The stage is set for another exciting year of competition in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The 2010 season gets underway with the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge presented by A-All Mini Storage at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., on Saturday, March 27.
The Bill McAnally Racing Promotions event at the Placer County Fairgrounds has become a very popular attraction among fans – featuring an action-packed midway with numerous activities to supplement a full card of racing.
Another tough season of competition is expected this year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, with veteran drivers and talented rookies vying for the spotlight as the West’s oldest stock car racing circuit celebrates its 57th season.
Wheeling the car sponsored by Roseville event sponsors – NAPA Auto Parts and Toyota – is one of the local favorites, Eric Holmes (No. 20 NAPA Toyota). The series veteran from Escalon, Calif., has won this event the past two years driving for Bill McAnally Racing, based in nearby Antelope. In taking aim at a third consecutive win, Holmes also hopes to gain an early lead in his quest for a third championship. He won the series title in 2006 and 2008 and finished second in points last year.
Two drivers who shadowed Holmes in the standings last season are returning for a shot at this year’s championship.
In returning to the series full time last year, Greg Pursley (No. 26 GPM Performance Parts/SMR Ford) joined with the Parker, Ariz.-based team of car owner Gene Price to become a title contender. After netting a third-place finish in the standings with one win, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in 2009, Pursley is set to return with the team to make a championship run.
David Mayhew (No. 17 MMI Services/Ron’s Rear Ends/KHI Chevrolet) is also expected to contend for the 2010 title. He registered two wins, six top-five and eight top-10 finishes last year for car owner Steve McGowan and returns for another season with the team from Bakersfield, Calif..
A couple of second-year drivers from the East Coast – Paulie Harraka (No. 12 NAPA Gold Filters Toyota) of Wayne, N.J., and Blake Koch (No. 21 Daystar Chevrolet) of West Palm Beach, Fla. – waged a fierce battle for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award last season and are taking aim at the championship this year.
Harraka won two of the final three races, including a dominant victory in the season finale at Roseville, to nail down the prestigious rookie title and finish fourth in the overall standings. Harraka, who adopted All American Speedway as his home track after winning a Late Model championship there two years ago, hopes to continue the momentum he and his BMR team established at the end of the year.
Koch, who finished his freshman season eighth in the final standings, is looking to build on the success he experienced with car owner Jim Offenbach and his Golden Gate Racing Team in conjunction with Richard Childress Racing.
Meanwhile, veteran West Coast driver Auggie Vidovich (No. 50 Towne Place & Spring Hill Suites by Marriott Chevrolet) of Lakeside, Calif., will be looking for a strong showing in his first full season of competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Vidovich, who won a championship in the former NASCAR Southwest Tour in 2003 and competed in more than 20 races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2006, has joined with the TCR team to take a shot at this year’s title.
Another driver expec-ted to be a contender in his first full season in the series is Jonathon Gomez (No. 22 Heritage Cattle/Century Boatland Chevrolet) of Twin Falls, Idaho. Gomez, who has competed in eight series races in the past two seasons, scored top-10 finishes in his first two series events in 2008.
A series veteran who also looks to be in the hunt this year is Moses Smith (No. 16 HASA Pool Products/White Flyer Toyota). The Tempe, Ariz., driver – who is entering his fourth full season of series competition – collected his second consecutive Most Popular Driver Award in 2009.
Two series veterans from Northern California returning to the series this season are Wes Banks (No. 3 Valvoline Ford) of Oakdale and Jack Sellers (No. 15 Greyhound Adoption Center Chevrolet) of Sacramento – who celebrated his 25th season in the series last year. Teaming with Sellers for a third season is Jonathan Hale (No. 51 Greyhound Adoption Center Chevrolet) of Rio Linda, Calif. Piloting a third entry for the team in select events this season will be Justin Funkhouser (No. 5 Greyhound Adoption Center Chevrolet) of Paradise, Calif.
