Greg Pursley took the lead from Paulie Harraka with two laps remaining, moments after race leader Patrick Long slowed suddenly due to a flat right front tire.
Courtesy: J. Christley, NASCAR Media Relations
TOOELE, Utah — Greg Pursley nearly lost the race because of a pit mistake, but battled all the way back to win the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge Sunday at Miller Motorsports Park.
Pursley took the lead from Paulie Harraka with two laps remaining, moments after race leader Patrick Long slowed suddenly due to a flat right front tire.
Eric Curran wound up getting by Harraka for second, while Moses Smith was fourth and Kyle Kelley fifth. Long, the defending race winner who won the Coors Light Pole Award with a record lap earlier in the day, wound up 22nd.
It is the second career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West win for Pursley. The Newhall, Calif., driver won the season opener at Kyle, Texas in 2009. He led 11 of the first 12 laps before green-flag pit stops began. During his stop, however, Pursley left his pit stall with the gas catch can still attached and had to come back down pit road on the subsequent lap. The miscue put him back to 17th.
He made his way back up to third on Lap 33 and was ready to challenge Harraka. They were both more than five seconds behind Long when the race leader slowed suddenly. After overtaking Long, Pursley then went by Harraka several turns later. Pursley also radioed to his crew on the final lap that he thought he had a tire going down but was able to nurse it across the line .650 seconds ahead of Curran.
Points leader Eric Holmes finished third, followed by Tony Toste, Troy Ermish, Daryl Harr and Travis Millburn. With the finish, Holmes increased his lead to 141 over David Mayhew, who finished 14th, and 178 over Harraka.
Sunday’s race was the fifth and final race in the Bill McAnally-promoted Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge. Eric Holmes won two of the races, while Mayhew and Harraka won one each.
With the victory, Greg Pursley earned a secured spot in January’s postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge from MMP will air on SPEED on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. ET.
The next event on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule is the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., on Oct. 16.