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HOLMES GETS PAST DAVID ON FINAL LAP IN TEXAS FOR 1ST CAREER WIN IN NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, AUTOZONE WEST SERIES KYLE, Texas (Sept. 30, 2006) - Eric Holmes and Mike David have battled back-and-forth for the championship this year in...

HOLMES GETS PAST DAVID ON FINAL LAP IN TEXAS FOR 1ST CAREER WIN IN NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, AUTOZONE WEST SERIES

KYLE, Texas (Sept. 30, 2006) - Eric Holmes and Mike David have battled back-and-forth for the championship this year in the NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series. Their season-long duel played out again as they ran door-to-door and swapped the lead multiple times in the Allstate Texas Thunder 200 at Thunder Hill Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Holmes ultimately prevailed - as contact between the two on the last lap left David spinning, while Holmes slipped by for his first career series win and a 47-point lead in the championship standings.

Although registering his first victory, Holmes expressed regret afterward about the contact between the two as they charged past a lapped car on the final lap. "I was a little disappointed in the way it all ended up," he said. "I got a good run off of (turn) two. It was back out or go for it and hopefully the lapped car would give us room, but he didn't. I apologize. I didn't want to win one like that. Mike and I are good friends. He's probably going to be mad."

The race winning pass by Holmes marked the 13th lead change of the event as competitors throughout the field battled for every bit of prime real estate on the tight 3/8-mile South Texas track. "It's a lot of fun racing each other like that, but it's pretty serious," Holmes said. "I'm proud of my whole team. They've done a great job and this one's for them."

Holmes won by a margin of 6.225 seconds, at an average speed of 61.927 mph. He netted $6,862 in prize money and posted awards for the win. Despite a spin just before the midway point of the race, series rookie Brian Ickler of San Diego, Calif., was able to charge back to the front in his McMillin Homes/NAPAFILTERS.COM Chevrolet to claim second - matching his career-best finish. He was followed across the line by two series veterans. Austin Cameron of El Cajon, Calif., was third in the RaceCarFans.com Chevrolet - followed by Johnny Borneman of Ramona, Calif., in the Borneman Plastering/Red Line Oil Ford. David, meanwhile, recovered from his last lap incident to finish fifth. The Modesto, Calif., competitor had started his evening off by winning his first career Budweiser Pole Award - with a qualifying lap of 89.994 mph in the Bennett Lane Winery Ford. Rounding out the top 10 in the race finish was Steve Portenga, Tim Woods III, Mike Duncan, Giuliano Losacco and Eric Hardin.

David led the most laps, running out front for 111 laps, compared to 87 for Holmes. Series rookie Peyton Sellers was the only other driver to lead the event, leading two circuits. His night ended, however, when he was swept up in a multi-car incident just before midway in the race.

The pace of the event was slowed by eight cautions for 48 laps.

With his win, Holmes padded his lead in the championship standings over David - 1,724 to 1,677. Duncan is third with 1,616 - followed by Portenga with 1,590 and Sellers with 1,567. Sixth through 10th in the points are Jim Inglebright with 1,507, Scott Gaylord with 1,474, Ickler with 1,449, Cameron with 1,446 and Borneman with 1,404.

Despite being sidelined early, Sellers was able to maintain his lead in the challenge for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. He leads with 93 points over Justin Lofton at 87, Ickler at 86 and Hardin at 76. Others rookies this year include Daniel DiGiacomo at 29, James Bruncati at 20, Eric Humphries at 16, Brian Pannone at 16, Spencer Clark at 14, Justin Fisher at eight, Travis Powell at six and Ed Watson at two.

The NASCAR Grand National Division, AutoZone West Series will conclude its 2006 championship season at Altamont Motorsports Park near Tracy, Calif., on Oct. 15.

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Steve Portenga , Tim Woods , Jim Inglebright , Scott Gaylord , Mike David , Eric Holmes , Austin Cameron , Peyton Sellers , Justin Lofton , Brian Ickler