Greg Pursley and David Mayhew battled it out on Saturday night during the Armed Forces 150 at the half-mile Kern County Raceway Park and an odd late race circumstance handed the win to Pursley. For the Pursley it is his 19th career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West win of his career and his first of the 2014 season in the fifth race on the schedule.
Pursley led the first 113 laps after qualifying on the pole for the 18th time in his career but Mayhew, who calls Kern County Raceway Park his home track and races in a weekly series there, took the lead on lap 114. Mayhew looked like he had the strongest car and was pulling away as Pursley slipped into a battle for second with Dylan Lupton and Jesse Little. However, a caution came out on lap 136 of 150 which set up a restart on lap 141 with 10 laps to go.
Pursley was able to hang on the inside of Mayhew battling hard for the win when Bill Kann spun off Turn 2. As the leaders approached on lap 146 no caution had been thrown and Kann was trying to get back going high on the backstretch and Mayhew had to lift off Turn 2 to avoid hitting Kann's car. Pursley stayed in it and was virtually handed the win. Mayhew slipped back to fourth and did not have time to mount a comeback in the final four laps.
It was the second trip to the Kern County track for the West Series and Pursley has now won both times. Finishing in second was Dylan Lupton and David Mayhew came home in a disappointing third after what could have been. Finishing in fourth was Brandon McReynolds and Jesse Little finished fifth. Little was making his first West Series start of 2014 and only the second of his career. Little races fulltime in the East Series. Rookie James Bickford finished sixth, Giles Thornton seventh, rookie Jamie Krzysik finished eighth, Anthony Giannone ninth, and Christopher Wahl rounded out the top 10.
The win helped Pursley stretch his points lead to 18 points over Mayhew. Dylan Lupton is 20 points back in third. Brandon McReynolds is 29 points back in fourth and 30 points back in fifth is Giles Thornton.
Race number six of 14 on the season is on June 21st at Sonoma Raceway for the Carneros 200.
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