A talented field of freshman drivers should make for another exciting year of competition for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award this season. Those looking to figure into the chase for the rookie title include Taylor Barton (No. 60 Full Tilt Poker.Net Chevrolet) of Las Vegas, Nev.; Josh Combs (No. 9 Grape King/Sunrise Ford Ford) of Sacramento, Calif.; Luis Martinez Jr. (No. 6 King Taco/Sunrise Ford/Lucas Ford) of Long Beach, Calif.; Travis Milburn (No. 14 Cooks Collision Chevrolet) of Eagle, Idaho; Greg Rayl (No. 07 PalmerSigns.com Ford) of Roseville, Calif.; Michael Self (No. 88 J. Michael Self MD Chevrolet) of Park City, Utah, and Todd Souza (No. 13 Central Coast Cabinets Chevrolet) of Aromas, Calif.
Souza, who won the rookie award in the former NASCAR Southwest Tour in 2000, has run select events in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West since 2004 and registered a win in 2008.
Martinez, who made two series starts in 2008, takes controls of the Bob Bruncati-owned car that was driven to the 2009 championship by Jason Bowles. Combs, also driving for Bruncati, made his series debut at the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in January. Self, who made two series starts last year, will be the primary driver this season for the Motorway Motorsports team headed by Mike Naake. Milburn competed in four races in the series last season and made two starts in 2008. Rayl has competed in four series events, including three in 2009.
Other drivers in the mix this season who are on the entry list at Roseville include Kyle Kelley (No. 7 UPRacing.com/Apex/Jamison Dodge) of Huntington Beach, Calif.; Troy Ermish (No. 38 Cooks Collision Dodge) of Fremont, Calif.; and Paul Pedroncelli Jr. (No. 0 Lee’s Auto Body/Native Hut Chevrolet) of Sonoma, Calif.
The Race: Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge
The Place: All American Speedway, Roseville, Calif.
The Date: Saturday, March 27
The Time: 8:45 p.m. PT
TV Schedule: SPEED, April 8, 3 p.m. PT
Track Layout: .333-mile paved oval
Race Purse: $111,591
2009 Winner: Eric Holmes
2009 Polesitter: Jason Bowles
Saturday: Practice 12:30-1:15 p.m., 2-2:45 p.m., Qualifying 5:05 p.m.
The race … The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge is the first event in a 12-race schedule this year for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The series is slated to return to the historic Northern California track on Oct. 16.
The procedure … The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 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 (50 miles).
The track … All American Speedway is a .333-mile paved oval with eight degrees banking in Turns 1 and 2. Turns 3 and 4 have progressive banking, beginning at 10 degrees and graduating to 14 degrees. The track hosted five NASCAR K&N Pro Series West events between 1977 and 1982, when it was a quarter-mile oval, and four races since it was renovated prior to the 2008 season.
The records … Qualifying: Jason Bowles, April 4, 2009, 88.218 mph, 13.589 seconds; Race: Eric Holmes, April 4, 2009, 67.576 mph, 44 minutes 21 seconds.
Action-packed event … Event promoter, Bill McAnally Racing Promotions, has put together another action-packed lineup of entertainment for this year’s event at All American Speedway. In addition to the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race, action on the track also includes the Mo’s Gold 125 presented by Ameripride Uniform Services Spears SRL Southwest Tour Series race and a SRL Legends Tour race.
Busy midway … The All American Speedway event also features plenty of entertainment away from the track, with a midway full of activities. It includes live music, vendors, numerous exhibits and a custom car show by the Roamin’ Angels. There is no charge for the public to visit the midway.
Festivities … San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley will serve as the Grand Marshal at All American Speedway and the Roseville Marching Band will perform.
New arrival … Eric Holmes and Lauren De Boer announced the birth of their daughter, Macy Parker Holmes, born on March 10.
Last year’s event ...
Eric Holmes scored a dominant victory before a sold-out crowd in this event at All American Speedway last year.
