Pettit Primed for Championship run with Pikes Peak Victory FOUNTAIN, COLO. (July 23, 2005) Southwest Series point leader Jim Pettit II from Prunedale, Calif. had something to prove to himself, if not the rest of the field. Pettit proved that he...
Pettit Primed for Championship run with Pikes Peak Victory
FOUNTAIN, COLO. (July 23, 2005) Southwest Series point leader Jim Pettit II from Prunedale, Calif. had something to prove to himself, if not the rest of the field. Pettit proved that he is the man to beat in the chase for the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series crown as he claimed his third victory of the season in the King Soopers Freedom "150" Saturday afternoon at Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway.
Pettit took the lead for the final time on lap 139 and survived a green, white, and checkered finish to claim a .713 second margin of victory over Eric Holmes, with Eddy McKean finishing in third to record his 11th top three finish on mile race tracks in his last twelve races. 2004 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national champion Greg Pursley finished fourth with Dan Holtz rounding out the top five finishers and a top five sweep for the Southwest Series competitors.
Nick Lynch continued his momentum up the point standings with a sixth place effort while nine-time Midwest Series champion Steve Carlson was the top finishing Midwest competitor in seventh. Kevin Clark, Dave Finley, and 2004 Midwest Series champion Justin Diercks rounded out the top ten finishers in the special combination race.
"This is a special win for the team," Pettit said from Victory Lane. "This is a brand new car and our first win on a Soopers. We are also pleased for the family of James Rowe who has been missing since last year. We try to bring awareness about missing children and adults and by winning this race we can get the word out to a lot of people."
"I had a great car but when I got behind another car it pushed really bad," Holmes said after finishing second. "Out front we were great, but when Jim got by on that restart we just could not get it back."
Finishing third was McKean who had suffered blistering to his right leg during the race. "We were pretty good and had a great pit stop early which helped us a bunch," McKean said. "It was really hot in the car and I burned my leg a bit but we had a great finish that will help us in the points."
Greg Pursley led 108 laps en route to his second top five finish of the season. "I am a little disappointed to not win, but we were good all race and that was a big win for us," Pursley said. "I have fun racing with Jim out there and enjoyed the track. Everybody did a great job all day."
Justin Diercks maintains his Midwest Series point lead while Pettit extends his advantage over Burney Lamar in the Southwest Series. The Midwest will travel to Mansfield, Ohio next week while the Southwest Series heads up I-25 to Colorado National Speedway located in Erie, Colo. next Saturday night.