Irwindale, CA, Aug. 23 - Greg Pursley scored a clean sweep in the NASCAR Jani-King Super Late Model division Saturday before 5,319 at the graduated banking half-mile Irwindale Speedway. He set fastest qualifying time in a 24-car field, won the ...
Irwindale, CA, Aug. 23 - Greg Pursley scored a clean sweep in the NASCAR Jani-King Super Late Model division Saturday before 5,319 at the graduated banking half-mile Irwindale Speedway. He set fastest qualifying time in a 24-car field, won the six-lap trophy dash and the 75-lap feature aboard the King Taco-sponsored, Victory Circle chassis, No. 13 Chevrolet Monte Carlo owned by Dave Hayes of Bakersfield.
Winston West veteran Pursley became the first driver to clinch one of the ten series championships this season at Irwindale. He entered the race leading the Miller Lite Big 10 Challenge series-within-the SLM track series by 30 points. Pursley ended the evening 64-points in front of the second place driver after nine of ten rounds with 50-points maximum available for a victory. Miller Lite will award $5,000 from the $10,000 point fund to Pursley at the track championship awards banquet.
Other main event winners-all on the half-mile-were Tim Huddleston in an Automobile Club of Southern California Late Model 50-lap race; Ryan Arciero, in the 75-lap Ultra Wheel Super Truck main; Aaron Staudinger, in a 50-lap West Coast Pro Truck event, and 35-lap Grand American Modified first-time winner Andrew Phipps, a 27-year old series rookie. Phipps is a double-digit Super Stock main event winner in his Camaro and a S/S championship contender last season at IS.
A strong field of 112 competitors raced in the five-division program. A television production crew taped three of the five main events for subsequent broadcast on the FSN2 television network. The "Racing from Irwindale" show airs from 6:00-7:00 p.m (Pacific Time) on Thursdays. The SLM main will air September 4, the L/M race will be shown September 11, and the UWST main will air September 18.
With an inversion of eight, Pursley started eighth and became the fourth and final leader on lap 28 with an inside pass leaving the second turn. Nathan Wulff led the first two circuits, before fellow front row starter Dan Moore passed him on the inside in turn four and paced laps three-nine. Second fastest qualifier Russell White came from seventh starting to lead laps 10-27. Despite a loose car, Pursley extended his advantage to half a straight-away and won by 4.752 seconds over White. Thirteen of 22 starters finished and 11 drivers completed all 75 laps.
A red flag flew on lap 26 after the cars of Tony Jackson and Wulff received heavy damage in a crash exiting turn two, requiring track clean-up. On lap 35 a yellow flag appeared when SLM series point leader and Miller Lite challenger Rip Michels tried to take second position from White. Michels' Chevy pushed up, made contact with White's car, and then spun nose first into the fourth turn wall.
"Sorry", Michels radioed back to his crew. He was uninjured and surveyed the battered front end of his car as fluid drained down the track. Michels still leads Irwindale SLM points by 40 over Tony Bruncati. Pursley ranks third, 50 points behind Michels after 16 of 18 scheduled races.
Huddleston, the L/M fastest qualifier, started his Ladco Pontiac Grand Prix fourth, took second from point leader Todd Burns on lap six, chased down race-long leader Scott Youngren and passed him for the lead on the inside during lap 11. He out-ran Youngren by 1.453 seconds. Third place Burns trailed the winner by 2.155 seconds. The race had four cautions and 16 of 21 starters reached the checkers, with 14 drivers on the lead lap.
Arciero, a 28-year old off-road racing star and fastest qualifier in a 28-truck field, drove his Chevy from third starting to the inside in the first corner and led all 75 laps. He defeated series point leader Dave Blankenship by 0.589 seconds (about 10 yards) and logged his fourth victory this season. "I wanted to get the lead right away and stay in front of trouble. If not for two bad race results, including a flat tire and DNF last time here, I'd still be leading the points," winner Arciero told the media. Blankenship leads 2002 series champion Carson Woods 422 to 406 points. Arciero is third at 366.
