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Keeping Pace

Holmes Looking To Continue Oregon Hot Streak

Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota), will be shooting for his third consecutive Roseburg win when the series heads there for the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge 150 on Saturday, June 5.


By Kevin W. Green, NASCAR

Mention Douglas County Speedway to members of the NAPA team at Bill McAnally Racing and you will probably notice them start to smile. The team has dominated competition in NASCAR K&N Pro Series West action at the short-track in Roseburg, Ore., since the circuit began making annual visits there in 2002.

BMR driver, Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota), will be shooting for his third consecutive Roseburg win when the series heads there for the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge 150 on Saturday, June 5.

Even more impressive is the NAPA team’s record at Roseburg – winning six of eight events, with four different drivers, as well as with different crew chiefs during those eight years.

As one of the events put on each year by Bill McAnally Racing Promotions, there is extra incentive to run well there for car owner and race promoter Bill McAnally, according to Holmes.

“It’s one of the first events that Bill McAnally promoted,” Holmes explained. “So, I think there’s a little added pressure to do well. He tells us we ‘have to win.’

“For me personally, it’s a track I’ve run really well at,” Holmes said. “I’ve always enjoyed going up there. The fans are great and it’s a beautiful facility. The key is qualifying well and starting up front and leading all the laps.”

Holmes admits it’s difficult to explain the consistency that the BMR has been able to maintain at Roseburg.

“Austin Cameron won there and he and I have totally different driving styles,” Holmes said. “I sometimes wonder how that plays into it. But for me, it fits my driving style. It’s a track you have to really pay attention, not over drive the car and save it for the end. For me, it’s been a place I adapted to really well.”

With six of the past nine races at Roseburg being won from the pole position, it’s also easy to see the advantage of starting up front.

“Qualifying is key there, because it’s really hard to pass,” said Holmes, who in 2008 demonstrated that a driver can come from the back of the pack. “Two years ago I had a flat tire and came back through the field and proved that you can pass there. You’ve just got to have a good car and be patient.”

Nonetheless, Holmes knows it won’t be easy to score his third straight win there.

“I know the odds are against me on that,” he said. “But it’s a place I love going to. Hopefully, we can get the set-up right. I think we can go up there and win the race like we have the past two years and put the NAPA Toyota in Victory Lane.”

Although Roseburg is in one of the smaller markets the series visits, teams love the small-town atmosphere they experience there.

“When we come into the town, we’re kind of the big show,” Holmes said. “It’s almost like the (NASCAR Sprint) Cup Series, because they don’t often get the opportunity to see this type of racing and these types of cars. The whole town gets together on it and with Bill’s promoting, we get a great crowd. The fans there love their NASCAR racing.”

Race Notes

The race … The Toyota / NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge 150 is the fourth event of a 12-race schedule this season for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

The procedure … The starting field is 18 cars, including provisionals. The first 14 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (56.25 miles).

The track … Douglas County Speedway is a .375-mile paved oval with 11 degrees banking in the corners. The track – located just off Interstate 5 on the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg, Ore. – hosted four races between 1966 and 1971, when it was a quarter-mile oval. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series has made eight visits to the track since it was renovated and expanded in 2001.

The records … Qualifying: Eric Holmes, July 11, 2008, 90.168 mph, 14.972 seconds; Race: Brian Ickler, June 30, 2007, 65.768 mph, 51 minutes 19 seconds.

Special autograph session … A special autograph session with some of the K&N Pro Series West drivers is set for Elmer’s restaurant in Roseburg from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 4.

Teen safe driving program … Bill McAnally Racing Promotions and Impact Teen Drivers will be holding a special teen driving safety fair at the Douglas County Fairgrounds from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 4. The event, the second such held this season, is designed to raise awareness about reckless and distracted driving among teens.

Final Notes From Iowa

Mayhew top West car at Iowa … David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services/Ron’s Rear Ends/KHI Chevrolet) scored his third career win as the top finishing West driver in the Goodyear Tire Dealers of Iowa 200 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway on May 23. All three of his wins have come on the .875-mile track in Newton, Iowa — one in last year’s combination race and one in the stand-alone event for the West at Iowa last September.

Fourth career pole for Mayhew … David Mayhew turned in the fastest lap of the 49 cars attempting to qualify at Iowa, giving him his fourth career series Coors Light Pole Award. In addition to the pole award he won in the combination event at Iowa a year ago, he also won the pole at a short track event and at a road course race last season.

Atop the standings … With his victory, Mayhew moved ahead by a 57-point margin in the championship standings. Three events of the 12-race schedule for 2010 are in the books.

Successful debut for Boat … Second-generation open-wheel racer Chad Boat (No. 36 Curb Records Chevrolet) had a successful series debut at Iowa. The 18-year-old driver from Phoenix, Ariz., finished 12th in the 44-car field — fourth among the West drivers.

First regular season run for Newberry … Brennan Newberry (No. 39 Syndex/Dale Junior Sharpie Chevrolet) made his first series start in a regular season event. Newberry — a 20-year-old from Bakersfield, Calif. — led eight laps at Iowa and finished 22nd overall, eighth among the West drivers.

Better luck for Holmes … It appears that Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota) finally turned his luck around at Iowa. The two-time series champion, who had never finished better than 27th in three combination races there, came home 10th.  

Last year’s event …

Eric Holmes led all 150 laps en route to winning this event at Douglas County Speedway a year ago.

It was the fourth straight victory at the .375-mile oval for Holmes’ car owner Bill McAnally.

Jason Bowles finished second, while David Mayhew was third. Mike David rallied from a pit stop that put him a lap down to finish fourth. Moses Smith rounded out the top five.

Brett Thompson, Blake Koch, Greg Pursley, Jim Warn and Jamie Dick completed the top 10.

Bowles was able to move by Mayhew late in the race and closed on Holmes’ bumper a couple times, but was never able to seriously challenge for the lead.

The winning margin for Holmes was 1.644 seconds. The race was slowed six times for 29 laps.

Holmes won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day.

Up Next: Road Racing At Infineon Raceway

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West heads to the wine country of Northern California for its annual visit to the twisting road course of Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. In addition to the series regulars, the annual event attracts plenty of road racers. Last year’s event featured plenty of drama from the drop of the green flag through to the finish.

NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES WEST SPECIAL AWARD STANDINGS

COCA-COLA MOVE OF THE RACE
Johnathan Hale, 1
Gary Lewis, 1
Stan Silva, 1

FEATHERLITE MOST IMPROVED DRIVER
Eric Holmes, 1
Blake Koch, 1
Paul Pedroncelli Jr., 1

COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD
Paulie Harraka, 1
David Mayhew, 1
Andrew Myers, 1

WIX LAP LEADER AWARD
Jonathon Gomez, 1
David Mayhew, 1
Brett Moffitt, 1


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Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.

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