Eric Holmes is on a bit of a roll. He won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway on Saturday, his second in a row and his fourth of the season.
Eric Holmes wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Driver Eric Holmes
The two-time West Series champion from Escalon, Calif., started on the front row with pole winner Luis Martniez Jr. and took the lead on the third lap of the race.
Holmes battled with Martinez for the lead late in the race and held off a surging Paulie Harraka to win for the second time in three years at Colorado National Speedway. Holmes also won the race at Montana Raceway Park on Aug. 7, making it two wins in consecutive weekends.
"The NAPA Toyota probably wasn't as good as (Martinez's) there the mid part of the race, but I just figured out a line that worked good for me and I was able to get by him," said Holmes, driver of the No. 20 Toyota for Bill McAnally Racing.
"Once I got out front I was all right. The restarts my car didn't really want to take off. It made it a little tough. Super amount of fun racing here."
Eric Holmes and the No.20 NAPA Toyota
Harraka, Holmes' teammate at Bill McAnally racing, finished second. He won the West Series race at Colorado National Speedway last year.
"Our crew showed their NAPA know-how tonight, that's for sure," Harraka said after the race. "We got going, didn't have the car quite balanced the way I wanted it. The halfway mark we rolled through the pits, went to the back of the field, and made the changes we wanted to. Fortunately they were the right ones. We just kept creeping our way through the field, on and on and on. Just ran out of time. We just didn't have enough time. Got to second, got around Luis with five to go. I was going all out to get by Eric, just didn't have the time to do it."
Martinez won the pole, the first of his West Series career, and led the first two laps of the race. He regained the lead on lap 78 and held it for 29 more laps. It was the first time in his West Series career that he led a race. He finished third and recorded the first podium finish of his West Series career.
"The car stayed about the same the whole day from the time it came from the shop," said Martinez, the leader in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. "It unloaded fast. Right before qualifying, my guys told me just sail it into the corner because it looks like the track's got a lot of grip. That's what I did. It ended up paying off real well for us."
Holmes took the lead from Martinez on lap 107 and held it for the final 43 laps of the race. He extended his lead in the West Series standings to 114 points over David Mayhew.
Harraka moved into third place in the West Series standings with three races remaining. Martinez is fourth in the West Series standings.
"The race I thought was pretty good," Martinez said. "We had a good car the first 75. After that it kind of started losing the drive off a little bit. We kept our heads on strong. We raced Paulie hard to the last bit of the race. I don't think a podium's bad coming out here for the first time. Being a rookie, this track's been awesome to us. Couldn't be more excited."
The next West Series race is at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on Sept. 12. The final two races of the season are at All American Speedway in Roseville, California, and Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona.
"All these little short tracks I really like," Holmes said. "I like going to Phoenix. I haven't ran great at Salt Lake, but I'm looking forward to going there. We padded our point lead tonight. We just got to play smart, but go to Roseville and Phoenix, planning on winning races and not doing anything different than what we've been doing all year."
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