Racing rivalry renewed in Roseville

Holmes, Bowles return to All American Speedway
By: Brett Ransford, Special to The Press-Tribune
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A rivalry will be renewed Saturday when the NASCAR Camping World Series West comes to All American Speedway for its second race of the season on Saturday. The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 brings local racer Eric Holmes and nemesis Jason Bowles back to the scene where they traded paint in last year’s season finale. “Being that it was the last race coming down to the championship,” said Holmes. “He never got close to me and all of the sudden spun me out. That upsets me more than anything. I think he was over his head and he spun me out in a last-inch effort to get underneath me.” “I wouldn’t exactly say I dislike him,” Holmes said, “but Jason (Bowles) is not my favorite person in the whole world.” Despite the contact that ultimately helped Bowles win that final race, Holmes recovered and finished the race, allowing him to maintain a 48-point margin in the season points race, and win the season championship. The first get-together of this season was at Thunder Hill Raceway Park in Willows. Holmes finished third to earn 170 points. Bowles finished in ninth place for 138 points and again is playing catch-up as the two come to Roseville. “Hopefully neither of us has problems and we can both race hard for the end,” said Bowles. “I don’t treat it any different no matter who I’m racing. I’ll race Eric the same way I do every week and we’ll do our best to beat him.” Holmes may have provoked the beginning of the rivalry between the two drivers in an event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma last season. “I moved him out of the way, but I didn’t spin him out,” Holmes said. “I roughed him up and moved him and went on to win the race.” The duo battled all season for the championship, but Holmes fought to win his second series title in three years. Last spring, in that season’s first competition at All American Speedway, Bowles earned the pole, but Holmes drove his car to the victory. Each driver won four of a dozen total races last season, and each captured five poles in the process. With Holmes carrying the title of defending champion, Bowles is keeping a close eye on his results each race. Bowles, the 2007 NASCAR CWS West Sunoco Rookie of the Year and last year’s championship runner-up, seems to have the best chance to prevent Holmes from defending his points title. “Any of the fans that show up are going to see an excellent race,” said Bowles. Once again this season, All American Speedway is a vital venue for both racers as they seek to remain in contention for a championship. Bowles may not be Roseville fans’ favorite racer, but at owner Bill McAnally’s home track, Holmes will look to live up to his championship status. Bowles looks to stand in the way of the veteran Holmes’ hopes for repeated success and he is confident about his chances in Saturday’s main event. ““May the best man win,” said Bowles.” As for Holmes, his memory helps to drive him as he looks to this visit to Roseville. He remembers how he was spun out the last time they raced in Roseville. “I was a little nicer [to Bowles] at previous races and I didn’t move him,” said Holmes. “I will next time.”