Paulie Harraka and Jason Bowles came away as winners in the final race of the NASCAR Camping World Series West season at All American Speedway on Saturday night.
Harraka led 149 of 150 laps en route to winning the Toyota/Copart 150, while Bowles came away with a fourth-place finish to clinch the 2009 series championship.
Bowles came into the season finale needing only to finish 16th or better to wrap up the title. Eric Holmes, who posed the only threat to Bowles coming into the event, was involved in an early incident and was never a factor.
Bowles dodged that same Turn 1 incident that involved Holmes, nearly coming to a stop and swerving wide around the spinning cars. Although he avoided contact, it left Bowles outside of the top 10 and battling heavy traffic to move forward.
The 26-year-old Bowles is in his third full season in the NASCAR Camping World Series West. He finished third in points and won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in 2007, and was runner-up to Holmes last year.
Harraka, meanwhile was enjoying a return to the third-mile facility where he won a track championship in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division a year ago. His biggest threat came from another local favorite, Eric Schmidt, who also holds claim to a late model championship at the Roseville track. Schmidt moved from eighth on the grid to second in the first 60 laps. He mounted several challenges, edging out front on one restart; but could not keep pace in the closing laps as Harraka pulled away to a winning margin of 2.774 seconds.
It marked the second win in three races for Harraka, a member of the Drive for Diversity program who entered the event focused on wrapping up the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title.
Following Harraka and Schmidt across the finish line were Greg Pursley, Bowles and Moses Smith. Rounding out the top 10 were Brett Thompson, Jim Warn, Chris Johnson, Jim Inglebright and Martin McKeefery.
The event concluded a 13-race season for the West’s oldest stock car circuit.
With the 2009 season complete, the next racing event on the schedule for NASCAR Camping World Series teams will be the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown on Jan. 29-30, 2010 in Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.). Bowles and Harraka already had secured spots in the Showdown by virtue of wins earlier this year.
Bowles and the rest of the NASCAR touring series champions will be honored at the Touring Series Gala in Concord, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 14.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD SERIES WEST-TOYOTA / COPART 150 Results
At All American Speedway
Lap length: 0.333 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Paulie Harraka, Fairlawn, N.J., Toyota, 150 laps, 63.879 mph, $9,325.
2. (8) Eric Schmidt, Roseville, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $5,500.
3. (7) Greg Pursley, Newhall, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $3,000.
4. (3) Jason Bowles, Ontario, Calif., Ford, 150, $2,600.
5. (2) Moses Smith, Tempe, Ariz., Toyota, 150, $3,050.
6. (6) Brett Thompson, Jerome, Idaho, Chevrolet, 150, $2,250.
7. (9) Jim Warn, Aurora, Ore, Chevrolet, 150, $2,200.
8. (10) Chris Johnson, Claremont, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $1,675.
9. (14) Jim Inglebright, Fairfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $1,650.
10. (13) Martin McKeefery, Milpitas, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $1,625.
11. (18) Rodd Kneeland, Sonoma, Calif., Chevrolet, 146, $1,600.
12. (20) Jim Marchino, Modesto, Calif., Ford, 145, $1,571.
13. (12) Jamie Dick, Albuquerque, N.M., Chevrolet, 144, $2,050.
14. (4) Blake Koch, West Palm Beach, Fla., Chevrolet, 144, $2,020.
15. (15) Wes Banks, Oakdale, Calif., Ford, 141, $2,000.
16. (5) Eric Holmes, Escalon, Calif., Toyota, 108, $2,550.
17. (21) Greg Rayl, Roseville, Calif., Ford, 69, brakes, $1,350.
18. (19) Jack Sellers, Sacramento, Calif., Chevrolet, 57, transmission, $1,800.
19. (11) Troy Ermish, Fremont, Calif., Chevrolet, 33, overheating, $1,700.
20. (17) Chris Scribner, Loomis, Calif., Chevrolet, 20, radiator, $1,700.
21. (16) Paul Pedroncelli, Jr., Sonoma, Calif., Chevrolet, 6, accident, $1,650.
Time of Race: 46 minutes 55 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.774 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: P.Harraka * (87.651 mph, 13.677 seconds)
Caution Flags: 4 for 23 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: P. Harraka 1-121; E. Schmidt 122; P. Harraka 123-150.
Standings: 1. J. Bowles, 2158; 2. E. Holmes, 2035; 3. G. Pursley, 1978; 4. P. Harraka,
1951; 5. B. Thompson, 1805; 6. D. Mayhew, 1799; 7. M. Smith, 1766; 8. B. Koch, 1726; 9.
J. Warn, 1590; 10. J. Dick, 1423.