DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Greg Pursley had a strong finish to his 2010 season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, winning two of the final three races. He hopes to keep that momentum going as he heads to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.) on Jan. 28-28.
This will mark the eighth running of the event, which brings attracts the top racers from across North America to what has become the pinnacle of short-track racing in the country.
The event and the track are both something Pursley is very familiar with. Toyota Speedway was home to him for many years and where he raced when he won the National Championship in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2004. He was also an instructor at the driving school that operated at the track.
Pursley is a veteran of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, as well. In 2007, the first year a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race was added as part of the big postseason event, Pursley won in a dramatic finish.
Now, he is shooting for a win in the 225-lap NASCAR K&N Pro Series all-star race, which highlights the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
We re really excited about going to the Showdown this year, said Pursley, who wheels the No. 26 Gene Price Motorsports Ford. We re running the same car that we ran last July, where we got the pole and led up until we ran something over and blew a tire out. So, we re real excited about bringing that car back. We think we have a really good shot. That s my home track, so we ve got a lot of laps there and a lot of success there. We can t wait to go back.
Despite his success at Toyota Speedway, Pursley has yet to win there in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series car. In five NASCAR K&N Pro Series West races at the state-of-the-art facility, his best finish was fourth in 2002. And in two appearances in the all-star event there, he finished 16th and 21st in NASCAR K&N Pro Series action. He hopes to change that this time around.
Irwindale is the track I have the most laps at, said Pursley, who lived in Newhall, Calif., when he raced there weekly but moved a couple years ago to Parker, Ariz., where his current team is based. We ve won well over 30 Super Late (Model) races there and Southwest Tour races. We really, really would like to get one in a (NASCAR K&N Pro Series) West car there.
He knows, however, it will be a big challenge to come away with a win in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
It s going to be really rough, said Pursley, who celebrated his 43rd birthday earlier this month. It is tough every year. The best of the best come out. It s like everybody says, it s our Daytona 500. So, everyone wants to come race that race. I m expecting a huge field of cars.
NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Steve Wallace recently announced plans to compete in this year s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. He joins a trio of 2010 champions Eric Holmes (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), DJ Kennington (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series), and German Quiroga (NASCAR Mexico Series) who have committed to running the all-star race. The 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, Jason Bowles, and the 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Paulie Harraka, have also announced their intentions to compete in the event.
In addition, sports action star Travis Pastrana has said he hopes to make his NASCAR debut at the event.
The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown main event is broken up into three sections two 100-lap segments preceding a 25-lap dash to the finish. The race features secured starting spots for the 2010 champions of NASCAR s developmental series and race winners of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series from the 2010 season.
The schedule also includes a 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race and a 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model race.
Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED, beginning each night at 10 p.m. ET. The coverage will be anchored by Rick Allen and Phil Parsons in the booth, with Dick Berggren and Jim Tretow covering action in the pits.