OTIS ORCHARDS, WA :: 17-year-old Nicole Behar will be running the full NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule with the help of veteran car owner and crew chief Travis Sharpe.

The deal came together in recent weeks after Nicole’s father, Mike, purchased all of Giles Thorton’s equipment.

“It came together when we bought all the Thorton Racing cars and equipment,” Behar said.  “We knew that he knew the cars better than most people and we needed the help so we brought Travis in as a Crew Chief.”

Behar has won nine championships during her career, including a Late Model championship at State Line Speedway in Post Falls, Idaho – the same track where she made her NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut last July.

She has also set six track records across four different tracks, four of which still stand. She started her career in karts where she won six championships prior to moving up to the Baby Grand Division at State Line, winning two additional titles in that division.

Behar already has three starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West tour and, in those three starts, she’s scored two top-10 finishes.  This year, she’ll be running the complete 13 race schedule in hopes of winning Rookie of the Year.  Behar said she also hopes to be in contention for the series championship.

Behar’s credentials have more than impressed Sharpe.  Sharpe, who owns Racing Dynamiks, has fielded cars for several seasons in the K&N Series as well as in Late Model Stock Car racing.  He says he feels Behar is the real deal.

“She’s good in my opinion,” Sharpe explained.  “She’s the best female I’ve seen.  She has two track records, one at Hermastin in Oregon and one at State Line Speedway.  The equipment she’s got now is a million times better so I’m curious to see how this all works out … It’s a family owned team.  They brought me in and I consulted them on what to buy from Thorton.”

A full-time K&N effort keeps Behar on a path that she hopes will land her in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series within the next five years.

Behar has been invited to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine at Hampton, Virginia’s Langley Speedway.  If things go well on the K&N West tour, Behar could venture to run some races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East later this season.  She will also continue to race in Super Late Model races when she can.

“With all the K&N races, there are a few races we can make in the Late Model,” Behar remarked.  “We’ll try to hit as many of those as possible… If we’re doing alright in K&N, we might run some east races so that might be an option for us.”

Behar’s 2015 campaign will kick off in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California.  Every NASCAR K&N Pro Series race can be seen on a tape delay basis on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).