Greg Pursley Grabs 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship

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2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Greg Pursley
2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Greg Pursley
All Greg Pursley had to do was take the green flag at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship on Saturday night.

He made it past the starting line, but didn't complete one lap before he was collected in a crash in turn four. His car and Michael Self's car were turned around. Jessica Brunelli's car was damaged in the crash.
Greg Pursley wins K&N Pro Series West championshiop even though he didn't complete a single lap before he crashed in turn four.
Greg Pursley wins K&N Pro Series West championshiop even though he didn't complete a single lap before he crashed in turn four.

Pursley, who started the race in seventh, had to go to the back of the pack and work his way to the front in the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Pick-N-Pull.

"The green flag flew and we got dumped," Pursley said. "We didn't even get into fourth gear. So, we started dead-last and kind of was on a mission after that. We probably had to burn the car down going from last to the top five. We tried to run a little bit and save a little bit. These guys were running hard tonight. We had a good race tonight. We got up to second and battled Eric for the win. I couldn't ask for anything more."

Eric Holmes won the K&N Pro Series West race, his second in a row, taking the lead on lap 140 and surviving a green-white-checkered flag finish.

Pursley worked his way to second place, but never led a lap in the race. He posted his fourth top-five finish in a row and wrapped up the K&N Pro Series West championship with one race to go, the season finale at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 12.

"The Gene Price Motorsports team did a great job and gave me a great car," Pursley said. "That's pretty much how it's been all year. It's been a dream season to me, winning six races and five poles and finally winning a championship here. I can't thank them enough." Pursley built a huge lead in the K&N Pro Series West standings, winning six of the first eight races. He has 12 top-fives and finished outside the top five only once. He has 318-point lead over Holmes.

Holmes moved into second place in the K&N Pro Series West standings with the win. He has eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in 13 races. He won his fourth K&N Pro Series West race at Roseville in eight starts at the tiny All American Speedway.

"We usually win it or something happens to the car leading it," Holmes said on Saturday night. "Tonight we had a great car. I had to give up the lead there for a little bit. We lost the brakes, had a little bit of a brake issue. Got it dialed in and saved the car for the end."

Holmes started on the front row next to pole winner Jacob Gomes. The 18-year-old rookie won the first pole of his K&N Pro Series West career and led the first 30 laps of the race.

Holmes took the lead on lap 31 and held it for 34 laps before another rookie, Dylan Kwasniewski, made his move. Kwasniewski took the lead from Holmes on lap 68 and battled Derek Thorn for the next 87 laps.

Thorn passed Kwasniewski for the lead on lap 120. Kwasniewski took it back in lap 124. The two made contact on lap 126 and both drivers had to go to the back of the field on the ensuing restart. Kwasniewski was penalized for rough driving. Thorn's car was damaged in the crash.

Cameron Hayley, a 15-year-old rookie, inherited the lead, but Holmes and Pursley right behind him. Holmes passed Hayley on lap 140 and held it for the rest of the race.

"It was an awesome race," Hayley said. "It was a hard race. It worked amazing. My dad, he's always been there for me. I'd like to thank my whole crew and everyone. It's been great."

Jason Fensler crashed in turn 4 on lap 145 and set up a green-white-checkered flag finish. Holmes was out front on the restart and was able to hold off Pursley and Hayley, who finished third.

Kwasniewski led the most laps in the race, 54, but finished ninth. Thorn limped passed the finish line in 11th place.

The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 presented by Pick-N-Pull will be broadcast on Speed on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. ET.

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