Greg Pursley is starting the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West where he left off at the end of the 2010 season. Pursley won the K&N Pro Series West 2011 season opener at Phoenix International Raceway on Thursday night. It was his second win in a row at the 1-mile oval in Arizona. He won the 2010 K&N Pro Series West season finale at Phoenix in November. It was also his third win in the past four K&N Pro Series West races.
Pursley led the final 30 laps of the 3 Amigos Organic Blanco 100 and finished ahead of Jonathon Gomez in second and Derek Thorn in third.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Driver Greg Pursley
"Gene Price Motorsports gave me a great car," said Purlsey, driver of the No. 26 Ford for Gene Price Motorsports. "Same car we won with here in November. Brought it here and started practice and knew we were going to be in a day race, so we kind of worked on the car for day runs. Kind of put it away a little early so we didn't overadjust ourselves on the track conditions."
Pursley had to maintain his lead after a late caution flag in the race. With 10 laps to go, Spencer Gallagher crashed in turn 1. The track was cleaned up with seven laps remaining. Pursley had the lead on the restart, followed by Thorn and Gomez.
Pursley Wins K&N Pro Series West Race at Phoenix International Raceway
"Our strategy was to come in really early and try and save our stuff," Pursley said. "While everybody had different strategies, we came in put on two tires and fuel and went out with the mindset to save our tires and wait everybody out and try to keep the fenders on it and it worked."
Pursley maintained his lead over the final seven laps of the race. Gomez was able to pass Thorn on the restart. Thorn missed a shift left the door open for Gomez to get around him.
"We had a good race, just really had to fight for position there at the end with the car being as hard to get off the corner as it was," Gomez said. "We probably had the fourth-place car. On that last restart, the 26 (Pursley) took off good and the 44 (Thorn) missed a shift and that got me into second. Only had to hold it for about seven laps, so we're thankful. Probably should have finished fourth."
Brennan Newberry won the pole and led the first 20 laps of the race. Purlsey started alongside Newberry on the front row.
Newberry was caught up in a crash on lap 65 and fell out of contention. He finished the race in 33rd place.
Pursley took over the lead on lap 21 and held it for five laps. Ty Dillon and David Mayhew swapped the lead spot from lap 30 to lap 69 when Purlsey finally passed them both for good.
Dillon finished in fourth, behind Thorn. Brett Thompson came in fifth to round out the top five.
"We're only running a partial West schedule, so to be here is a miracle in itself," Thorn said. "The car was really good to fire off with. We qualified decent. This place, it's the first time I've been here, kind of a learning experience being here in the day in practice. We struggled to find an overall baseline of where I'd be comfortable. The track changed a bunch."
Pursley led a total of 37 laps, the most of any driver in the race. The next race on the K&N West Series schedule is at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., on April 16.
"I wish we weren't off for another month. We'll do some testing and hopefully we can keep the momentum going into Roseville," Pursley said. "This K&N West Series has a lot of talented guys in it right now. It's a reall, really good proving ground for these kids. K&N came in and sponsored the series and has helped the series out tremendously. Getting to run here at Phoenix in front of the top three series, I mean you can't get any better than this."
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.