KALISPELL, Montana — Gary Lewis picked up the Best of the West Tundra 125 on the Lucas Oil Super Late Model Series in one of two races on the NASCAR Rumble in the Rockies Saturday night presentation at Montana Raceway Park.
In the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Toyota/NAPA Bonus Challenge, Eric Holmes passed David Mayhew with 47 laps to go en route to his third victory of the season. With the victory Holmes increased his championship points lead on Mayhew by 79 markers.
Lewis and Jason Fraser waged a spirited for the Best of the West Tundra 125 title in the first half of the race. Both drivers traded the preferred spot in the double-file restarts and stayed door-to-door for several laps before Lewis was able to clear exiting turn No. 2 and shuffle Fraser back to second.
The man on the move was Bodie Morton who bounced back from a sub-par qualifying effort to briefly run second before falling into the clutches of Alex Lessor who himself recovered from a tough weekend. Lessor, who had completely snapped a driveline in the prior night's qualifying heat and worked all night to repair the damage, drove through the field and passed Morton with less than 10 laps to go for the runner-up finish. With Lewis in his sights Lessor closed the gap to five car lengths but was unable to make the pass for the win as the checkers flew.
"Man that was awesome," Lewis said in victory lane. "This is a tough bunch of guys here and (Jason) Fraser, Alex (Lessor) and Bodie were there all night long. I can't believe we were able to pull out a win in our SEFNCO Communications Impala. I was up the other night in the motor coach lot and I couldn't sleep and I thought up this set-up we ran tonight as an idea to try in practice and in the weekend and it sure paid off."
Lessor was grateful for a chance to even run in the top-3 after a tough Friday night outing.
"Our car sure woke up late in the race," Lessor noted. "We had a lot of work to do to get it ready for tonight after breaking the driveline last night and I'm glad it worked out for us to finish second to (Gary) Lewis. I have to thank Bob Schweigert for giving me an opportunity to drive this Rainbow Bar & Casino Ford Fusion; man what a night."
Morton had a solid night in his efforts to chase down Lessor's points lead in the Lucas Oil Super Late Model Series drivers standings, he said.
"We had a good car there tonight. Our Scott Carlson Law Office Chevrolet got better today in the practice session after a tough run last night," Morton explained. "We'll take the points and come back here in a few weeks and see if we can get a little closer to Alex."
In the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West 150-lap main event, Holmes marched steadily through the field from his seventh place starting position and moved into the top-5 running order by lap 50. From there the driver of the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota maintained a good race pace to keep Mayhew at bay on several late race restarts.
"These Montana race fans are awesome," Holmes said from victory lane. "I am glad that we were able to win the inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race here at Montana Raceway Park. I circled this one a year ago when they told us it was going to be on the schedule and I definitely had a good time here. I know we'd like to come back up here and run that Montana 200 next summer and see if we can put a stop to Gary Lewis' late model streak."
Racing resumes at Montana Raceway Park on August 14 as Insty Prints sponsors the MRP Super Stocks, Thunder Roadsters, Flathead Beacon Cruzin' Compacts, MRP Hornets and the Flathead Beacon Bombers. To learn more call (406) 257- RACE (7223), log onto www.montanaracewaypark.com or text MTRACE to 91011.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Toyota/NAPA Bonus Challenge Unofficial Results
1) 20 Eric Holmes NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 150 Running
2) 17 David Mayhew MMI Services Chevrolet 150 Running
3) 16 Moses Smith HASA Pool Products Toyota 150 Running
4) 22 Jonathan Gomez Heritage Cattle Chevrolet 150 Running
5) 09 Gary Lewis SEFNCO Communications Chevrolet 150 Running
6) 2 Daryl Harr WestWorld Computers Chevrolet 150 Running
7) 21 Blake Koch Daystar Chevrolet 150 Running
8) 88 Michael Self Montana Country 106.3 The Bear Chevrolet 150 Running
9) 6 Luis Martinez Jr">Luis Martinez Jr. King Taco Ford 150 Running
10) 13 Todd Souza Central Coast Cabinets Chevrolet 150 Running
11) 12 Paulie Harraka NAPA Gold Filters Toyota 150 Running
12) 9 Travis Bennett Grape King Ford 150 Running
13) Justin Funkhouser K&L Frame & Body Chevrolet 149 Running
14) 5 Thomas Martin Greyhound Adoption Ctr. Chevrolet 148 Running
15) 07 Greg Rayl Spectator Racing Ford 147 Running
16) 14 Travis Milburn Cooks Collision Chevrolet 144 Running
17) 38 Troy Ermish Datsun 510 Parts Outlet Chevrolet 147 Running
18) 26 Greg Pursley GPM Performance Parts Ford 127 Accident
19) 15 Jack Sellers Greyhound Adoption Ctr. 111 Engine
20) 71 Carl Harr WestWorld Computers Toyota 13 Brakes
Lucas Oil Super Late Model Series Best of the West Tundra 125 Unofficial Results