It’s rare that we out here on the Eastern side of North America hear much about the racing on the west coast.Ã‚Â Unless it is a Top Tier race from Fontana, or Vegas, or even Phoenix.Ã‚Â So it took me a little bit of research to figure out who would be me choices of who to look at from over on the left side of the map.Ã‚Â Just as we have the NASCAR K&N Pro East series for our grass root racing experience, the K&N Pro West is bringing up some of their local talent into the ranks of NASCAR’s top tiers.Ã‚Â This week I will be focusing on the top 2 racers in the standings.Ã‚Â They proved to be the most consistent throughout the 2010 season and help on to the top 2 slots.Ã‚Â Eric Holmes and David Mayhew are the focus of this weeks ramblings as I continue to look for who the next big name may be.
Eric Holmes is not a young man in the world of racing.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Born Oct 16, 1974, in Escalon California, Eric has been the face of the K&N West Pro Series for a few years now.Ã‚Â Having won the Championship 3 out of the last 5 years running.Ã‚Â Taking the titles in 2006, 2008, and again this year in 2010, with a close call second place season finish in 2009 Eric has been showing the nation that there are some excellent drivers from the West Coast.Ã‚Â Finishing the 2010 season with the most wins, most top 5’s as well as the most top 10’s Holmes has shown remarkable consistency in his championship runs.
Racing in the series since 1997 Holmes is one of the senior men on the block.Ã‚Â Entering his 14th season in the series in 2011 with no signs of slowing down.Ã‚Â With a career best 5 wins in the 2010 season, one of the most memorable had to be his first win at Phoenix, where after crashing out of the opening night race to the weekend long event, he came back to win the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 100, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Phoenix International Raceway.Ã‚Â Having come so close at Phoenix in seasons past Holmes managed to finally find the formula to success and check another of the active tracks off his list.
“We needed it bad,” Holmes said of the Phoenix win. “We had a bad day at All American Speedway (Roseville). We came here to win the race and get the most points and we did that. So, now we’ll move on to the next race and try to do the same thing.”
As with Most drivers we see in the grassroots levels of NASCAR Holmes has also taken a ride or 2 in other styles of racing.Ã‚Â Having won the NASCAR Camping World Series West Championship in 2006 and again in 2008 as well as winning the Elite portion of NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in 2004, Holmes has shown the racing fans that there is talent to be harnessed, and that maybe a seat in the upper tiers can be had.
David Mayhew, driver of the #17 MMI Services entry for KHI found himself in second place at the end of the 13 race season in the NASCAR K&N Pro West series for the 2010 season.Ã‚Â After racing in various racing series with some success Mayhew made the move to the NASCAR series of races in 2007.Ã‚Â Finishing ranked 18th after running a limited number of races in his first season he has progressively climbed in the standings each year since, culminating in his runner up status for 2010.
Mayhew has won five IKF National Championships, along with various regional and club championships, while competing in go-karts. He has also raced open-wheel cars in USF2000 series, Russell Racing Series,Ã‚Â won NASCAR Whelen All-American Series championship in 2004 while competing in Late Model class at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif. he ran a limited schedule in former NASCAR Southwest Tour in 2005, then raced full schedule in that series in 2006, finishing fifth in championship standings and winning the Sunoco rookie title.
Both of these drivers show the same type of progression and skill I have been talking about over the past few weeks.Ã‚Â Consistency, and finishing races, handling the pressure when you are at the top and dealing with defeat when it rears up in front of you.Ã‚Â Taking on the pressures of the racing world is never easy, and yet every week these guys show up and finish well, no matter what other challenges life is throwing at them at the time.Ã‚Â They may not be the fan favorites but they get out there and get it done regardless.Ã‚Â So, as with all the drivers I have written about so far, I am taking a wait and see attitude in regards to where I will see them next, with hopes that my writing about them will help someone take a bit more notice of them in teh future.