GLENDORA, Calif. — official team release — Getty Images for NASCAR photo —
Sunrise Ford Racing announced on Monday that 18-year-old Cole Rouse will join the team in 2016 to compete full time on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
Rouse, a Fort Smith, Ark. native, will drive the No. 6 Sunrise Ford Ford Fusion in his rookie season of NASCAR competition.
“Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West is a dream come true,” Rouse said. “I’m looking forward to working with Bob (Bruncati, owner) and the Sunrise Ford Racing team this season. This year will be all about learning and improving as a driver. I believe this is a great place and a great opportunity to accomplish both of those things.”
Sunrise Ford Racing is owned by Bob Bruncati and has competed on the K&N West tour full-time since 2007. In 2009, the team won the series championship with Jason Bowles and followed it with another championship in 2013 with driver Derek Thorn.
Most recently, driver James Bickford earned two wins in the No. 6 entry, both at Stateline Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho.
“Cole will be a great addition to the team and we’re all looking forward to having him behind the wheel of the No. 6 car this season,” Bruncati said. “Cole is a responsible and ambitious young man who’s going to work to get the most out of the No. 6 Sunrise Ford car and represent this team well.”
Rouse began his racing career at the age of 14, competing in mini-cup cars before advancing to late model competition. He has spent the last three years racing late models on pavement in the Midwest. In last October’s All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn., Rouse led 160 of 300 laps before finishing fifth due to a failing rear end and broken shock. The 2016 racing season will mark his first in NASCAR competition.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season begins at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on Saturday, March 19.
CREDIT: Spire Sports + Entertainment