After six races, Phipps cut two points from the advantage of GAM point leader Rod Johnson, who leads 286-284 over rookie Phipps. Third starter Johnson led the first, sixth and seventh laps. Phipps led laps 8-35. Roger Carufel, Jr paced laps 2-5 from the front row and finished third. All 13 starters finished, with nine drivers on the lead serial. Phipps won by a straight-away (5.789 seconds). His spotter was his father, an eight-time driving champion at Saugus Speedway (five in modifieds and three in late models).
WCPT point leader/front row starter Staudinger put his Pick-Your-Part Chevy into the lead for three laps. He yielded the point to last IS winner Michael Thomas for three laps and then led laps 6-50. Stuadinger finished 2.805 seconds ahead of Thomas. The all-green flag final race of the night took only 18 minutes and 21 of the 24 drivers finished. After receiving the checkered flag, third place Tony Forfa III, 40-yards behind the winner, spun into the first turn after contact. All drivers behind him, including fourth place Mike Peninington (the fastest qualifier) somehow avoided his stalled truck.
Hard charger award winners selected by track officials were
(UWST)-Carson Woods (14th to 6th); (L/M)-Mike Johnson (16th to 6th); (SLM)-Jason Patison, a first-time IS starter (13th to 10th) plus Taka Mizuki (19th to 11th), and (WCPT)-Dean Kuhn (24th to 8th).
GRAND AMERICAN MODIFIEDS:
Fast Time: Andrew Phipps, 18.471.
Main: Phipps, Rod Johnson, Roger Carufel, Jr, Travis Thirkettle, John Watkinson, Jeff Scott, Joe Ruggles, Tim Morse, Robert Rice, Jim Smith, Dennis Schlarbaum, Mike Trottochau, Andrew Schoening. DNS-Wally Pettengill, Chad Daly.
WEST COAST PRO TRUCKS:
Fast Time: Mike Pennington, 20.273.
Main: Aaron Staudinger, Michael Thomas, Tony Forfa III, Pennington, Dave Lyon, Jeff Williams, Brian Pannone, Dean Kuhn, Sean Bennett, Neil Conrad, Craig Baker, Jim Satterfield, Dennis Bennett, Bob Leininger, Bret Carlson, Don Helgesopn, Mike Mocaby, Richie Altman, Kirk Knostman, Dale Cromwell, Richard Black, David Ford, Chris Johnson, Michael Young.
ULTRA WHEEL SUPER TRUCKS:
Fast Time: Ryan Arciero, 19.520.
Main: Arciero, Dave Blankenship, Pat Mintey, Jim Kondziela, Frank Steiner, Carson Woods, Greg Adler, Cody Brown, Jim McGill, Ron Peterson, Rich Geisler, Joe Herold, Jim Madrid, Mark Holeman, Brian Harris, Kevin O'Connell, Barry Karr, Kyle Evans, Jeb Bailey, Eric Humphries, Louis Mammolito, Tom Stanton, Reggie Church, Darren Sigwing, Ed Ragains, Larry Hinderman, Paul Brennan, Zeke DeRose.
AUTOMOBILE CLUB of SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LATE MODELS:
Fast Time: Tim Huddleston, 19.035.
Main: Huddleston, Scott Youngren, Todd Burns, Doug McComb, Tony Green, Mike Johnson, Dave Hessing, Mike Price, Jess Flores, Guy Tripp, Todd Conrad, Jameel Saied, Jim Conklin, Michael May, Andrew Myers, John Jones, Robbie Brand, Don Pinkus, Ron Schartau, Del Dalrymple, George Ruark.
JANI-KING SUPER LATE MODELS:
Fast Time: Greg Pursley, 18.166.
Dash: Pursley, Mike Duncan, Russell White, Rip Michels, Tony Bruncati, Kevin O'Neil.
Main: Pursley, White, Dan Moore, Duncan, Stephan Sadler, Tony Bruncati, Brandon Loverock, Kevin O'Neil, Gary Jenkins, Jason Patison, Taka Mizuki, Andy Coyle, Scott Conaway, Tom Nutter, Jeff Michaels, Dean Cato, Chris Oddo, Rip Michels, Tony Jackson, Nathan Wulff, Rod Johnson, Terry Limberopoulos,-DNS Andrew Lewis.