Eric Holmes Wins Third NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship

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NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Racer Eric Holmes and Lloyd Dane
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Racer Eric Holmes and Lloyd Dane
Eric Holmes led six laps and finished in 16th place in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix International Raceway, but it was enough for him to win his third West Series championship.
Greg Pursley gets the Coors Light Pole Award.
Greg Pursley gets the Coors Light Pole Award.

The only lap Holmes needed to complete was the first one for him to capture the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Series championship. He is the seventh driver in the 57-year history of the West Series to win three or more championships.

Holmes started the 3 Amigos Tequilla 125 in 13th and moved his way to the lead on lap 70. He was out front until lap 76 when David Mayhew took the lead. Holmes faded over the second half of the race.

"I drove the race the way I would have done no matter what," Holmes said. "We go to every race to win, then to get the best finish we can for that day. We did a great job getting me up front. It was obviously a great car, once we got up there.
Greg Pursley wins the trophy at Phoenix International Raceway.
Greg Pursley wins the trophy at Phoenix International Raceway.
I was kind of cruising." After taking the lead, Holmes made contact with another car and took a conservative approach for the remainder of the race.

"I don't know what happened on that one restart. I got into (Ty) Dillon and it ruined the night," Holmes said. "After that, I probably could have pressed the issue harder, if I needed to get a better finish, but I had myself in too many situations and guys were a little bit out of control. So, we just brought it home to celebrate this and not have a totaled out race car."
David Mayhew and Eric Holmes fight for the lead.
David Mayhew and Eric Holmes fight for the lead.

Holmes recorded five wins and 10 top 10s in 12 West Series races. He won the championship by a 124-point margin over Mayhew. Paulie Harraka, Holmes' teammate at Bill McAnally Racing, was third, followed by Moses Smith, another McAnally driver, in fourth.

Holmes won the West Series championship in 2006 and 2008, becoming one of only a handful of drivers to claim three West Series championships.

"I really appreciate the history of the series," Holmes said. "I remember being a little kid and watching Bill Schmitt and Jim Robinson and those guys. It means a lot to me to be in a group like that."

Greg Pursley won the West Series season finale at Phoenix. It was his second win of the season. Pursley ended up in fifth place in the West Series standings.

"We led there for a while and my crew chief, Jerry Pitts, came on the radio and told me we needed to save something for the end; we needed to save the left side tires," said Pursley, who won the pole and led 37 laps. "So, we kind of dropped back. We came in and got right side tires and filled up and tried to be really safe getting back up there, trying to take our time. We knew there were going to be some yellows at the end. Thank goodness, we did save enough. We had a great car at the end."

Johnny Borneman finished second, followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and owner Michael Waltrip in third. Dillon was fourth and Auggie Vidovich was fifth.

Mayhew, who led a race-high 69 laps, came in eighth.

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