||Mayhew Off To Fast Start
Photo by Getty Images for NASCAR
Jason Christley, NASCAR
Leads Every Lap In Winning K&N West Opener at Phoenix
...AVONDALE, Ariz. – David Mayhew has his sights set on the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship, and he got off to a fast start as he led every lap en route to winning the Talking Stick Resort 50 Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.
Mayhew, who split time between the series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last year, collected his fourth career win. It was a near perfect weekend for the Atascadero, Calif., driver – who posted the fastest lap in practice Friday and earned his seventh Coors Light Pole Award Saturday morning. Mayhew had led 162 laps in four series races at Phoenix, but his best finish was fifth in 2010.
“We had a really fast car yesterday in practice and backed it up this morning in qualifying,” said Mayhew, who qualified late in the session. “Going out was a little sketchy. A couple of guys were getting loose down in (Turn) 1. I was watching all those guys go through the corner thinking, ‘oh man, this isn’t good.’ We got through the first lap. The second lap was awesome.”
Mayhew emphasized the importance of starting up front in this event.
“Getting the pole was really the key to the race; starting up front, getting clean air and getting out and getting away from everybody,” he said. “There were quite a few lappers, so being able to take your time when you got to them was the biggest thing – some high, some low, some both. It was definitely entertaining out there.”
Although the second and third-place cars closed in on Mayhew at one point of the event, he pulled away to win by a margin of 1.198 seconds. Sixteen-year-old Dylan Kwasniewski came from fourth to finish second, while Daniel Suarez took third.
“It was a great race,” Kwasniewski said. “Mayhew was just way far ahead and he had a pretty good car. So it was going to be pretty hard to catch back up to him. Second place is a good finish for point standings. We’re going for the championship this year, so it will definitely start me off on the right foot.”
Defending race winner and series champion Greg Pursley finished fourth and Derek Thorn rounded out the top five. Rookie Carlos Iaconelli finished sixth, followed by Chad Boat, Eric Holmes, David Gilliland and DJ Kennington.
With his victory, Mayhew became the first to lock himself into the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at the UNOH Battle At The Beach at Daytona International Speedway next February during Speedweeks 2013.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will return to action on Saturday, April 14 at Havasu (Ariz.) 95 Speedway.
1 David Mayhew
2 Dylan Kwasniewski
3 Daniel Suarez
4 Greg Pursley
5 Derek Thorn