IRWINDALE, Calif. — Jason Bowles got the one victory that had eluded him during his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West career.
The Ontario, Calif., native drove to the win in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Saturday night at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
Bowles got the lead on the race’s final restart and held off D.J. Kennington through the final eight laps. The win for Bowles, the 2009 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, came in front of a sold-out crowd at NASCAR’s premier short-track event.
While he was a three-time winner at the half-mile oval in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West career, Bowles’ best finish in the three previous Showdown starts was third in 2009.
Kennington, the 2010 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion, drove to a runner-up finish in his debut at Irwindale. Jonathon Gomez finished third, while Luis Martinez, Jr. and Johnny Borneman rounded out the top five.
Making his NASCAR debut, action sports star Travis Pastrana finished sixth, followed by Derek Thorn, Travis Motley, Moses Smith and NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Steve Wallace.
The race featured five lead changes among five drivers and was slowed by 11 cautions.
Coors Light Pole Award winner Thorn was on cruise control in the first segment, with a two-second lead as the competition caution came out for the first of two 10-minute breaks.
Out of the first break, Andrew Myers quickly became the dominant car. Myers built a five-second lead as the second break approached, but a punctured tire brought him to pit road on lap 190, and he never recovered.
Paulie Harraka, who assumed the lead when Myers relinquished it, was running at the front on Lap 206 after the final break. Coming through turn four, Thorn made contact with the left rear of Harraka’s car, spinning him out of the lead. Thorn was penalized to the tail end for aggressive driving, while Bowles took over the lead.
Bowles’ first lead of the race was short-lived as Greg Pursley got past him on the ensuing restart. Pursley couldn’t make it last, however, as he broke down on lap 217. From there, it was Bowles’ race to win.