PARKER, Arizona — Some say you can never go home and see things the way they were. Well that may be true but in racing, there is no place like home. This past Saturday as we celebrated our independence, Greg Pursley returned to Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, CA, the site of many of his best moments in motorsports. While victory eluded the title contender, his fifth place performance keeps him solidly in the championship hunt.
Pursley qualified his Gene Price Motorsports/Star Nursery Chevrolet in the 5th position for the 200-lap King Taco sponsored event. The race would be broken into two 100-lap segments giving the teams and opportunity to work on their car in the middle of the race.
NASCAR impounds all cars after qualifying which challenges teams to not only put a setup under the car that will qualify well but perform under race conditions as well. Pursley felt they had accomplished that part of the mission. “Danny Crafton (crew chief) and the team were great as always,” Pursley said. “It was really hot so you really have to set up for when it gets cooler after the sun goes down. The track really changes.”
Well, change it did. At the drop of the green Pursley kept pace with the leaders who set a torrid pace in the warm southern California night. The first 100-lap stint saw only two caution periods leaving little time to cool the tires, but Pursley maintain a top three position throughout the first segment.
After the ten minute break, Pursley restarted third and quickly challenged leaders Jason Bowles and Jeff Barkshire for the top spot thrilling the capacity crowd with three-wide racing all around the ultra-fast half-mile multi-groove oval. Pursley eventually settled into the third position where he would run until late in the event when the setup on his mount got tight. Pursley would cross the finish line fifth to record his fourth top five finish of the season.
“The car was really good but we just got tight late in the race,” Pursley said. “We would have liked to battle for the win but some nights a solid finish is just as good as it keeps us in contention.”
Being an owner on the series can be challenging but rewarding all at the same time. “For a first year team I am thrilled with the progress we have made and the performance we have right out of the box,” Gene Price (Owner), stated. “Greg has done a fantastic job all season behind the wheel and in the shop. I could not be happier with how this team has performed all season. Sure we would like to win them all but this race was not meant to be. We’ll go back to the shop and prepare a winning car for the road course at Portland.”
Greg Pursley, in his second full season of competition in the NCWS, made his NCWS series debut back in 1999 at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, CA and has 24 career series starts with one win (Thunder Hill 2009), six top five and eleven top ten performances. Pursley is the 2004 NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion where he competed at Toyota Speedway and was a multi-time winner on the now defunct NASCAR Southwest Tour where he competed for many years. The NASCAR Camping World Series is in its 56th season of competition and the Toyota Speedway event can be seen on SPEED Channel July 16 at 12PM PT.
~Distributed by Gene Price Motorsports Public Relations