WS: Sears Point: Phil Dugan race notes

Dugan puts together solid run for RTD Motorsports at Sonoma North Highlands, Calif. -- 21 year-old Phil Dugan put together a solid 21st place, lead Saturday's prestigious NASCAR Camping World Series West "Bennett Lane Winery 200" at the winding...

Dugan puts together solid run for RTD Motorsports at Sonoma

North Highlands, Calif. -- 21 year-old Phil Dugan put together a solid 21st place, lead Saturday's prestigious NASCAR Camping World Series West "Bennett Lane Winery 200" at the winding Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

Dugan, the Drive for Diversity participant and series rookie, guided his Rob Dixon-owned RTD Motorsports Chevrolet past 16 competitors, after rolling off of the grid 37th.

"This race was a great experience," Dugan said. "This was my first ever road course race and I think it puts us in a good position for a good run at Portland."

Dugan picked up nearly 6 seconds between his first practice time and his qualifying time, but was only able to muster 37th.

After running the first few laps of the race, Dugan headed down pit road for fuel in his first career pit stop.

Dugan ran uneventfully around the back of the field, before a caution allowed him to earn the lucky dog award. Now back on the lead lap, he pitted with the field.

A penalty on pit road for missing his pit box saw Dugan fall back off of the lead lap. But he maintained position as the first car a lap down and was able to earn another lucky dog award.

After the final lucky dog, the young driver from Idaho was able to move forward and finish the 64 lap event in 21st.

Now Dugan will turn his focus back on oval racing with an event at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale slated for July 4.

"I have every intention to run in the top-five at Irwindale," Dugan. "We're going to take a Late Model out there to practice Friday night. I'm trying to use my experience from running up against the wall at Lakeport to benefit me at Irwindale."

The relationship between the team and Dugan is also continuing to improve.

"Communication at Infineon was a lot better than at the first race," Dugan said. "We all like each other quite a bit, and we definitely have gotten through some of the hurdles. I really want to take care of Rob's equipment. Hopefully he's as pleased as I am with how things are going."

-credit: rtdm

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Series NASCAR