Jason Bowles, who finished second to Holmes in last year’s title chase, can clinch this year’s championship with a finish of 16th or better in the Toyota/Copart 150 presented by Golden State Steele & Stair on Saturday, Sept. 26.
Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Jason Bowles (No. 6 Sunrise Ford.com Ford) has a 78-point margin over Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota) as the NASCAR Camping World Series West heads to All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., to decide the 2009 championship in the final race of the season.
Bowles, who finished second to Holmes in last year’s title chase, can clinch this year’s championship with a finish of 16th or better in the Toyota/Copart 150 presented by Golden State Steele & Stair on Saturday, Sept. 26.
Both drivers have experienced success on the historic third-mile oval. Bowles won this event a year ago, while Holmes won the other two recent series visits to Roseville. Holmes had the dominant car in both of his victories, leading every lap there at the beginning of last season and all but one lap there earlier this year. Bowles, meanwhile, won the Coors Light Pole Award in both of those races – setting the track record there in April of this year.
Bowles and Holmes were locked in a championship battle when the series visited Roseville for the season finale a year ago, but the circumstances were reversed – with Holmes leading Bowles. Holmes, who only needed to finish 13th or better to wrap up the title, worked his way into the lead in the closing laps. But as Bowles closed in, contact between the two on Lap 148 left Holmes spinning in Turn 4. Bowles went on to win, while Holmes recovered for fifth and secured his second series championship in three years.
Bowles is a 26-year-old competitor from Ontario, Calif., who came from a background in open-wheel racing. He won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Camping World Series West in 2007. Holmes, 34, is a second-generation driver from Escalon, Calif., who raced in the former NASCAR Southwest Tour. He won his first NASCAR Camping World Series West championship in 2006, in his first full season of competing in the series.
While these two are focused on settling the championship battle, other drivers in the top 10 are looking for a strong finish at Roseville to move up in the final championship standings for the season.
Third place in the standings is up for grabs, with just 52 points separating three drivers. Greg Pursley (No. 26 Gene Price Motorsports/Star Nursery Chevrolet) – who moved this year from Newhall, Calif., to Parker, Ariz., where his team is based – is third in the standings with 1,813 points. He is shadowed by David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services/Ron’s Rear Ends/KHI Chevrolet) of Atascadero, Calif., with 1,799 points. Fifth in the standings, with 1,761 points, is the leading Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Paulie Harraka (No. 12 NAPA AutoCare/Adaptive One Brakes Toyota) of Fairlawn, N.J.
The next three drivers in the standings are also locked in a tight battle going down to the wire. Only 50 points separate Brett Thompson (No. 61 Rich Thompson Trucking Chevrolet) of Jerome, Idaho; Moses Smith (No. 20 HASA Pool Products/White Flyer Toyota) of Tempe, Ariz.; and series rookie Blake Koch (No. 21 GodSpeaks.com Chevrolet) of West Palm Beach, Fla.
Ninth and 10th in the standings are Jim Warn (No. 10 MJ2 Racing/GPI Performance.com Chevrolet) of Aurora, Ore., and Jamie Dick (No. 88 Viva Auto Group/Johnnie Walker Performance Center Chevrolet) of Albuquerque, N.M., respectively.
Jim Inglebright (No. 1 American Autobody Specialist), who ran select events this year, will be back in action at Roseville, a track where he won two Late Model titles.