabinets By Hayley Toyota and captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award in six of those races.
Dyne – a 19-year-old from Malibu, Calif. – has two top five and eight top 10 finishes in 12 races this year driving the No. 9 William Rast/Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil Ford for car owner Bob Bruncati. He has garnered the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award four times.
Dyne has come from behind in rookie points. Prior to making his series debut, he had not yet been cleared by NASCAR’s Résumé Committee to compete on a one-mile track such as Phoenix International Raceway, which has hosted the season opener.
He quickly started making up ground, finishing seventh in his series debut at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and following that up with a third-place finish at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
He continued to move up in the rookie standings, fueled by consistent finishes – with top-10 finishes in his first six races. Dyne moved ahead of Hayley in the rookie standings following the race in Portland, Ore., and extended his lead at Albuquerque, N.M.
Both of the leading rookies, meanwhile, are in the top 10 of the overall championship standings. Hayley is seventh, with Dyne three points behind in eighth.
Defending series champion Greg Pursley leads Dylan Kwasniewski by 14 points in the championship battle, with Derek Thorn 37 points out of first. Three-time series champion Eric Holmes is fourth in the standings, followed by Michael Self in fifth. Sixth through 10th are David Mayhew, Hayley, Dyne, Jonathon Gomez and Ryan Philpott.