WS: Portland: Greg Pursley race notes

Pursley Finishes Second at Portland; Gene Price Motorsports Driver Greg Pursley Has Victory Slip Through His Fingers After Leading Late PARKER, ARIZONA (July 20, 2009) -- In fishing and racing, the big one can get away. For Greg Pursley, driver...

Pursley Finishes Second at Portland; Gene Price Motorsports Driver Greg Pursley Has Victory Slip Through His Fingers After Leading Late

PARKER, ARIZONA (July 20, 2009) -- In fishing and racing, the big one can get away. For Greg Pursley, driver of the Gene Price Motorsports Ford on the NASCAR Camping World Series, victory was less than 300 yards away but his car drifted on the final turn allowing Jim Inglebright to slip by and claim the win. Pursley rallied for to finish second but it was of little solace even though he did close the gap in the championship standings.

Pursley qualified his Ford sixth for the Bi-Mart/Salute to the Troops "125" at Portland (OR) International Raceway Sunday afternoon and that was no small feat. Pursley hurt his back earlier in the week and just getting around proved to be painful so the only place he was really comfortable was in the race car. Pursley and team had a game plan; stay out of trouble and be in the top five with ten laps to go. That strategy played out perfectly throughout the scheduled 63-lap race.

After starting sixth, Pursley had moved into the fourth position by lap five and ran most of the race in that spot. Several cautions slowed the action over the first 50 laps and Pursley just bought his time focusing on hitting his marks and making each lap count. A restart on lap 50 had Pursley in the sixth position but when the leaders tangled in turn two, he was able to take advantage and move into second place in the running order by lap 52.

Pursley took measure of then race leader David Mayhew and was able to move to the lead when Mayhew ran out of gas on lap 57. A caution came out on lap 58 leaving Pursley in the perfect position for the final run to the checkered flag. In what should have been a quick caution period, it took the track clean up folks several laps to clear debris from earlier contact setting up a green, white, and checkered finish pushing the scheduled 63-lap event into "overtime".

The restart came on lap 64 and Pursley quickly stretched his lead to seven car lengths over Brian Wong and Jim Inglebright. Pursley took the white flag in total control of the race and victory just 1.98 miles ahead. The Portland layout is flat, narrow, and provides few clear passing zones so every inch of real estate on track is critical. The turn 10-12 area of the track really narrows up and funnels the drivers into a single file order onto the long front stretch. Pursley held point into turn 12 but his car pushed across the track opening the door for Inglebright and that was all it took. The duo with Wong in tow drag raced down the front stretch with Inglebright edging out Pursley for the win.

"I really hated to let that one get away," a disappointed Greg Pursley stated. "We had a great car and were right where we needed to be at the end. We just came up short. This series is tough to win in and it is frustrating to be so close to winning and to be within sight of the checkered only to lose it is disappointing. The whole Gene Price Motorsports team did a fantastic job over weekend and to give it away by my mistake kind of hurts. We'll put it behind us and get ready for Miller."

By virtue of his runner-up finish, Pursley closed the gap on third place to only 53 points back and only 177 points out of first place with four races left on the 2009 NCWS schedule. In the first season for Gene Price Motorsports, Pursley has one win, five top five and seven top ten finishes in nine starts.

-credit: gpm

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jim Inglebright , Greg Pursley , David Mayhew , Brian Wong