ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Cole Moore surely wishes his first ARCA Menards Series West win would have come at some point within his first 17 starts over the last two years.
He had come so close on so many occasions.
But it’s also hard to imagine a more perfect time and place for that first victory than the NAPA Auto Parts 150 on Saturday night at All American.
Moore, the 25-year-old who grew up in Granite Bay, California, just a short drive from the third-mile bullring of an oval, notched his first West Series victory with a convincing performance at his home track. And he did so with his father John Moore in the field as a competitor.
Moore took the lead for good on a restart with 16 laps to go in a race that seemed constantly interrupted by yellow flags. Those cautions couldn’t keep the 202o All American Speedway Late Model division champion out of Victory Lane on Saturday night; nor could any of his rivals.
“That was a tough one,” Cole said of the closing laps. “I had Jake [Drew] right there with me at the end. Those top restarts, it was risky. I knew he could send it in and hit me, but he drove me clean. We had a great car. Shoutout to Bill McAnally Racing. First win of the year for me; first of my career. I’m so happy.”
Moore before Saturday had racked up nine top-five finishes in his 17 West Series starts, with the elusive trip to the winner’s circle still on his to-do list. Despite multiple challenges from the likes of Jake Drew, Joey Iest and others at All American, Moore proved to be the driver to beat as the laps counted down.
“It means everything,” Moore added. “I have my whole family out here. My mom. My dad was in the race. That makes in even more special. It means everything.”
John Moore on Saturday made his return to West Series competition for the first time since 2015. He piloted the No. 24 Chevrolet fielded by Bill McAnally Racing as a teammate to his son, who drove his usual No. 99 Chevrolet. John Moore finished eighth.
Drew, the West Series championship points leader who started Saturday’s race on the General Tire pole and was Moore’s most consistent challenger, finished second after losing the lead to his rival on the final restart of the race.
Iest, Todd Souza and Kyle Keller completed the top five. Tanner Reif, RJ Smotherman, John Moore, Brian Kamisky and Nick Joanides rounded out the top 10.