TOOELE, Utah – By Jason Christley, NASCAR — Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images for NASCAR photo — David Mayhew spent the first 44 laps of the EnergySolutions Utah Grand Prix looking up at the race leaders, but by the time the checkered flag flew at Miller Motorsports Park Saturday, he emerged with his fourth NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory of the season.
The driver of the No. 17 MMI Racing/Ron’s Rear Ends Chevrolet raced around Greg Pursley and rookie James Bickford for the lead in a Lap 44 melee, and held on for his eighth career series victory. It was Mayhew’s first win at a road course.
The Atascadero, California, native was able to hold a late charging Dylan Lupton, who was looking for his second consecutive victory. Instead, the NASCAR Next driver of the No. 9 Sunrise Ford/Lucas Oil/Eibach Ford was forced to settle for a runner-up finish and his third consecutive podium finish.
Bickford crossed the line third, followed by Pursley and Brandon McReynolds.
Brett Thompson, Taylor Cuzick, Austin Cameron, Zack Huffman and Bill Kann completed the top 10.
Pursley, who earlier in the day won his 20th Coors Light Pole Award, led for the first 44 laps. Pursley, Bickford and Mayhew were all within a second of each other when contact in Turn 1 with a lapped car sent Pursley around. Bickford was able to grab the lead, but Mayhew blasted past him in the next turn and never looked back.
Mayhew’s best finish at Miller was fifth in 2011.
Pursley was looking for his fourth win at Miller. Instead, he’ll settle for maintaining his 15-point lead over Lupton with two races remaining. McReynolds is third in points, 14 behind Lupton, and Mayhew is another nine points back in fourth. Bickford rounds out the top five.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West next travels to All American Speedway in Roseville, California, on Oct. 11 for the penultimate race of the 2014 season.