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March 14th, 2009
Pursley wins late in Kyle NASCAR race

STAFF REPORT

KYLE – A controversial finish punctuated Allstate Racefest at Thunderhill Raceway Saturday night before about 4,000 fans who braved chilly temperatures for a rare NASCAR appearance.

With little more than half of a lap remaining in the headline event, 150-lap NASCAR Camping World Series West Thunder 150, Greg Pursley of Newhill, CA, came from behind as race leader Mike David of Modesto, CA, and Eric Holmes of Escalon, CA, battled into turn two.

Pursley collided with David, sending the latter into a spin, then took the lead and sprinted to the finish line in a green, white, checkered finish for his career first win in the series.

“David and Eric were beating each other up pretty good,” Pursley said. “I got under (David) and he turned down. It definitely wasn’t intentional. We don’t run that way. David is a friend of mine and we’ve been racing together a long time.”

However, David appeared to be upset at the turn of events after he led for more than 60 laps before the mishap on the last circuit.

“It’s just one of those things,” Pursley said.

Moses Smith of Tempe, AZ, finished second, while Holmes took third.

Earlier in the evening, Bobby East of Pittsboro, IN, knocked out an easy victory in the Texas Lightning 100 USAC midget car race. By the time 30 of the race’s 60 laps were done, East had lapped seven cars and built his lead over the field to 3/16 of a mile.

“I could tell the car was fast, but you never know how fast until you run,” East said.

Even after a caution flag bunched the cars after 30 laps, East re-asserted himself and won virtually without contest.

“We had a great lead and the car ran great the whole race,” East said. “… Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come.”

The win was Easts’s first in four starts this season. Within three weeks, he said, his team will be back up in Indiana, where midget racing enjoys its greatest popularity. After starting the season with three races in California, East wasn’t alone in expecting the Texas weather to be more accommodating.

However, race night temperatures in the 40s kept the track from heating up enough to prevent sliding.

“It was colder here today than it was in Indiana,” East said.

In the night’s first race, a 50-lap Texas Super Racing Series feature, Robert Barker beat Heath Stewart by one-half car length after the two raced neck and neck for the duration.

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