Monday, June 8, 2009

Plenty Of Action at the Toyota/Bi-Mart 150

Photo by Jason Christley

Bill McAnally driver Eric Holmes not only took pole at the Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg Oregon, Eric led every lap and won his third race of the 2009 season. However, there was plenty of action amongst the other seventeen Camping World Series West Drivers who took the green flag.

The race which lasted just under an hour brought out six (6) caution flags for a total of twenty-nine (29) laps. The first caution came out early on lap three. It is believed that an oil line failure from the back of the #15 car of Jack Sellers spread oil all the way down the back straightaway and into turn three.

Rookie of the Year contender, Paulie Harraka became the victim of that oil spill. He spun and slammed into the wall forcefully. Crew Chief Duane Knorr and the #12 crew assessed and repaired the damage to the right rear of the race car to get Paulie back on the track; however, he was six laps down.

Harraka’s teammate, Moses Smith (#16 Hasa Pool Products / White Flyer Toyota Camry) almost became the second victim of that oil spill as he slid through it. Moses just managed to avoid spinning and rejoined the pack.

Jim Warn’s spin, coming out of Turn 2 brought out caution two (lap 38). Caution three (lap 44) was caused by a spin in Turn 3 by Travis Bennett as Mike David and Brett Thompson battled for the fourth-place spot. Moses was running closely behind Thompson. Bennett's car was taken off the track on a hook.

On lap 92, race leader Eric Holmes got into the back of Phil Dugan as they exited Turn 4; Dugan went around and brought out the yellow for the fourth caution. Caution five (lap 112) was for debris on the backstretch. The last caution (lap 118) involved Johnathan Hale, Phil Dugan and Paulie Harraka in a three-car spin in Turn 1.

The race action remained passionate until the very end. On lap 121, during the final restart, Jason Bowles who had been biding time in third place to maintain the favored inside position for the restarts, passed David Mayhew to take and keep second place.

Moses Smith, who was running in fourth for most of the race, had to contend with starting on the outside each restart. Moses was successful in the restarts; however, in lap 144 of the 150 lapper, Smith was being pressured by Mike David. On lap 146, David moved inside of Smith and took the spot.

The Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award went to Jamie Dick (88 Viva Auto Group/Johnnie Walker PerfCtr Ford). Mr. Dick qualified in fifteenth position and finished tenth.

We were pitted next to the #21 hauler of Blake Koch, and I was privileged to converse with Jim. He was very nice. Despite a spin on lap one, Blake, in his Chevrolet, managed a seventh place finish, earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award. Hopefully, one day I will be able to taste the some of the team’s Golden Gate Meats that Paul Harraka Sr. always boosts about!

NASCAR Race Mom was also able to spend time with the mother of Paul Pedroncelli, Jr. Paul, known as PJ has five previous starts in the NASCAR Camping World Series West. They are currently sponsored by Lee Body Shop and Stinger Auto Graphics. However, they are a family-based team looking for further sponsorship to advance in the series. For now, Pedroncelli Motorsports will be running a limited schedule in 2009. PJ will be racing at Infineon Raceway on June 20th. Paul qualified thirteenth and finished twelfth at Douglas Speedway.

The NASCAR Camping World Series West will race next at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on June 20 as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at the road course.

Race Results:

(1) #20 Eric Holmes; ( 2) #6 Jason Bowles; (3) #17 David Mayhew; (4) #2 Mike David; (5) #16 Moses Smith; (6) #61 Brett Thompson; (7) #21 Blake Koch; (8) #26 Greg Pursley; (9) #10 Jim Warn; (10) #88 Jamie Dick; (11) #34 Phil Dugan; (12) #0 Paul Pedroncelli, Jr; (13) #12 Paulie Harraka; (14) #5 Johnathan Hale; (15) #44 Travis Bennett; (16) #15 Jack Sellers; (17) #07 Greg Rayl

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