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Mayhew claims Stockton 150 title

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POSTED May 4, 2014 11:17 p.m.

STOCKTON — David Mayhew took full advantage of his front row starting position to take a hard fought victory in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Stockton 150 at the 99 Speedway on Saturday night.

Mayhew, of Atascadero, posted the quickest lap in qualifying to earn the Coors Light Pole Award and start the race at the front of the 19-car field along side of Napa’s James Bickford.

“I know we had a fast car for the long run, but I was really concerned in practice how we would qualify because that is so key here,” said Mayhew. “We hit the right setup and put a good lap in.”

Bickford immediately grabbed the lead when the green flag fell to start the race, but was black flagged for jumping the start and sent to the back by race officials. He spent the rest of the race working his way back through the field, making it all the way to third before a late race spin negated his efforts and left him 10th in the final standings.

Mayhew lost the lead early in the race to Greg Pursley of Newhall and spent the next 40 laps nipping at Pursley’s rear bumper trying to get it back.

Mayhew got his chance following a lap 53 caution. When the race went back to green the two went side by side for three laps before Mayhew was able to finally slip in front of Pursley.

The two drivers continued to battle it out for the lead, but Mayhew was able to successfully fend Pursley off through the remainder of the race, which included several more caution restarts, by holding the outside line.

“When the tires are fresh the bottom is a little better but these cars have so much power they wear the tires,” explained Mayhew. “The top comes in the longer you run here and it finally paid off at the end.”

 It was Mayhew’s fifth career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory and his first win since Phoenix in March of 2012. In 2013 Mayhew ran a limited K&N schedule as he concentrated on winning the Late Model championship at the newly opened Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield.

“What a great battle. Door to door, banging and beating on each other, getting sideways everywhere, you can’t ask for a better show than that,” exclaimed Mayhew.

Giles Thornton of Whitefish, Montana, Brandon McReynolds of Mooresville, N.C. and Auburn’s Thomas Martin completed the top five.

“I was watching them and the way they were going at it I thought there was a chance they would wreck each other and I could sneak in, but they didn’t,” said Thornton with smile. 

Despite finishing runner up on Saturday Pursley was able to extend his series lead to nine points over McReynolds and 10 over Thornton in the season standing. Mayhew is fifth in points, 16 back of Pursley.

“This was the most fun I ever had here. I had a awesome race with David. Just great, clean hard racing,” said Pursley. “We traded the lead but we just came out a little bit short.”

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be back in action in two weeks for the Casey’s General Stores 150 at Iowa Speedway. The event is the first of two meetings between the K&N Pro West and East in the nation’s heartland.

The Stockton 150 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Friday, May 9, at 1:30 p.m. as a one-hour broadcast.

In other action at the 99 on Saturday Jimmie Sorrels went wire to wire in winning the Pro 4 race, Stockton’s David Kong captured the B-4 main and Cameron Austin, of Santa Cruz, crossed the finish line ahead of Redding’s Chase Majdic in the Legends of the Pacific feature.

Next up at the Stockton Dirt Track will present the Winged 360 Sprint Cars & BCRA Midgets on Saturday, May 17. The 99 Speedway will be back in action on Saturday May 24 with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Tri-Holiday Classic Series Race #1 featuring the Western Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Basic 4-Cylinders.

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