IRWINDALE, CA., May 8 - Five racing divisions, a full pit of 141 racing vehicles and 250 laps of competition attracted an estimated 4,000 spectators on City of Irwindale Night to Irwindale Speedway Saturday for their weekly fill of motor-sports ...
IRWINDALE, CA., May 8 - Five racing divisions, a full pit of 141 racing vehicles and 250 laps of competition attracted an estimated 4,000 spectators on City of Irwindale Night to Irwindale Speedway Saturday for their weekly fill of motor-sports action. And action was the name of the game in all five features-four on the half-mile and one on the third-mile.
The five feature winners were Tony Bruncati (in the featured NASCAR Super Late Models), Deryk Ward (NASCAR Late Models), Craig Rayburn (Super Stocks) and Carson Woods, Jr (Super Trucks) on the half-mile, and Greg Tucker (Mini Stocks) on the third-mile. Bruncati's best finish this year had been sixth and his last feature victory at IS came on August 3, 2002, a season in which he won his only two prior Irwindale main events. During individual time trials shortly after 4:30 in 88-degree weather, Bruncati eclipsed the five-week old track record set on a cooler afternoon by Kevin O'Neil, who beat a 1999 one-lap record. Bruncati's 17.966 (100.189 mph) beat O'Neil's 17.967 (100.184 mph) by one-thousandth of a second.
"X-man" Ward won $750 in the first race--a 50-lap Auto Club of Southern California Late Model main. He started fifth as fifth fastest qualifier in a 29-car field and chased pole starter/early leader George Ruark for six laps before executing an inside pass entering turn three. Ward, a United Parcel Service driver in Palm Springs and sprint car driver (for one-year) in South Dakota, led the final 44 laps. He edged Doug McComb by 0.350. With his second consecutive victory, Ward took the 2004-championship lead by two-points over third finisher Tim Huddleston. George Ruark had a career best fourth. There were 22 cars running at the finish and 17 completed all 50 laps.
The second feature of the night was the NAPA Auto Parts Super Truck Series 50-lap main. 2003 IS champion Carson Woods performed the "hat trick" and won his third consecutive IS main this season. He started fourth and became the fifth leader when he charged to the front on the final lap with an inside pass exiting the final turn. He won by 0.115 (one length). The race had three leaders during the final five laps following a red flag to clear the track after a seven-truck collision. Woods needed that flag assistance because he was in ninth place on lap 45. He was fifth on lap 46, fourth a lap later, second on lap 48-49 and then made his winning pass under laps 38-46 and 48-49 leader Pat Mintey, Jr.
Woods was in second place from laps 16-31 pressuring fastest qualifier/pole starter Mark Holeman, the race-long leader, when their trucks entered the first turn side-by-side and Holeman spun out. Trucks scattered high and low and avoided contact. Woods continued non-stop in first place under caution. However, officials repositioned Woods' No. 89 Chevy to the back of the field with Holeman in 23rd place. His charge to the front thrilled fans following his progress back to the front. Twenty-one of 28 trucks finished and 16 ran all 50 laps.
The exciting 40-lap Vista Paint Super Stock main was an inverted field based upon qualifying times. Only 24 drivers were inverted and ten drivers who missed the drivers meeting or had a tech inspection problem started behind them. Second fastest qualifier Rayburn missed the drivers meeting and started 30th instead of 23rd. He drove his Camaro to his second consecutive IS triumph. He became the third leader on lap 20 with an inside turn three pass of 17th starter Larry Sampson, the laps seven-19 leader.
Marcelo Canel, the 27th fastest qualifier, started his Camaro on the pole and paced the first six laps for his first lead in two years of S/S racing. He finished 27th, down a lap, in a race that had four-abreast racing at times and three cautions for minor spins. Rayburn defeated Camaro driver Chris Houwen by 0.384, with Sampson third. Lee Ladd came from 22nd to fourth in his Camaro, 1.019 second behind the winner. Twenty-two of 32 starters finished and 25 completed all 40 laps.
Lucas Oil SLM Series fastest qualifier Bruncati started his Sunrise Ford Taurus second and chased point leader/poleman Greg Pursley closely for 40 of the 75 laps. He made an inside pass entering the third turn on lap 41. Bruncati pulled away to half a straight-away winning margin after 75 all green flag laps in a 23 minute race. Bruncati said he tested at the track on Friday night for long runs. An opening lap turn four multi-car crash sidelined several cars and required a complete restart.
Brandon Loverock, in a Monte Carlo, took second from Pursley's Monte Carlo with an inside move leaving turn four on the final lap. Pursley, nursing a car with only seven cylinders for the final 25 laps, barely edged the Taurus of Tim Woods III for third place. Woods was scheduled to start fourth but officials, per track rules, sent him to the back of the field because his car required a push start. Woods, the fastest driver on the track, charged from fifth place at lap 50 and closed a half-straight deficit during the closing laps to battle for second place on the final lap.
