ROSEVILLE, California — Greg Pursley, in a dominating season, clinched the 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship when the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Pull-N-Save got underway on Saturday evening at All American Speedway. And about 57 minutes later, Eric Holmes collected the race win.
"The 2011 season could not have gone better for Pursley. He picked up six wins in the season’s first eight events to open up a huge 298-point lead in the standings."
Pursley of Newhall, Calif., simply needed to take the green flag to nail down his first series title with one race left on the schedule, but that proved to be a little dramatic. Just as polesitter Jacob Gomes was taking the green flag, Pursley, who started the race in the seventh position, and Michael Self found traffic stacking up in front of them as they rolled through Turn 4 and got turned around.
That little scuffle aside, the 2011 season could not have gone better for Pursley. He picked up six wins in the season’s first eight events to open up a huge 298-point lead in the standings. Despite not having won since July 10 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., Pursley has continued to run well. Factoring in his runner-up finish in this race, Pursley has top-five finishes in each of his last four starts.
For Holmes of Escalon, Calif., the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Pull-N-Save victory was his second straight series win and fourth in eight starts at All American Speedway, his home track.
The defending series champion Holmes took the lead from Cameron Hayley on Lap 140 and was able to hold off Pursley, the new series champion, over the final 12 laps of competition.
Hayley closed out the race in the third position followed by Luis Martinez Jr. and Chad Boat in fourth and fifth, respectively. Gomes, Ryan Philpott, Daryl Harr, Dylan Kwasniewski and Matt Scott, making his series debut, rounded out the top 10.
The 2011 Sunoco Rookie of the Year award winner Kwasniewski led several laps early, but on Lap 124 he made contact with race leader Derek Thorn in Turn 3 which resulted in an aggressive driving penalty from NASCAR officials.
Earlier in the day, Gomes, as the last car on the track to take a qualifying run, won his first series career pole award.
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Pull-N-Save will air on SPEED on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. ET.
The next event on the 2011 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be the season finale Casino Arizona 125 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 12.
NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST-TOYOTA/NAPA AUTO PARTS 150 Results
At All American Speedway
Lap length: 0.333 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (2) Eric Holmes, Escalon, Calif., Toyota, 152 laps, 53.911 mph.
2. (7) Greg Pursley, Newhall, Calif., Ford, 152.
3. (5) Cameron Hayley, Calgary, Alberta, Toyota, 152.
4. (4) Luis Martinez, Jr., Long Beach, Calif., Ford, 152.
5. (10) Chad Boat, Phoenix, Ariz., Chevrolet, 152.
6. (1) Jacob Gomes, Manteca, Calif., Chevrolet, 152.
7. (12) Ryan Philpott, Tracy, Calif., Ford, 152.
8. (19) Daryl Harr, Edmonton, Alberta, Chevrolet, 152.
9. (6) Dylan Kwasniewski, Las Vegas, Nev., Ford, 152.
10. (14) Matt Scott, Pine Grove, Calif., Chevrolet, 152.
11. (3) Derek Thorn, Lakeport, Calif., Ford, 152.
12. (16) Brett Thompson, Jerome, Idaho, Chevrolet, 152.
13. (23) Greg Rayl, Roseville, Calif., Ford, 152.
14. (17) Travis Milburn, Eagle, Idaho, Toyota, 152.
15. (22) Justin Funkhouser, Paradise, Calif., Ford, 152.
16. (20) Jason Fensler, Wilton, Calif., Chevrolet, 152.
17. (11) Moses Smith, Tempe, Ariz., Toyota, 152.
18. (8) Dylan Lupton, Wilton, Calif., Toyota, 151.
19. (9) Dylan Hutchison, Sacramento, Calif., Chevrolet, 151.
20. (13) Michael Self, Park City, Utah, Chevrolet, 150.
21. (18) Carl Harr, Edmonton, Alberta, Chevrolet, 149.
22. (15) Jessica Brunelli, Hayward, Calif., Chevrolet, 146.
23. (21) John Wood, Eagle, Idaho, Toyota, 135.
24. (24) Jack Sellers, Sacramento, Calif., Chevrolet, 100.
Time of Race: 56 minutes 20 seconds
Margin of Victory: .403 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: J.Gomes * (87.741 mph, 13.663 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 47 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Gomes 1-30; E. Holmes 31-67; D. Kwasniewski 68-119; D. Thorn 120-123; D. Kwasniewski 124-125; C. Hayley 126-139; E. Holmes 140-152.
Standings: 1. G. Pursley, 2220; 2. E. Holmes, 1902; 3. M. Smith, 1868; 4. L. Martinez,Jr., 1854; 5. D. Kwasniewski, 1792; 6. B. Thompson, 1763; 7. M. Self, 1740; 8. D. Harr, 1591; 9. R. Philpott, 1545; 10. C. Harr, 1429.