Despite a mixed start to the 2017 season Garret Archer is a frontrunner for K&N West Pro Series Rookie of the Year. Driving the Jefferson Pitts Racing #27 Ford, Garret began the season by placing 3rd in the first race of the season at Tucson Speedway. That race was the first of the NAPA Auto Parts 500 four race series that kicked off the 2017 season.
The second race of the NAPA Auto Parts 500 was held at Kern County Raceway Park on March 23rd. Qualifying 11th in the Recruit 4 Business/Dirtfish sponsored Ford and within shooting distance of the leaders lap times, Archer was prepared to take advantage of his previous SRL Tour experience on the Bakersfield track to improve his position and work his way up to the lead pack. In early laps, however, Garret was pushed into the wall hard enough to break the rearend of the car. He was able to limp the car to the checkered flag and get the points, but ultimately finished 18th.
Garret’s next opportunity to prove his talent on the track came two days later in Irwindale, where the final two races of the NPA Auto Parts 500, each 100 laps, were held on the same night at Irwindale Speedway. Archer and the JPR team had the car dialed in for qualifying and nabbed the 5th spot for the first race. When the green flag dropped, Garret put his foot down and began to run a conservative race, holding position, staying out of trouble, and saving his tires. Towards the last 30 laps, Garret was in 7th position when he made a swift move that catapulted him around three cars to take 3rd. Archer and JPR teammate Will Rodgers traded 3rd and 4th for a few laps, but ultimately Archer was able to hold him off and cross the finish line in 3rd.
Just an hour and a half later, Archer was back in the seat of the #27 Ford for the final 100 lap race of the series. Starting in 5th position again, Garret was intent on bettering his first performance of the night. When the green flag dropped, the lead pack was unable to keep their spacing and began to bunch up. Keen to avoid an impending wreck, Archer dropped to the inside, inadvertently going three wide while in the start box. NASCAR officials called the penalty, sending him to the back of the pack. Narrowly avoiding going a lap down, Archer was still dead last at this point, in 20th position just two laps into the race. Digging deep for the focus that is his trademark, he began working his way up the pack to try and recapture his original position. Ultimately making it up to within shooting distance of the lead pack at 7th position, Garret was unable to close the gap having used up the tires in his recovery efforts. Holding position for the last few laps, Garret ultimately took the checkered flag in 7th.
With four races of the 14 race 2017 NASCAR K&N West Pro Series under his belt, Garret Archer has made a significant impression on the series with two top five finishes. He is in 6th position overall in points, and with a total of seven rookies running the series this year, he is the 3rd rookie in points behind Will Rodgers and Derek Kraus.
Garret says he is looking forward to the next race in Spokane, where he plans to give the NASCAR fans more of his brand of hard charging, tactical driving at the wheel of the Jefferson Pitts Racing and Recruit 4 Business/Dirtfish Ford.