BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — official series release — Jonathan Moore/Getty Images North America photo —
Rookie Dalton Sargeant earned his first NASCAR victory and he held off a series veteran to do it.
Sargeant out-lasted David Mayhew to win the K&N Pro Series West season opener Saturday night at Kern County Raceway Park, as a pair of late cautions pushed the NAPA Auto Parts 150 to 160 laps.
The 17-year-old Boca Raton, Fla., native picked up right where he left off in February at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway where he finished second in the K&N Pro Series East opener.
Sargeant won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Light earlier in the day and the No. 55 GALT Ford led the final 58 laps. Sargeant, who drives for HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks in the K&N Pro East, is racing the K&N Pro West for the first-year Jefferson Pitts Racing team.
Sargeant’s Jefferson Pitts’ teammates, Noah Gragson and Gracin Raz, finished third and sixth, respectively.
Mayhew led 85 laps before Sargeant took control on Lap 102. Despite challenging Sargeant on every lap, the 33-year-old Atascadero, Calif., native was unable to get past the rookie and settled for second.
Last year’s Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner James Bickford finished fourth and Chris Eggleston rounded out the top five.