Saturday, September 11, 2010

Drivers – K&N Pro Series West
Miller Motorsports Park

2009 Podium (Bowles, Long, Harraka)

There are thirty-four hopefuls gearing up for their attempt at race ten of the twelve-race, K&N Pro Series West championship this weekend in Utah. This post will concentrate more on the unknown drivers who will compete this weekend.

Eric Holmes; David Mayhew; Paulie Harraka; Luis Martinez, Jr.; Jonathon Gomez; Moses Smith; Michael Self; Greg Pursley; Todd Souza; Travis Milburn; Greg Rayl; Jack Sellers; and Troy Ermish are 2010 series points’ combatants. Since they are in a hot point’s race, their race strategy could prove a bit more conservative. A mere fifty-two (52) points separate sixth place, Moses Smith from BMR teammate Paulie Harraka who is seated in third.

Absent from the list of K&N Pro Series West regulars is the black #21 of Blake Koch. According to Mr. Koch’s Facebook page, he will be racing a late model at Punta Gorda Speedway this weekend. He will be piloting the #2 “I am” car.

K&N Pro Series Alumna On Entry List
(Drivers with over 10 series starts)

Top 10
Top 5
Hershel McGriff
Daryl Harr
Jim Inglebright
Carl Harr
Wes Banks
Tony Toste
Stan Silva, Jr.
Garland Self

Road Course specialist Patrick Long has an impressive K&N Pro Series West resume. Within a mere five races, Long has two wins, and three top-five finishes. Patrick Long is a factory driver for Porsche.

Brandon Davis is also known for his road course experience. As part of the Bill McAnally stable, Brandon has four starts in the series and recorded a podium finish at Infineon this year. This will be the first time Davis attempts to traverse the 3.048 mile outer course of Miller Motorsports Park.

Scott Ivie Racing, Inc. is a professional race team based in San Ramon, California that competes in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series road course events at Infineon, Portland and Miller Motorsport Park. Scott has six starts and finished twelfth at Infineon this year.

Gary Lewis has earned a fan following with his K&N Pro Series West statistics. He finished third at All America Speedway and fifth at Montana Raceway Park this year in his only two K&N Pro Series West starts. It will be very interesting to see if Mr. Lewis can keep his streak going on this road course.

Thomas Martin and Kyle Kelley will be making their tenth K&N Pro Series West appearance tomorrow. Martin is still looking to record his first top-ten finish. Kelley has three top-ten finishes in the series. He has also competed in three Nationwide races in 2010 with a best finish of 20th at the Zippo 200 at The Glen.

Justin Funkhouser has five starts, all in 2010. He has one top-ten finish at Douglas County Speedway. Brian Jackson also has five K&N Pro Series West starts with a best finish of 21st at Miller in both 2008 and 2009.

Brad Lloyd received his NASCAR license in 2009 and competed in his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on his home track at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. He has two series starts.

Eric Curran, from Springfield, Massachusetts started eighteenth and finished twenty-fourth at Infineon Raceway in 2009. He was the fast qualifier among the GT entries this weekend at Miller, with a lap at 1:51.659/98.271. He will start 14th overall in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette that he will share with NASCAR star Boris Said.

Brady Flaherty attempted to qualify for the Infineon race in June of 2009. He was one of the four who failed to qualify. With thirty-four drivers competing for twenty-eight starting spots, Flaherty will have to worry about history repeating itself. Flaherty was rookie of the year for CMC in 2005, won the West CMC Championship in 2006, Top 5 at Nationals both years. He also competed in a show called “Setup” where Pontiac was looking for their next driver. He came in 3rd of the sixty drivers who competed nationwide.

Joao Barbosa is entered in a Mark Martin owned car. He is tied for twentieth in the 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Series standings. Joao Barbosa, along with co-drivers Terry Borcheller, Ryan Dalziel, and Mike Rockenfeller, brought the Action Express Racing Porsche-Riley across the finish line 52 seconds ahead of its nearest competitor, winning the 48th running of the Grand Am Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

Moses Smith and Hershel McGriff

Interesting Facts:

Carl Harr is Daryl Harr’s father. The team won the 2001 and 2002 CASCAR West Championship with Carl Harr and Daryl Harr respectively.
Born 12/14/1927, the legendary Hershel McGriff (82 Years Old) is the oldest driver in this road race. Hershel McGriff won a race in the initial year of the series with NASCAR, when it was known as the Pacific Coast Late Model series in 1954. He tops the list of pole awards in Winston West Series poles (35).

Joao Barbosa plays online at Full Tilt Poker. He experienced his first successes playing low-stakes Limit Hold ‘em and small buy-in tournaments. As his bankroll increased, he switched to No-Limit Hold ‘em. After earning a degree in computer engineering, Joao decided to play poker full time.
Moses Smith has had an extremely busy summer. His company, Moses Smith Racing, LLC. (MSR), headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, took over all support for the approximately 300 Standard FM rotary-powered race cars currently in use across North America, as well as the MSR sports racer, a full-bodied version of the Standard FM.

This August, the Formula Car Challenge Series was paired with the IZOD IndyCar Series in the Sonoma Valley for the first time. The Formula Mazda class ran on both Saturday and Sunday. Alan McCallum, who races for Moses, started from pole and won both contests.

“What a great day. I had to leave the track to attend a ‘Support the Troops Benefit’ at a shooting range. . . . got to shoot a bunch of cool stuff. Meanwhile, the MSR team was at Infineon racing...and subsequently winning the support race for Indy car! Life is good in the MSR camp!” Smith recounted. Moses was able to fly back just in time to enjoy McCallum’s win on Sunday.

Smith will stay at Miller after competing in the NASCAR race because the Formula Mazda cars will be competing there. The 2010 NASA Championships will be held at Miller Motorsports Park on September 16 through the on September 18, 2010.
Jim Inglebright started his career with nine years of motocross racing. After seven knee operations, he switched to stock cars. Jim has a 2003 win at LVMS Bullring while racing for Bill McAnally, a 2008 win at the Iowa Speedway and a 2009 win at the Portland International Raceway.
Michael Self will look to lean on his Miller Motorsports Park experience for an edge in Sunday’s race. Self won championships in the Rotax karting division and also competed on the road course in the Mustang Challenge, Miller Park Racing Association and Skip Barber races at Miller. Michael Self is second in the 2010 Sunoco Rookie standing, five points behind Luis Martinez Jr.
Through the first nine races of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West season, points leader Eric Holmes has amassed imposing statistics: most money won – $64,285, most laps led – 272, best average finish – 5.6, most victories – 4, tied for most top-five finishes – 7, most top-10 finishes – 8 and is in a three way tie for most races led - 4.

Now that you know a bit more about the drivers who will be competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race – stop by Racing West Fantasy Racing and pick the five drivers you would like to see on your team.

podium and race photos by Terry Thomson
Smith & McGriff photo by Crys Davis

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