The Gene Price Motorsports team has combined for eight victories in 11 races so far this season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, with six wins from their veteran driver, Greg Pursley, and two wins from their young star, Dylan Kwasniewski.
Pursley scored his six victories in the first eight races. The 43-year-old Southern California native – who now resides in Parker, Ariz. – has built a commanding 284-point lead in the championship standings, with three races remaining.
Sixteen-year-old Kwasniewski has kept the team’s momentum rolling by winning the two most recent races, meanwhile. The Las Vegas teen has a solid lead in the chase for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award and is seventh in the overall points standings, despite not competing in the season opener.
The two teammates have also accounted for more than half of the Coors Light Pole Awards so far this season. Pursley has won five poles, while Kwasniewski has one.
Their domination this season is also reflected in the number of laps they have led. They have combined to lead 1,079 of a possible 1,347 laps, which is just over 80 percent. Pursley has led 706 circuits in his No. 26 Gene Price Motorsports Ford, while Kwasniewski has had his No. 03 Rockstar Energy Drink/Royal Purple Ford out front for 373 laps.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West next heads to Spokane (Wash.) County Raceway for the Spokane 200 on Saturday, Sept. 3. The series last visited the half-mile oval in 1979.
The race will be broadcast live on radio on NASCARHomeTracks.com and is also slated to be televised on SPEED at 6 p.m. ET on Sept. 8.
Race: This event is the 12th of 14 events on the 2011 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
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 200 laps (100 miles).
Track: Spokane County Raceway is a .5-mile track. The series previously visited the track in 1979.
Records: Qualifying: Roy Smith, Aug. 31, 1979, 93.244 mph, 19.304 seconds; Race: To be established at this distance.
Championship within reach
Greg Pursley has held a significant lead in the championship standings nearly all season, with a margin over second place that has exceeded 200 points since the fifth race of the year.
He can win the series title by finishing 22nd or better in each of the three remaining races – Spokane, Roseville and Phoenix.
Or Pursley could clinch the championship outright at Spokane. He would need to widen his 284-point lead to at least 380 points, however, in order to clinch the title with the two races remaining after that. To do so, he would need to win the race and lead the most laps at Spokane; while his closest pursuer, Moses Smith, would need to encounter a major problem and finish 23rd or 24th and not lead a lap. In addition, Luis Martinez Jr. and Eric Holmes – who are third and fourth in points, respectively – would each need to finish fourth or worse and not lead a lap.
Tight points battle within the top 10
With three races remaining, a tight points battle remains among many drivers in the top 10 of the standings.
The five drivers in third through seventh are separated by just 70 points. Luis Martinez Jr. is third with 1,534 points. Eric Holmes is just a couple points back from him, with 1,532. Brett Thompson is fifth at 1,490, with Michael Self a few markers behind him at 1,487. Series rookie Dylan Kwasniewski is seventh in the standings with 1,464.
Local drivers: Two drivers from the Spokane area, Dave Garber and Braeden Havens, are slated to compete in the Spokane 200. Havens will be making his first series start. Garber made his series debut at Montana with a 16th-place finish.
Final Notes From Montana
Back-to-back wins: Dylan Kwasniewski’s victory in the Toyota/TTC 150 at Montana Raceway Park gave him back-to-back wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The 16-year-old driver of the No. 03 Rockstar/Royal Purple Ford led a race-high 99 laps en route to the win on the quarter-mile oval in Kalispell, Mont.
In the spotlight: Cameron Hayley captured plenty of attention in making his series debut at Montana with a second-place finish. Hayley, who had just celebrated his 15th birthday three weeks earlier, also became the youngest driver to compete in the series.
Fifth pole for Pursley: Greg Pursley set a track record in winning the Coors Light Pole Award at MRP. He turned a lap of 13.712 seconds (65.636 mph) in his No. 26 Gene Price Motorsports Ford. It marked his fifth pole of the season and the 10th of his career.
Record pace: A record was set for the average speed of the Montana race at 65.636 mph. The pace was slowed by just two cautions for eight laps.
Up Next: Series Prepares For Second Visit To Roseville
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West heads back to Roseville, Calif., for the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 at All American Speedway on Oct. 15.
Jason Fensler took the win when the series visited Roseville in April.