Eric Holmes Gets First Top Ten of 2007 With Eighth At South Boston
South Boston, Va. (June 2, 2007) – Eric Holmes, the 2006 NASCAR West Series champion, got his best finish in Busch East Series competition on Saturday night when he brought NDS Motorsports' No. 35 Waste Management Recycle America Ford home in eighth place at the .4-mile South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia.
While Holmes recorded the seventeenth-fastest time in the two-hour practice session, qualifying found him twentieth-best in a 32-car field.
"We could have been better," he said. "It's going to be tough starting this far back. You have to be really careful running in traffic, but you also have to be aggressive because you really don't have that much time to work with."
At the drop of the green flag, Holmes was on the move. He picked up five positions in the first ten laps and entered the top ten just before halfway. Continuing to race without a pit stop, Holmes battled between sixth and tenth position through the balance of the event before finally crossing the start-finish line for the last time in eighth place. But after taking the checkers, there was a wreck on the track.
"I saw it, but there wasn't much I could do," Holmes explained. "The yellow wasn't out so I had to keep racing. If it was a matter of losing one position I might have backed out of it, but I was trying to hold off a bunch of cars on that last lap. I thought I'd have the wreck missed as I was on the outside of somebody and there was an opening on the high side, but as we got to the wreck someone came up off the bottom of the track and I got shoved up into the outside wall. Fortunately, it didn't hurt the car that badly."
The eighth place finish was Holmes' best of the year so far.
"The car definitely got better during the race," he said. "We got into a groove and made up some ground, and that's good. We picked up a lot of spots, didn't tear the car up, and got an eighth place finish. I'd like to have a better showing than that, but considering how our season's gone so far, it's a step in the right direction."
"I was happy with how the race went," he continued. "We were getting better as it went along, and I wish we had more laps to work with.
Holmes and the NDS Motorsports team return to the track on Friday night when the Busch East Series races at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. The team has enjoyed success at Stafford in the past.
"We're really looking forward to going to Stafford. Unlike any of the tracks we've been to so far this year, this team has run at Stafford and done really well there. We've been trying to adapt all year with these tracks being new to me and new to the team, so it'll be nice to go to a track where we've got a starting point to work from. I think we'll do real well at Stafford," he said.