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Allstatge Texas Thunder 150, NASCAR West Series @ THR 3/14/09

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Sorry....I took a break for breakfast and laundry.... :lol:



Pursley pulls off last lap heroics for payday

Racing recipe for excitement.....one green, white, checker finish, two wide restarts, add in three drivers battling for a win, throw in a pinch of testosterone and opening race aggression, mix three wide in turn 1...VOILA!!


Such was the case as Greg Pursley pulled off his first ever NASCAR Camping World, West Series win, on his first trip to Texas. Pursley recovered from being shuffled back early and when Mike David and Eric Holmes beat each others doors off, Pursley snuck under both to steal the victory.


Polesitter, David Mayhew beat Eric Holmes into turn 1 as the green flag waved on the 150-lap Allstate Texas Thunder 150, NASCAR West Series' season opener. Holmes dropped in line second, Brett Thompson third, with Blake Kock and Pursley rounding out the top five. Mayhew and Holmes then began easing away from the field and caught traffic early on lap 7. Mayhew negotiated through with a slight margin over Holmes.


David began his run to the front on lap 8 getting under Jamie Dick for seventh. David then moved in on Paulie Harraka for sixth. David got into Harraka on lap 14 causing a mid-pack stack up that saw Harraka get hung out on the high side and fall back to twelveth. Up front Mayhew was increasing his lead as he sliced through lapped cars.


Jack Sellers brought out the first caution on lap 26 when he spun between turns 3-4. On the side by side restart, Holmes stayed with Mayhew as they scrapped it out for the lead. Holmes was able to get the nose ahead on lap 35, but Mayhew kept Holmes at bay retaking the top spot on lap 36.


David picked off another spot, taking fifth after a brief door to door battle with Koch on lap 37. Dick and Jason Bowles followed on lap 38, sending Koch back to seventh. Up front Holmes was hanging on to Mayhew's bumper a they built a gap over Thompson. Bowles took a look inside Dick on lap 45 getting along side, and finally by on lap 46.


David caught Pursley for fourth and was trying to loosen him up with the bumper on lap 47. Holmes was continuing to put pressure on Mathew for the lead, until yellow waved on lap 53 when Wes Banks, Jim Inglebright and Bow Carpenter tangled on the back stretch. On the restart, Pursley got hung out and quickly freight-trained, before finding a space back on the bottom.


As the top five ran nose to tail, David got into Thompson sending him around on lap 63, with Jim Warn sliding though the muddy infield to avoid Thompson. Mathew got away on the restart, while David hung Holmes out and Dick battled side by side with Bowles for fourth.


David got second, with Dick keeping Holmes high as he tried to get by for third. That battle went three wide passing a lapped car, with Dick securing the spot on lap 72. Pursley, who was making his way back to the front, was next to get beside Holmes when caution came out for a spin by Harraka. The crossed flags were shown under yellow with Mayhew, David, Dick, Pursley and Holmes holding the top five spots.


When green waved again David tried to squeeze Mayhew down and was able to grab the point on lap 82, while Dick and Holmes ran door to door for third. As the lead duo inched away, Holmes crossed over and got under Dick for third. David then stretched out his lead over Mayhew as the top five separated out, leaving Koch and Bowles battling for seventh.


Coming to lap 100, Holmes closed the gap on Mayhew, as Pursley reeled in Dick for fourth as they struggled through traffic. Once clear of slower cars, the gaps stabilized again. Holmes recaught Mayhew on lap 106 and had just gotten underneath when yellow waved for a pair of spins. Warn found himself the wrong way in turn 4, with Koch spinning in turn 2 as the pack slowed for the yellow.


On the restart, Mayhew and David stayed side by side for the lead through turns 1-2. Holmes had thoughts about going three wide on lap 119 as the lead duo were still door to door. Dick got under Mayhew making a three car fight that ended up with Dick spinning when the three made contact in turn 2. Dick was able to continue without a yellow, but nearly a lap down.


David and Holmes were starting to check out on Pursley, Mayhew, Bowles, Jonathon Gomez and Moses Smith who were bumper to bumper for third. Holmes got to David's bumper as David tried to lap Dick on lap 128. With the leaders nose to tail, Pursley, Bowles and Mayhew were trying to pick their way through traffic.


Jonathon Hale brought a yellow on lap 139 when he looped it in turn 2. On the restart with seven to go, David and Holmes made contact stacking up the pack. Bowles got tagged by Mayhew in the back up and spun, but kept rolling. Koch brought out the final caution on lap 148 when he overdrove turn 3 and spun, sending the race into overtime for a green, white checkered finish.


When the green was shown David got into turn 1, but Holmes fought back on the high side going down the back stretch. The two went into turn 3 door to door, literally. David tried to run Holmes up the track coming out of turn 4 as they continued to swap paint coming to the white flag.


A hole opened up on the bottom as the leaders went into turn 1 and Pursley saw his opening. Pursley dove inside, with David trying throw the block. The two made contact, with Holmes also getting a piece of the action. David went around in the middle of turns1-2 scattering the field and positions mid pack.