The Escalon, Calif., driver dashed to an early lead and hardly looked back en route to scoring his seventh career win in the series and moving atop the championship standings.
After starting third on the grid, he darted to the inside of Coors Light Pole winner Jason Bowles on the second lap. Holmes set sail from there, pulling away from the field and showing his prowess in slicing his way through lapped traffic around the tight third-mile oval.
“I got by Jason early,” Holmes said. “He got really loose off of (Turn) 2 and it made it real easy. My plan was to go to the front as quick as I could. Starting third, you just never know what will happen. I knew I could get by him. I was going to charge hard the first 10 laps and see what happened. I knew it was important to lead laps.”
Bowles pursued Holmes throughout the 150-lap event, but in the closing laps found himself having to hold off Holmes’ teammate, Paulie Harraka.
Holmes won with a margin of victory of 2.58 seconds. Bowles, of Ontario, Calif., was second; with Harrraka of Wayne, N.J., nipping at his rear bumper. David Mayhew of Atascadero, Calif., was fourth – while Blake Koch of West Palm Beach, Fla., was fifth.
Holmes won the event at a record pace, leaving only six cars on the lead lap at the finish. The pace of the race was slowed by only three cautions for 22 laps.
BMRP Program Offers Bonus Money For 5 Races
In addition to being the season opener, this week’s race at All American Speedway is also the first of five races this season that comprise the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge.
Toyota/NAPA Bonus Challenge program is operated by Bill McAnally Racing Promotions. A committee of the participating tracks has been assembled to serve as the Toyota/NAPA Bonus Challenge Committee to administer the program.
Teams competing in the five events are eligible to share in more than $100,000 in bonus money being offered by Toyota and NAPA.
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts Bonus Challenge events include the following races:
March 27 - All American Speedway,Roseville, Calif.
June 5 - Douglas County Speedway, Roseburg, Ore.
Aug. 7 - Montana Raceway Park, Kalispell, Mont.
Aug. 14 - Colorado National Speedway, Dacono, Colo.
Sept. 12 - Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah
According to the program, any registered team that participates in all five Toyota/NAPA Bonus Challenge events will receive a $3,000 bonus after the event at Miller Motorsports Park. Any registered team that has a top-three finish in all five Toyota/NAPA Bonus Challenge events will receive an additional $5,000 bonus. Any registered team that wins three Toyota/NAPA Bonus Challenge events will receive an additional $10,000 bonus. Any registered team that wins all five Toyota/NAPA Bonus Challenge events will receive an additional bonus of $25,000.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West teams were quick to begin registering for the bonus series program, according to BMRP.
Greg Pursley, who finished third in the championship standings in 2009, was among the first to sign up to participate in the bonus challenge. Pursley drives for the Parker, Ariz.-based team of car owner Gene Price.
“I think this is great,” Price said of the bonus challenge. “This is a great opportunity for teams to put some money in their pockets. It’s great for the series and will increase our car counts. 2010 is shaping up to one of the best seasons ever. I’m looking forward to it.”
BMR Joins In Teen/Parent Driving Safety Fair
Bill McAnally Racing and Impact Teen Drivers will be holding a teen/parent driving safety fair, Get Real Behind the Wheel, at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24.
The event is in conjunction with Teen Safe Driving Week being recognized this week in California.
Created by Impact Teen Drivers based in Sacramento, California Teen Safe Driving Week is designed to raise awareness about reckless and distracted driving among teens in America, and to promote the message of safe driving to California teens.
Since its creation in 2007, Impact Teen Drivers has been planning, developing and deli-vering awareness and educational materials on teen safe driving. Started as a partnership between the California Highway Patrol and the California Teachers Association with funding from the insurance firm California Casualty, Impact is actively engaging teenagers with their message of the dangers of reckless and distracted driving.
Up Next: Phoenix International Raceway
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will head to Arizona for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 100 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 8. The race is in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix. Last year’s event featured a thrilling battle that went down to the wire with a green-white-checkered finish.