Irwindale, Calif. - - Right down to the "short strokes" of the 2000 racing season, the Mechanix Wear Speed Trucks will stage their longest race (ever) in the Dr. Pepper-sponsored event at Irwindale Speedway as the speedy replicas of popular mid-size pickups go at it in a 100-lap - 50-mile "enduro" which will take not only raw speed and brave driving, but tire conservation as well as excellent incident avoidance skills to triumph in.
"We love coming to Irwindale, and, even though we're a 'touring' division, most of our drivers think of this place as their home track," said MW Speed Truck prexy Jay Rutherford. "This Speedway always produces the most exciting races and the best competition for our trucks. There's plenty of room to race and the crowds are always behind the racers. Irwindale fans are among the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic that we see all season long. I think that it's just really splendid that we're concluding our 2000 season there."
Gilbert, Arizona's Darren Young leads the points coming in to Irwindale with 684 with San Bernardino's Ron Peterson right there behind him with 672; those two will battle for first place honors alone while Glendale's Richard Franz (542) and Chandler, Arizona's Chris Hines (534) will fight over third place in the 2000 season championship honors. The Speed Trucks have averaged just over 24 entries per event this season and a strong field is anticipated for this finale.
A tight points battle in the final Modified Stock Racing Association (MSRA) Pro4 Racing Series looms as well. Mitch Wright, from Joshua Tree with his fourth main event win in a row, now leads Kenny Smith from El Monte by the same margin that Smith led him into November 4's race at Irwindale, a not-too-comfortable15 points. Can Wright pull off an unprecedented fifth win in a row to seal the 4-banger title, or will Kenny Smith rally his forces and win himself a championship? In a echo of the Speed Truck points race third place in the season points is also a hot "potatoe" here. Lakeside's Eddie Secord and Orange, California's Ed Reed have only 3 points separating them (1018 - 1015) and third place in any annual points is always better than fourth (or fifth for that matter).
Finishing up an exciting night of a perfect racing trifecta will be the always action-packed Legends Cars. As unpredictable as any a division that runs at Irwindale, their last-laps antics are always "entertaining" with all finishing positions "in play" until the checkered flag flies. Powerful 1200cc motorcycle engines, narrow street tires, brick-like aerodynamics, short wheelbases, highly "motor-vated" drivers, and the "I could be out there" thoughts of many fans-thinking-about-becoming-drivers all add up to an on-track racing show that never fails to amaze, amuse and entertain.
Gates open at 4:00 p.m. for a free car club car show, live music from the Team Simpson bandstand, race car practice and qualifying. Pre-race audience participation fun starts around 6:30 with "Know Your NASCAR" and the Alta Dena Milk Chugs Driver Autograph Session right in the front row of the grandstands. Racing begins at 7:00 and the pits are open to all fans, young and old right after the last race of the evening.
There are number of great seats still available for this event and they are easily obtained by calling (626) 358-1100, hooking up with tickets.com on the web, or stopping by the on-site ticket windows at the track Tuesday through Saturday during regular business hours. k