IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY RACE REPORT --APRIL 9, 2005 By Tim Kennedy IRWINDALE, CA., Apr. 9 - The parade of new main event winners at Irwindale Speedway this season continued Saturday night during a six-feature program with 140 racing cars/trucks on...
IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY RACE REPORT --APRIL 9, 2005
By Tim Kennedy
IRWINDALE, CA., Apr. 9 - The parade of new main event winners at Irwindale Speedway this season continued Saturday night during a six-feature program with 140 racing cars/trucks on the half and third-mile tracks before about 3,500 spectators. Justin Lofton, 19, led a rookie sweep of the top three positions in a 24-car Auto Club Late Model 50-lap feature. Travis Thirkettle, a Grand American Modified driver since 1998, earned second place, 0.464 seconds back.
Fastest qualifier/fifth starter Johnny White, an IS super stock division four-time winner and two-time runner-up last season in a Camaro, led laps five-28. The 20-year old former Phoenix-resident got loose high in turn four during lap 29 while lapping a car, got out of shape and dropped two positions. He finished third, 0.995 second back. The top trio all drove Chevy Monte Carlos. Lofton, a college freshman in San Diego, raced desert off-road races in Nevada last year. The resident of Westmorland (about 25 miles from the Mexican border) in Imperial County now ranks third in track points. In three starts, Lofton has first and third place finishes in his first year of oval track racing. On opening night he was running tenth when a flat tire sidelined him four laps from the finish.
Cory Fancy, 22, drove his Chevy S-10 truck from eighth starting position in a 32-truck Dodge Super Truck Series event. The veteran of two and a half years in the series used inside passes to arrive in second place on lap 29. Fancy then battled evenly with pole starter, outside runner Pat Mintey, Jr before making his winning pass exiting turn four on lap 45. Mintey trailed by ten yards (0.511 seconds). Fancy and third-finisher John Sereika are now tied at 94 for the series point lead.
The Late Model main had second year L/M drivers Craig Yeaton and Brian Jones starting in row one with a five-car inverted lineup. Jones shot into the lead and paced the first four laps, turning the fastest lap (19.074) of the race in the process. On lap five in the second turn, point leader Tim Huddleston's car got into the back of Jones' car, which looped and stopped next to the crash wall facing oncoming traffic. With cars two-wide, the Pontiac of Daniel DiGiacomo braked hard but hit Jones' Chevy head-on, sidelining both cars with radiator damage. Officials penalized Huddleston for causing the crash and sent him from the lead to the back of the now 22-car field. He disagreed with the penalty but restarted last and charged forward to finish fifth. Eighteen cars finished, with 15 on the lead lap.
The first of two flips Saturday occurred during the Dodge Super Truck race. On lap 10, after contact in the first turn, Tim Doyle barrel-rolled his Chevy S-10 into the crash wall and back onto four wheels. Rookie Dante Cerchio's truck hit the tumbling truck and stopped at the scene. Both drivers walked away without injury from their disabled trucks. Five laps later a three-truck crash in turn two caused the second of four cautions and resulted in tow-offs for all three trucks. Derek DiSarro (22nd to 11th) and Dan DiGammarino (18th to eighth) received hard charger awards in the truck and L/M series respectively.
Fastest qualifier Larry Sampson drove his 1977 Camaro from the pole to a narrow 0.022 second victory in the Vista Paint Super Stocks 40-lap main on the half-mile. He led all but two laps. Inside-running Robin Bourgeois started second, led laps two and three, and was seldom more than two lengths back. His closing effort on the final lap had his 1976 Camaro even with Sampson, but a wiggle in turn four left him 2 yards from Sampson's back bumper at the checkers. Bourgeois now leads the standings by 12-points.
In action on the third-mile, quickest qualifier Tom Landreth, a multiple King Taco Legend Cars champion at IS, started on the pole with a zero inversion. He led all the way in a 35-lap race. He defeated second-year Legends driver Kenton Gray by 0.695 seconds. Three yellow flags for spins and a red flag on lap 31 for a flip interrupted action.
Karting veteran/first-time Legends driver Connor Cantwell, a 14-year old eighth grader from Valencia, flipped his coupe. The teen earlier had set 11th fastest time in afternoon practice and then recorded the 13th quickest qualifying time. He started 13th in a 33-car field and was running a pressing 13th with 26 cars on the track. Contact tore off a front wheel and flipped the car onto its roof. It slid into the crash wall and flipped back upright and stopped. The shaken youngster walked to the ambulance for a precautionary checkup as his new car left the track on the business end of a tow truck.
The AMF Pure Stock Open 17-car race went to John Mattie, in a 1974 Chevy Nova. He started sixth and passed pole starter Jeff Elder during lap 14 on the inside at turn four. Mattie beat Elder by 0.307 seconds. During late afternoon group qualifying, Mattie established a new one-lap record of 17.996 (66.681 mph) that beat the week-old mark of 18.187. Nick Nuccitelli set that standard after Mattie's 17.865 run April 2 was disallowed because his car used an non-complying shock absorber.
