HOLMES TAKES THIRD WIN IN FIVE RACES WITH VICTORY AT COLORADO NATIONAL SPEEDWAY ERIE, Colo. (June 7, 2008) - Eric Holmes keeps winning races, but Mike David keeps turning in consistent performances. The combination by the two most recent ...
HOLMES TAKES THIRD WIN IN FIVE RACES WITH VICTORY AT COLORADO NATIONAL SPEEDWAY
ERIE, Colo. (June 7, 2008) - Eric Holmes keeps winning races, but Mike David keeps turning in consistent performances. The combination by the two most recent champions in the NASCAR Camping World Series West is making for another tight championship battle this season.
Holmes, who won the 2006 title, scored his third win in five races this season with a victory in the Toyota/NAPA 150 at Colorado National Speedway on Saturday. With David, the defending champion, finishing in the runner-up spot, however, Holmes was only able to shave 15 points off his points lead.
The pair started side-by-side on the front row for the battle around the 3/8-mile at CNS. Holmes, who nabbed his second Coors Light Pole Award of the season with a lap of 80.737 mph, led initially - but lost the top spot to David on a lap 26 restart. Holmes demonstrated the strength of his No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, however, in charging back past David one lap after a subsequent restart. He paced the field through the final 100 laps that went green to the finish.
"I got him on the first restart, but I tried something a little different and he got me," Holmes said. "He was doing a good job of protecting his line. The next restart I changed my restart to how I did the first one and got him on that one."
After steadily stretching his lead as they worked their way through heavy traffic, Holmes had his fingers crossed that there would not be any cautions. "I was hoping for no yellows at the end," said the 33-year-old driver from Escalon, Calif. "The car was strong the whole race. I was cruising most of the race. The car was great. Ty Joiner, my crew chief, prepared a great car."
Holmes crossed the finish line with a margin of victory of 7.060 seconds, while setting a record average speed for the event of 62.888 mph. With the win, he garnered $8,050 in prize money and posted awards. He added to his series stats, with his seventh career pole and his fifth career win.
Although it was his first time to compete at CNS in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, it was not Holmes' first NASCAR win there. "I've had a lot of success here in the Southwest Tour," he said of the former NASCAR Elite Division. "The last time I was here in 2006, I won. I always look forward to coming here. It's one of my favorite tracks. It's a lot of fun. It's a real racy track and they have great crowds. It makes it real entertaining."
David of Modesto, Calif., took the runner-up spot in the No. 2 Bennett Lane Winery Toyota - with second-year driver Jason Bowles of Ontario, Calif., finishing third in the Sunrise Ford Ford. Mike Gallegos of Wheat Ridge, Colo., had a career-best fourth-place finish on his home track - followed by fifth-place finisher Daryl Harr of St. Albert, Alberta, who equaled his career-best mark. Completing the top 10 were Moses Smith, Jim Inglebright, Austin Cameron, Jeff Barkshire and Brett Thompson.
The two exchanges of the top spot between Holmes and David were the only lead changes of the event. The pace of the event was slowed by just three cautions for 18 laps.
Despite Holmes' three wins this season, he continues to trail David in the championship standings - 831 to 796. "It makes it tough," Holmes said of the points battle. "I didn't really want to see him lead a lap. That's five more points for him. It's going to be hard. Mike's going to be tough to beat all year. He's a strong competitor. We've just got to keep winning races. The only way to beat Mike David is to win. He's always going to be in second or third place, if not in Victory Lane."
Following Holmes and David in the points standings are Barkshire with 733, Cameron with 723 and Smith with 716. Completing the top 10 are Bowles at 715, Inglebright at 699, Gallegos at 680, Jason Patison at 680 and Jeff Jefferson at 662.
Barkshire continues to lead a talented freshman class battling for this year's Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. Barkshire has 46 points, followed by Patison with 44, Jim Warn with 41, Jamie Dick with 37 and Lloyd Mack with 22. Rounding out the rookie field are Wes Banks with 18 and Ryan Philpott with nine.
The next event on the schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Series West is the Bennett Lane Winery 200 presented by Supercuts at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on June 21.