2017 brings a new level of competition and challenge for driver Garret Archer of Maple Valley, Washington. Originally planning to run a full season of the CARS Tour on the East Coast to build on last years’ experience in that series, circumstances changed leaving Archer available to sign with the Jefferson Pitts Racing team when Jeff Jefferson gave him the call to run in the NASCAR K&N Pro West Series. That arrangement puts Garret in the driver’s seat of the JPR #27 car to start the season. The JPR team has proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in K&N, with JPR driver Noah Gragson performing well enough last year to get picked up by Kyle Bush Motorsports for the 2017 season of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The 2017 K&N West season kicked off with the inaugural race of the NAPA Auto Parts 500 four race series at Tucson Speedway on March 18. Running strong all through practice, the JPR team had the #27 Recruit 4 Business Ford dialed in to a tee for Garret. In qualifying, incidental contact with another car slowed Archer, leaving him with some serious work to do to move up from his 16th qualifying position when the green flag dropped. With fifteen years of experience in a racing seat, Garret Archer is no stranger to the ups and downs that come a driver’s way on the track, though, and didn’t let the gap intimidate him. He knew that the JPR crew had prepared a car for him that could run with the leaders and was determined to prove it.
Methodically picking off the slower drivers ahead of him, Archer used the first half of the race to put himself within striking distance of the lead pack. By the 75-lap break, he had maneuvered himself into 7th place. As the second half of the race began, Garret quickly pulled into sixth position and ran with the leaders for several laps. On the final restart, Archer went high into the third groove to rocket around Todd Gilliland into second place behind leader Chris Eggleston. A few laps later, Gilliland managed to edge out the JPR #27 car for second, leaving Archer to take the checkered flag in third place.
Energized by a podium finish in only his second K&N outing, Garret looks forward to matching or exceeding this performance as the NAPA Auto Parts 500 series moves into its second race at Kern County Raceway Park on March 23, followed by back to back 100 lap races at Irwindale Speedway on March 25th. With the Jefferson Pitts Racing team and Recruit 4 Business behind him, Archer is looking forward to a winning season, a pivotal next step up the ladder of competition towards his ultimate goal of driving in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series.