Greg Pursley piloted his No. 26 GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford by Dylan Kwasniewski early in the race and held off a hard-charging Derek Thorn during the final restart to pick up his third win of the season and 12th overall in his series career.
By Tim Southers, NASCAR
DACONO, Colo. – The veteran is back on top.
Greg Pursley, the defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, took the lead from teammate and polesitter Dylan Kwasniewski on Lap 1 and withstood a green-white-checkered finish to win the NAPA/Toyota 150 Saturday at Colorado National Speedway.
Pursley piloted his No. 26 GPM/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford by Kwasniewski early in the race and held off a hard-charging Derek Thorn during the final restart to pick up his third win of the season and 12th overall in his series career.
“We had an awesome car today,” said Pursley. “We only worked on race runs in practice and was able to start on the front row. I got around (Kwasniewski) at the beginning and I think we pretty much led every lap.”
It was the third wire-to-wire finish this season in the series with Kwasniewski accomplishing it on May 5th at Stockton while David Mayhew did it at Phoenix to open the season on March 3rd.
“I was a little timid on the green-white-checkered,” said the driver originally from Newhall, Calif. “I didn’t want to lead all those laps and give it away at the end. So, I was a little more careful.”
Pursley finished second to Kwasniewski last year at Colorado and started alongside him on the front row in front of a packed house.
Additionally, the victory boosted Pursley into the points lead in front of Kwasniewski, who had held the top spot since the Stockton win, by three points. Mayhew holds down the third position while Thorn is ranked fourth.
For Thorn, it was his seventh top-five finish in 10 starts this season.
“This car doesn’t fire off real well. It doesn’t have a lot of raw speed, but it is super consistent. It has a really good balance,” Thorn stated. “We got two or three spots there at the end and I can’t complain about that.”
Cameron Haley rebounded from a spin on Lap 122 to finish third after making a move on the outside on the final lap to make a run at the victory.
“It was a really long day. We struggled in practice, but at the end of the day the car really shot to life at night,” said the 16-year-old Hayley. “We wanted to get the win on the outside of Pursley, but just couldn’t make it stick on the outside.”
Michael Self finished fourth followed by Kwasniewski in the fifth position. Michael Waltrip made his seventh career start in the series and finished sixth with Eric Holmes close behind in seventh. David Mayhew, Ben Kennedy and Braeden Havens completed the top 10.
The race was slowed six times by caution with the final one on lap 147 setting up the extended distance in the race.
The NAPA/Toyota 150 will air on SPEED on Aug. 9 at 3 p.m. ET.
The next event for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be the Pork Be Inspired 150 at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 3.