Nick Drake wins the Casino Arizona 100

Eighteen-year-old pole-sitter Nick Drake led every lap in his NAPA Auto Parts Toyota in the Casino Arizona 100 on the way to his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory at Phoenix International Raceway.

On a restart 10 laps from the end, Drake’s teammate Cole Custer made a bold push on the outside to try to take first place.  But, Custer’s Chevrolet slipped high after the two leaders tapped, and Custer nearly fell out of the top five.  He came back to finish third.

“We rubbed a few fenders out there, but that’s the way it ought to be,” said a pleased Drake from Gatorade Victory Lane.

Drake commented about the nerve-racking tire rub, saying, “It was out of my control.  If it went (flat), we were going into the wall, but I had no choice.”

With teenagers running throughout the top-10, veteran points-leader Greg Pursley drove confidently but cautiously to wrap up the series championship.  Pursley finished ninth.  Dylan Lupton, who came into the final race second in points, finished fifth in the 100-lap event but couldn’t overtake Pursley for the title.

It was the second championship for Pursley, who took the K&N Pro Series West title in 2011.

Kyle Benjamin, who started second, suffered through a night of overheating problems and came home 27th.

The excitement continues Friday, Nov. 7 with the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at 6:30 p.m. MST, followed by the DAV 200, Honoring America’s Veterans NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m.  The weekend events at the Phoenix International Raceway will conclude on Sunday, Nov. 9 with the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.phoenixinternationalraceway.com.

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