Monday, July 12, 2010

Greg Pursley - Not A Race Rookie

Pursley Running In 4th In Truck Series Debut

Greg Pursley is not new to the racing community. Beginning his racing career with motorcycles, he moved on to racing in the late model class on the road course at Willow Springs Raceway in SouthernCalifornia. His pursuit of NASCAR late model stock car competition included racing at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, and Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. Pursley finished the NASCAR Southwest Tour fifth in the championship standings in 2000.

Pursley made his debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 1999. He ran just one race that year and did not return until 2002. He competed for a full season in 2002 and finished ninth in the championship points.

After his K&N Pro Series West foray, Greg Pursley focused on competing at the Toyota Speedway. He really came to the forefront when he won one of the most coveted and difficult championships a driver can win in 2004 - the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series National Championship. Pursley's championship season can be summed up by the numbers: 13 wins in 18 starts!

After the National Championship, Pursley began working as a crew chief for Gene Price. That progressed into him driving a Gene Price Late Model to NASCAR Toyota All Star Showdown win in 2007.

From there, a partnership formed. Greg Pursley returned to the K&N Pro Series West in 2009 with Gene Price Motorsports. One win, five top-fives, and seven top-tens earned them a third place in the championship points.

No, Greg Pursley is not new to the racing community nor to winning. Nonetheless he was new to the Camping World Truck Series. However, his varied and vast experience enabled him to debut the #162 Chevrolet with a respectable sixth place qualifying position. Although his race included a brush with the wall and an assisted spin to the infield, Pursley finished the race with an impressive eighth place finish.

Knowing Greg Pursley’s racing history; it would be a surprise if he did not turn this opportunity in another bright footnote in his chosen profession.

NASCAR Race Mom: At the drop of the green flag, you got an awesome start that propelled you from your sixth place starting position into fourth. Please describe that start and what it did for your confidence level.

Greg Pursley: We had a really good truck and I really enjoy running at Iowa Speedway. Being able to run with the guys up front that you watch every week on TV was a real confidence booster.

NASCAR Race Mom: Around lap 70, the #62 went high and hit the wall. On lap 116, Hornaday got into the back of your truck and spun you around and into the infield. While these two incidences earned you the Dodge “Save of the Week;” what kind of damage did the truck endure?

Greg Pursley: It’s just body damage. As you saw, we still had a great handling truck. On lap 70, I just brushed the wall trying to run the high groove.

NASCAR Race Mom: The race ended with an exciting Green, White, Checkered finish. You were able to advance one position for an eighth place at the line. What were your thoughts during the last laps of your race?

Greg Pursley: We ran side by side with Ricky Carmichael earlier in the race and I knew we had a better truck than he did. I wanted every position I could get. Never give up until the checkers fly.

NASCAR Race Mom: You’ve had some tough luck recently at the Iowa Speedway in the K&N Pro Series West. How did your experience at this track in the K&N Pro Series West help you in your Camping World Truck Series debut?

Greg Pursley: We’ve been to Iowa Speedway four times, ran really well all four times but unfortunately have no good finishes there until now. I knew we had a great truck after testing it at Pike’s Peak so I felt confident we'd do well.

NASCAR Race Mom: Did you use your K&N Pro Series West pit crew?

Greg Pursley: It was a combined effort from our K&N team and “Pit Crew Management” from back East. They ALL did a great job for us on every stop!

NASCAR Race Mom: Can you give us a preview of your 2011 racing plans?
Greg Pursley: Well right now we’re excited about heading to Portland for the road race in the K&N Series next weekend. We’re also planning on running at least three more truck races (definitely Phoenix); we’ll decide which races after Portland.

As far as 2011, we’re working out our details now.

Pursley's 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Win

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