PURVIS wins Busch race

Sunday, July 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) _ Jeff Purvis ran away with the NAPA AutoCare 250 on Saturday, beating Jeff Green by 15.782 seconds in the Busch Series race at Pikes Peak International Raceway.

Purvis, winning for the first time since August 1996 at Michigan, was making his second start for Richard Childress Racing. He lost his regular ride four weeks ago when Joe Gibbs Racing dropped its second Busch Series team.

``That was one great race car right there,'' Purvis said of the No. 21 Chevrolet. ``I just have to thank Richard Childress for giving me a chance. I knew this team was good, but didn't know they were that damn good.

``Jeff Purvis needed to win and my kids back home needed a win. My family doesn't get to see much of me and I was beginning to wonder about my career, where it was going.''

Purvis, 42, who also won at Richmond in 1996, led 121 of the last 124 laps on the mile oval. After retaking the lead for good on lap 175 following his final pit stop, Purvis pulled away for the largest margin of victory this year.

``The way Purvis passed me early in the race I knew he'd be the one to beat,'' said Green, the 2000 winner at Pikes Peak en route to the season championship.

Kevin Harvick, running both the Busch and Winston Cup series, finished third after starting at the back of the field because of he missed qualifying. He leads fifth-place finisher Greg Biffle by 163 points in the season standings.

``We'll take third, there's no need to be greedy,'' Harvick said. ``I beat Biffle and that was the main thing we needed to do.''

Following the race, Harvick flew back to Long Pond, Pa., for Sunday's Pennsylvania 500. He qualified sixth for the Winston Cup race Friday. ``I never get tired,'' Harvick said.

Jason Keller was fourth, followed by Biffle, David Green, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Grubb, pole-sitter Kenny Wallace and Tim Fedewa.