PURSLEY OVERCOMES MISTAKE TO WIN AT MMP IN NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 12, 2010) -- When a pit mistake led to a return to the pits for Greg Pursley at Miller Motorsports Park on Sunday, it may have seemed to him that another...
PURSLEY OVERCOMES MISTAKE TO WIN AT MMP IN NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST
TOOELE, Utah (Sept. 12, 2010) -- When a pit mistake led to a return to the pits for Greg Pursley at Miller Motorsports Park on Sunday, it may have seemed to him that another shot at a good finish was slipping away -- something the veteran driver has seen happen several times this season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
But this time he was able to battle all the way back in the No. 26 GPM Performance Parts/Star Nursery Ford to win the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge and register his second career series win.
Pursley got past Paulie Harraka on Lap 34, moments after race leader Patrick Long slowed suddenly due to a flat right front tire.
"We've been so close so many times this year," Pursley said. "We've had terrible luck this year and finally it turned around for us. I've really wanted to win a road course since I've been in this series and it finally happened. I just can't tell you how happy I am."
Eric Curran wound up getting by Harraka for second, while Moses Smith took fourth and Kyle Kelley finished fifth to register his first career series top five. Long, the defending race winner who won the Coors Light Pole Award with a record lap earlier in the day, wound up 22nd.
Pursley dashed into the initial lead from third on the grid and remained out front for the first 10 laps before green-flag pit stops began. During his stop, however, Pursley left his pit stall with the gas catch can still attached and had to come back down pit road on the subsequent lap. The miscue put him back to 17th.
"We got the lead early, on the first lap, and tried to stay in front of Patrick as long as I could," Pursley said. "We came in and pitted. Unfortunately, the catch can got stuck in. So, we had to come back in the next lap and serve our penalty for that. So, we went all the way to the back and motored all the way to the front and didn't give up."
Pursley made his way back up to third on Lap 33 and was ready to challenge Harraka. They were both more than five seconds behind Long when the race leader slowed suddenly. After overtaking Long, Pursley then went by Harraka several turns later. Pursley also radioed to his crew on the final lap that he thought he had a tire going down but was able to nurse it across the line .650 seconds ahead of Curran.
Curran, a regular in the Grand Am Series who was making just his second start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, also had to overcome problems at MMP. He had to drop to the back of the pack for the start of the race due to an engine change after practice and then during the race had pit to change flat right rear tire. Needless to say, he was happy with the runner-up finish.
"It's fun to be here," Curran said. "It was a pretty wild race, coming from the back. I love these races. I just love the competition. I love the bumping and banging here and there. It's much different than the normal road racing that I do in the Grand Am Series."
Points leader Eric Holmes finished sixth, followed by Tony Toste, Troy Ermish, Daryl Harr and Travis Millburn. With the finish, Holmes increased his lead to 141 over David Mayhew, who finished 14th, and 178 over Harraka.
Sunday's race was the fifth and final race in the Bill McAnally-promoted Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge. Eric Holmes won two of the races, while Mayhew and Harraka won one each.
With his win in Utah, Greg Pursley earned a secured spot in January's postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge from MMP will air on SPEED on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. ET.
The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule is the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., on Oct. 16.