The Pure Stock Women's League used the same cars that raced earlier in the evening. Fastest qualifier Michelle Rouse started eighth and became the third leader of the 15-lap race during lap 10. She used an outside pass in the third and fourth turns with her 1973 Chevy. Second place Melissa Watson was 1.843 seconds back in a 1973 Plymouth Road Runner. All seven starters finished and ran 15 laps.
The first race of the night, also on the third-mile, was a 15-lap race for youth eight years of age and older. They drove Bandolero cars powered by two-cylinder, 35-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engines. Brock Murphy, 11, started at the back of a 13-car field and became the third leader on lap six with an inside move in the fourth turn. He dropped 12-year old Jimmy Rouse, Jr, the laps two-six leader, to second and he trailed by 0.091 seconds at the conclusion.
To obtain a video copy of all the above IS action, or to relive 2002-2004 IS races, contact Raz Video of Pasadena at (626) 449-1175 or check www.RazVideo.com. <http://www.RazVideo.com.> Action is available in VHS and DVD formats.
What Ho! Renaissance Old England costumed characters were at IS greeting spectators and distributed discount coupons for the annual Renaissance Pleasure Faire, which will be held on weekends from April 16-May 22 from 10 a.m to 6 p.m at the nearby Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area in Irwindale.
BANDOLERO CARS: (13 cars)
Fast Time: Jimmy Rouse, Jr, 17.944.
Main: Brock Murphy, Rouse, Steve Sussex, Romano Cionni, Carter Calhoun, Michael Greenberg, Tyler Fabozzi, Trevor Hurdle, Justin Hurdle, Ryan Bragdon, Nicole DeLong, Jack madrid, Donald Greenberg.
AMF PURE STOCK OPEN DIVISION: (17 cars)
Fast Time: John Mattie, 17.996 (66.681 mph) old TR- 18.187 on 4-2-05.
Main: Mattie, Jeff Elder, Nick Nuccitelli, Michelle Rouse, Bob Bartleson, Jimmy Rouse, Sr, Kenny Rice, Harry Michaelian, Mark Whitson, Branden Mulvihjll, Ray Walker, Izzy Lewis, Ron Davis, Karen Salvaggio, Ryan Partridge, Bill JOPhnson, Bill Bartleson.
Fast Time: Michelle Rouse, 18.162.
Main: M. Rouse, Melissa Watson, Kelly Bartleson-Young, Izzy Lewis, Tracy Lindsey, Ginger Bryk, Kim Unruh. DNS- Alex Brenes.
KING TACO LEGEND CARS: (33 cars)
Fast Time: Tom Landreth, 16.759.
Main: T. Landreth, Kenton Gray, Matthew Hicks, Cory Miles, Bob Landreth, Mark Gaiser, Chad Schug, Tom Skahill, Jason Alsop, Steve Twilligear, Eric Brett, John London, Bill Bonney, Lindsay King, J. D. Hendley, Larry Stone, Brian Wong, Lynn Sours, Bree Brewer, Ryan Partridge, Darren Amidon, Larry Alsop, Kenny Chastain, Van Iungerich, Connor Cantrell, Andrew Murphy, Larry Meredith, Osbaldo Ramirez, Jim Smith, Ryan Schug, Bill Calhoun, David Kalawaia, Brian Vandehey.
VISTA PAINT SUPER STOCKS: (21 cars)
Fast Time: Larry Sampson, 21.910.
Main: Sampson, Robin Bourgeois, Lee Ladd, Jimmy Sloan, Ed Dazzo, Jeff Grill, Steve Smith, Victor Wu, Kenny Brown, Greg Crutcher, Ricky Riley, Garry Howell, Keith Wood, Roy Moore, Dale Martinez, Jamie Barnett, Bill Shoemaker, Brent Cusick, Rich Paez, Rick Collins, Rich DeLong III.
DODGE SUPER TRUCKS: (32 trucks) Fast Time: Eric Hardin, 19.638.
Main: Cory Fancy, Pat Mintey, Jr, John Sereika, Dave Blankenship, Hardin, Ron Peterson, Louis Mammolito, Paul Brennan, Ken Maler, Bob Barker, Derek DiSarro, Rick Miller, Scott Fortier, Darren Sigwing, Dana Higgins, Logan Henson, Dave Scarcella, Dan Mathus, Joe Anderson, Uli Perez, Rich Williams, Matt Saied, Josh Barker, P. J. Baker, Brian Reed, Randy Colling, Rich Geisler, Steve Latina, Ryan Fortier, Dante Cerchio, Tim Doyle, Ken Bryan.
AUTO CLUB LATE MODELS: (24 cars)
Fast Time: Johnny White, 18.862.
Main: Justin Lofton, Travis Thirkettle, J.White, Mike Johnson, Tim Huddleston, Scott Youngren, Brian Kelley, Dan DiGiamarino, Craig Yeaton, Jameel Saied, Chris Houwen, Richie Altman, Candace Muzny, Robert Rice, Sean Bennett, Dennis Schlarbaum, Robbie Brand, George Ruark, Austin Grabowski, Dave Hessing, Mike Mulhall, David Whitson, Daniel DiGiacomo, Brian Jones.