As the checkered flag flew the cars of Russell White and Mike Price were battling for sixth place when their cars came together and White's Chevy slammed off the fourth turn wall. The impact tore off a fuel line and his car glanced off Price's RF fender as the engine erupted into flames that trailed the car to the fourth turn track edge. The track's safety crew quickly extinguished the engine blaze . White was unhurt, but his winning car from the last race had major damage. Fifteen of the 23 starters finished and eight were on the lead lap.
The final race of the night was the 27-car, 35-lap Mini Stock race. Tucker started his Ford Pinto second and took the lead from Pinto driver and pole starter Kevin Bernhardt on lap 13. He edged a closing Tony Lawler's Pinto by 0.894, with Bernhardt third, 1.111 seconds back. M/S drivers completed the all green flag race in 10:24.531 minutes. There were 23 finishers and ten finished on the lead lap.
Hard Charger award-winners selected by the racing director were: (L/M) - rookie Andrew Lewis, 16th to ninth; (Trucks) - Jim Kondziela, 14th to sixth; (S/S) - fastest qualifier Johnny White, 24th to fifth; (SLM) - Tim Woods III, 22nd to fourth, (M/S) - Rich Garver, 25th to 14th.
Main - Greg Tucker, Tony Lawler, Kevin Bernhardt, Dustin Morgan, Eric Reed, Bob "SpiderMan" Reed, Fred Adams, Robbie Miller, Robert Lovas, Steve Rogers, (in #31 of Robert Carney), Jack Roberts, Carl Farless, Virgil Young, Rich Garver, Rodney Schmitt, Brenda Pugh, Tom Dye, Mike Morales, Amee Blue, Mario Ruiz, Krisa Melleby, Brad Hamilton, Ed Lavender, Jim McNear, Ron Pugh, James Lavender, Dennis Corasmun.- DNS - # 3 of Steve Rogers.
NAPA AUTO PARTS SUPER TRUCKS:
Fast Time - Mark Holeman, 19.694.
Main - Carson Woods, Jr, Pat Mintey, Jr, Ron Peterson, Frank Steiner, Holeman, Jim Kondziela, Rich Geisler, Jim Madrid, Billy Helgeson, Eric Hardin, Larry Hinderman, Jon Campbell, Kyle Evans, Louis Mammolito, Jeb Bailey, Randy Colling, Darrin Walts, Richard Legere, David Scarcella, Greg Adler, Darren Sigwing, Rod Hicks, Paul Brennan, Derek DiSarro, Ken Bryan, Michael Mantel, John Sereika, Matt Saied.
VISTA PAINT SUPER STOCKS:
Fast Time - Johnny White, 21.867.
Main - Craig Rayburn, Chris Houwen, Larry Sampson, Lee Ladd, J. White, Robin Bourgeois, Henry Miles, Ed Dazzo, Brent Cusick, Greg Benner, Lyle Spangler, Tim Gardner, Curtis White, Steve Gilmore, Jimmy Sloan, Ken Brown, Eric Sunness, Sean Garrett, Jeff Grill, Victor Wu, Bobby Dezarov, Randy Jackson, Scott Corrigan, Richard Paez, Craig Yeaton, Derk Rodgers, Marcelo Canel, Greg Crutcher, Bryan harrell, Dan Rodgers, Rick Riley, Garry Howell, DNS-Phil Holt, Steve Rhoads.
AUTO CLUB of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LATE MODELS:
Fast Time - Doug McComb, 18.939.
Main - Deryk Ward, McComb, Tim Huddleston, George Ruark, Brian Kelley, Andrew Myers, Jameel Saied, Ron Schartau, Andrew Lewis, Mike Johnson, Colby Bankston, Richie Altman, Dan DiGiacomo, Tony Green, John Ahrendt, Robert Rice, Dennis Schlarbaum, Robbie Brand, Tim Harris, Candace Muzny, Brian Jones, Del Dalrymple, Kory Halopoff, Kevin Wood, Ron Daniel, Todd Conrad, Scott Youngren, Mike Mulhall.
LUCAS OIL SUPER LATE MODELS:
Fast Time - Tony Bruncati, 17.966 - (100.189 mph) TRACK RECORD (old TR 17.967 - 100.184 mph) by Kevin O'Neil on 4-3-04).
Main - T. Bruncati, Brandon Loverock, Greg Pursley, Tim Woods III, James Bruncati, Jeff Shafer, Mike Price, Mark Perry, Russell White, Nathan Wulff, Gary Jenkins, Dennis Arena, Chris Oddo, Andy Coyle, Scott Calvin, Jim McGill, Terry Elliott, Ed Hoffman, Tim Buckley, Kevin O'Connell, Dan Moore, Kevin O'Neil, Jason Patison.