Montana Tech's NASCAR Driver Gracin Raz Lands Huge Win in California
The driver of the No. 27 Montana Tech Ford Fusion Gracin Raz executed a spectacular textbook move on the last lap of the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 160 at the All American Speedway in Roseville, CA over the weekend to win his first career NASCAR K&N Pro Series event.
Raz, just 18-years old from Lake Oswego, Oregon, showed his determination early to keep his team’s hunt for the championship alive by setting the pole. After dropping back early in the race, Raz powered through a strong field of drivers that led to a green-white checkered finish where he advanced from third to the win.
Partner Montana Tech was equally excited to see their No. 27 Ford Fusion cross the line first. “Like our Montana Tech students and alumni, Gracin is from ordinary, humble upbringings, who is accomplishing extraordinary feats; the way he kept digging for the win only reinforces his determination to achieve like any Oredigger,” shared Joe McClafferty, Vice Chancellor for Advancement and University Relations and President of the Montana Tech Foundation.
The unique partnership between Montana Tech and Gracin Raz Racing began in late July and has helped foster their brand awareness goals, including growth across some of their social media platforms. Based in Butte, Montana Tech is recognized as one of the top universities in the nation for graduates return on investment and produces some of the most elite and sought after graduates within the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.
Raz, a first generation driver for Jefferson Pitts Racing also has strong ties to the State of Montana; his mother was raised on a ranch in Northeastern Montana where his grandparents reside today. As an Oregonian, Raz’s car bore a decal to honor those impacted by the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon earlier this month. He is the first driver from the State of Oregon to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event since 2002 and the first to win since K&N Engineering became the title sponsor in 2010.
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 160 will be televised on NBCSN Thursday, October 22 at 7pm EST. The No. 27 Montana Tech Ford will be on track for the final race of the 2015 season at the Phoenix International Speedway November 12 where several members of the Montana Tech team and alumni are expected to be in attendance.