Pursley emerged from the melee with lead ahead of Smith who snuck through the carnage and Holmes recovering to hold third. Pursley would lead only the final ¾ of a lap and go unchallenged as he picked up his first ever West Series win in the Gene Price Motorsports, Star Nursery, Joiner Racing, Ron's Rear Ends, Finish Line Signs, Noah's Gas & Gear, Spec motored, Laughlin Chassis.


“First time in Texas, I love it here,” replied the jubilant Pursley. “I love the track. It's sweet. We're going to be having a good time tonight. We'll be partying in Texas!”


“It was a green, white, checker, what would you expect. I got a good run when Mike David ran Eric(Holmes) in the corner pretty hard. I got under him and he turned down, but I was there. I guess as you say, 'that's racing.' Mike David and I are friends and never raced each other dirty before. That's not the way we race, hopefully he'll think about that later.”


“They were beating on each other pretty hard and I knew something was going to happen. Obviously you really don't have a plan, but you hope something like would happen and it did. I had to take it.”


“Our plan was to hang out and try to save the car for the end. It's a 150 lap race and we tried to hang back the first 100 and just around the top five. When I got shuffled back I got back to the bottom as quick as I could and tried to make my way back up. I just took my time to be there at the end and it worked out.



“It was pretty exciting,” added runner-up Smith. “We started eleventh and knew we had a long night ahead of us. We were slow and steady out there and just kept digging. We ended up second, which was really good. It would have been nice to win and dedicate the victory to our truck driver, Mike Curry, who passed last week, but I think he'd happy with our second.”



“I love racing here,” said third place finisher Holmes. “I've been here twice(before) and won twice. The third time I just didn't have the luck. I was a great race. My buddy Mike David kind of washed me up there at the end and left the bottom open. It was to bad he got turned, but it made for an exciting finish.”



NASCAR Camping World, Grand National, West Series Allstate Thunder 150


26 Greg Pursley, Newhall, Calif

16 Moses Smith, Tempe, Ariz

20 Eric Holmes, Escalon, Calif

88 Jamie Dick, Albuquerque, N.M.

61 Brett Thompson, Jerome, Idaho

17 David Mayhew, Atascadero, Calif.

2 Mike David, Modesto, Calif.

34 Jonathon Gomez, Twin Falls, Idaho

6 Jason Bowles, Ontario, Calif.

10 Jim Warn, Aurora, Ore.

21 Blake Koch, West Palm Beach, Fla.

3 Wes Banks, Oakdale, Calif.

15 Jack Sellers, Sacramento, Calif.

5 Jonathon Hale, Rio Linda, Calif.

1 Jim Inglebright, Fairfield, Calif.

09 Bow Carpenter, San Antonio, Tx

12 Paulie Harraka, Wayne, N.J.

04 Phillip Hollis, Evadale, Tx.

31 Jim Marchino, Modesto, Calif.



In NASCAR West Series qualifying, defending race and series champion Eric Holmes set the early standard with a 15.165. Last in line to go out, was David Mayhew, but after two laps, Mayhew driving the MMI, Ron's Rear Ends, Wagner Spec Engine, Levitt Chassis, had moved to the head of the class with a 15.134. Brett Thompson, Blake Koch and Greg Pursley rounded out the top five qualifiers for the 150-lap Allstate Texas Thunder feature.


"It was a good car first off," replied Mayhew. "I just went and did my job. When they give you a car that good you just have to drive it the best you can. It just worked out today. We only had an hour practice today, but did really well. Hopefully it will be as good at lap 150 and not just lap 1."


"This is my third time here, finishing sixth the first time and third last year. You just look at the tracks, the banking, surface and take your best guess at a set up."


"My plan is try to lead every lap. Starting on the pole is definitely a lot better than second here. On the top you fall back three of four spots pretty easy. If we can get out front, not get bumped out of the way we should do pretty good."


NASCAR, Camping World, Grand National West Series Qualifying

17 David Mayhew, 15.134

20 Eric Holmes, 15.165

61 Brett Thompson, 15.427

21 Blake Koch, 15.444

26 Greg Pursley, 15.477

12 Paulie Harraka, 15.569

88 Jamie Dick, 15.683

2 Mike David, 15,774

5 Jonathon Hale, 15.821

10 Jim Warn, 15.838

16 Moses Smith, 15.972

6 Jason Bowles, 16.078

3 Wes Banks, 16.083

1 Jim Inglebright, 16.321

34 Jonathon Gomez, 16.405

09 Bow Carpenter, 17.066

31 Jim Marchino, 17.551

04 Phillip Hollis,17.640

15 Jack Sellers, 17.773

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I and everyone around me really enjoyed the two abreast restarts they use.

On a single lane track as THR is it promotes running in the second lane more!!

Maybe something to consider in the local class races to promote some passing

and less follow the leader racing??

Wish they would use some traction compound or rosin on the second groove??

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