Eric Holmes Wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Race at Phoenix International Raceway

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Eric Holmes won for the first time at Phoenix International Raceway on April 8
Eric Holmes won for the first time at Phoenix International Raceway on April 8
Eric Holmes won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix International Raceway and rebounded after a disastrous opening night race.
Eric Holmes is now third place in the West Series points standings
Eric Holmes is now third place in the West Series points standings

Holmes won for the first time at Phoenix International Raceway in the race on April 8. It was the 10th win of his West Series career.

The win moved the two-time West Series champ into third place in the West Series standings.

"We needed it bad," Holmes said of the Phoenix win. "We had a bad day at All American Speedway (Roseville). We came here to win the race and get the most points and we did that. So, now we'll move on to the next race and try to do the same thing."

Holmes crashed and finished 20th in the opening night race in Roseville. It was not the way he wanted to start the 2010 West Series season.

Holmes started the Phoenix race on the outside of row one, but didn't take the lead in the race until lap 47 of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 100.

Andrew Myers won the pole for the race. He led the first nine laps of the race. Greg Pursley took over on lap 10 and led for the next 22 laps. Then it was David Mayhew's turn to take the lead. He held the top spot for 13 laps before Holmes took over.

Brett Moffitt got the lead on lap 52 and again on lap 62. He led the most laps in the race, but spun out on lap 88 and dropped out of contention.

Pursley led for four more laps before Holmes took back the lead on lap 93 and led the rest of the way, surviving a crash on lap 98 that took out three cars. Brett Thompson, Kyle Kelley and Brian Wong were collected in the crash.

"Those guys were racing hard and got together and it got us back to second and we got a great restart," said Holmes, a driver from Escalon, Calif., and for Bill McAnally Racing. "We thought we had it won, but got another caution for a green-white-checkered. I got a good restart."

The race ended under caution after a four-car crash in lap 104. Auggie Vidovich, Moses Smith, Josh Combs and Luis Martinez Jr. were collected in the last-lap crash.

"I've wanted to win a race here for quite some time," said Holmes. "We had a good car all day. I just saved it for the end. The NAPA team did a great job on the last pit stop making the call. We had some great restarts at the end and got us the win."

Jason Bowles, the 2009 West Series champion, was second, followed by Pursley in third. Pursley and Mayhew are tied for the leaed in the West Series standings with 320 points. Holmes is in third, 32 points out of first.

"This was a big picture race for us and as much as I wanted to win, finishing third is a great night," said Pursley, a driver for Gene Price Motorsports. "We had a lot of concern about the engine but the thing never missed a beat. This whole Gene Price Motorsports team does a fantastic job and Jerry (Pitts) made great calls and had a set up that was perfect. This was a fun car to drive."

The next race for the West Series is at Iowa Speedway on May 23. It will pit drivers from the West and East series against each other.

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