Greg Pursley pulled away to victory in the 3 Amigos Organic Blanco 100 in the 58th season opener of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series-West this evening at Phoenix International Raceway. It was Pursley’s second straight victory at Zoomtown, U.S.A.
Yet, Pursley and his team chose to shuffle themselves back into the middle of the pack fairly early in the race, and it worked out well when the checkered flag flew after sunset.
Series rules require all competitors to split their tires changes and fueling into separate pit stops, it forced all teams to roll the dice when it came to making stops. The two fastest drivers in the early part of the race, pole-sitter Brennan Newberry and Pursley, made their two stops early, on laps 27 and 28 of 100 laps. It dealt them back in the middle of the pack, and that strategy burned Newberry.
Trying to race his way back to the front, Newberry went spinning multiple times in turn four on lap 64 in a wreck that destroyed the car of Alex Kennedy.
On the other hand, David Mayhew, the leader for much of the middle portion of the race, adopted a late-race pit strategy. His team called him to pit road on laps 80 and 81, and he was never able to climb higher than his final finishing spot of ninth.
Third place finisher Derek Thorn gave Pursley plenty to think about as they battled for the lead over much of the last 20 laps. But, on a lap 94 restart, Thorn dropped back when he failed to keep pace as the green flag waved. Pursley built a big lead, and Jonathan Gomez snatched second place from Thorn.
Ty Dillon, grandson of NASCAR Sprint Cup multiple-time championship owner Richard Childress, finished fourth, and Brett Thompson, making his 100th series start, was fifth.
Tickets to the exciting Feb. 24-27 SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500™ NASCAR event weekend are available with prices starting at just $25. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.PhoenixRaceway.com/tickets or call 866-408-RACE (7223).