It was by far the busiest racing program of the year Saturday night when Irwindale Speedway presented six divisions of motorized competition on both the half and third-mile tracks. About 5,000 fans witnessed 235-main event laps and a 16-minute ...
It was by far the busiest racing program of the year Saturday night when Irwindale Speedway presented six divisions of motorized competition on both the half and third-mile tracks. About 5,000 fans witnessed 235-main event laps and a 16-minute demolition derby with the largest car count (22) in track history.
Greg Pursley started sixth in the featured NASCAR Lucas Oil Super Late Model 75-lap main event. He charged into second place on lap four and battled pole starter/early leader Rod Johnson until lap 10. Pursley then executed an inside pass through the third and fourth turns for the lead he never relinquished. It was his fourth consecutive main event triumph, his eighth in the last nine races, and the tenth in 14 races at IS this season. He tied the IS single season SLM feature victory record set by Rip Michels.
Pursley said it was his 25th main event victory in all series at IS where he won nine times during the inaugural season-1999. The winner, NASCAR's eight-track Sunbelt Region leader, extended his IS point lead from 62 to 66. He said he trails Colorado ace Jerry Robertson narrowly for the Dodge Weekly Racing Series 2004 national championship that pays the winner $45,000. "I think it's going to take winning all the remaining races. Our focus is from race to race. We don't worry about the points. We just race week to week for wins," Pursley told the media.
Pursley, a mechanic and instructor of the advanced race driving class at the track's race training center, broke his own two-month old one-lap track record of 17.849. He set his new mark of 17.817 (101.027 mph!) during afternoon time trials. As a result, track technical inspectors completely tore apart the carburetor of his Hays Racing Chevy Monte Carlo and found it legal.
They returned the carburetor to Pursley in a box. Greg and his father Russ, his co-chief mechanic/crew chief/race spotter, reassembled and installed it. Pursley thanked his sponsor King Taco, series sponsor Lucas Oil, Watkins Racing Engines and his father, who added, "In the past we usually worked with different teams, so we're living a dream this year working together."
The brothers Bruncati finished second and third again in their Sunrise Ford Taurus twins. "I think the Bruncati brothers ganged up on me. James (second place) drove his butt off tonight. He wouldn't let me rest. I enjoy racing them. They race hard and clean," the winner added. Younger brother James turned the tables on his older sibling Tony and beat him by 0.667 seconds. James trailed Pursley by 0.428 and told fans, "Thanks to Victory Circle (chassis) and Craig Raudman for putting a new rear clip on it after we crashed it two weeks ago here (in second turn multi-car collision)." During his post-race interview for fans, Tony admitted, "My little brother finally got me. Congratulations about that."
Former USAC Midget driver Shawn Calderwood, from Bakersfield, drove his Monte Carlo to fourth place, with Johnson 0.209 seconds back. Mike Price, Russell White, Todd Southwell, Rip Michels in a new SLM, and Ed Hoffman completed the top ten. Twenty of 26 starters finished the 46-minute race slowed by four cautions; 11 drivers ran all 75 laps.
In the race of the night, Bryan Harrell drove his Camaro from fifth starting spot to his second Vista Paint Super Stock 40-lap feature triumph this year. The race featured a lead-pack battle among eight to ten drivers and they exchanged positions virtually every lap. Harrell led only the final two laps after a tangle on lap 39 in turn four took out race-long leader Kenny Brown and second place rookie Johnny White. As Brown spun, White continued at the point. Officials directed White to go to the back for involvement in Brown's spin, which White denied. Harrell inherited the lead and prevailed in the green, white, checkered flag finish. Harrell barely held his advantage by five yards over S/S rookie Jimmy Sloan, the fifth-place driver in series points, and two-time race winner Craig Rayburn, the series point leader. Henry Miles and Chris Houwen completed the top five; 20 drivers completed all 40 circuits.
Pat Mintey, Jr won his fourth 50-lap NAPA Super Trucks main in 11 races. He chased leader Billy Helgeson for 47 laps and on lap 48 ducked inside Helgeson's line and moved him higher in turn four. Helgeson trailed by ten yards (0.441 seconds) with point leader Ron Peterson, Rich Geisler and Mark Holeman third through fifth. Fourteen of the 16 truckers finished and 11 were on the lead lap.
In action on the third-mile, quickest qualifier/series rookie Kenton Gray, in just his fifth race, led the King Taco Legend Cars 35-lap main all the way. However, he had to relinquish his initial feature trophy to runner-up Tom Landreth. INEX officials disqualified Gray's No. 1 coupe during post-race tech inspection of the top finishing cars. Officials found a non-conforming part so Gray lost all points and purse for the night. Past champion Landreth picked up his fourth consecutive victory and he now trails the point leader by 12 points. Only a DNF opening night keeps Tom second to his consistent father Bob, the point leader. Teenagers Austin Grabowski, Ryan Partridge, Evin Powell and Matt Hicks completed the top five. Twenty-two of the 24 drivers finished every lap.
In Mini Stock action, fastest qualifier Greg Tucker started eighth and led laps nine-35 in his Ford Pinto. It was his fifth victory in eight races this year. His 50-points extended his point lead to 42. Dennis Croasmus, who led laps 6-8, drove his Pinto from sixth to a career-best second place, 30 yards back. It beat his prior best fourth place. Dustin Morgan, leader of laps 1-5, Bob Reed and Robert Lovas completed the top five in a 20-car field. Hard charger honorees were Tony Jackson (SLM), rookie Randy Colling (Trucks), and rookie Jeff "Hibachi" Grill (S/S). Grill, son of NASCAR West Coast official Danny Grill, raced his Camaro from 18th starting slot to a career-best eighth in only his fifth S/S race. He earned a $50 check from Ringer's Gloves, sponsor of hard charger awards.
The sixth and final event of the night was the third Pick Your Part Demolition Derby this season. A track record 22-competitors smashed cars in the infield from 10:37 to 10:53 p.m for $2,000. Only the top five finishers earned money. Winner John Zimmerman collected $1,000. Runner-up Steve Cook ($500), Milton Eisenhauer ($250), Chico Powell ($150) and Tyrone Klingbeil ($100) split the other $1,000.
AUGUST 6, Friday racing action following the 5:00 to 9:00 p.m all division practice session: The AMF Bowling Pure Stocks and Bandolero cars raced on the third-mile. Fastest qualifier John Mattie spun a one on the inversion wheel and started on the pole in a 1974 Chevy Nova that he rented from Jimmy and Michelle Rouse. Mattie won a 25-lap, ten-car main by 1.309 seconds over Michelle Rouse, who led the first two laps. Mattie, who led the final 23 circuits, became only the second repeat winner after ten races in the new IS entry-level class. Point leader Jimmy Rouse finished fourth, behind Harry Michaelian and he now leads Michaelian in series points-450-402. The all green flag race set a new track record of 8:08.012.
Using the same 1970s American production cars, the Women's League ten-lap race had two leaders. Kelly Young paced four laps. Then M/S driver Amee Blue took charge in the second turn and led the final six laps and won her first race by two lengths over a pressing Michelle Rouse. The second IS Bandolero 12-lap race went to repeat winner Austin Murphy, a 12-year old from Lancaster who set a NTR of 17.987 in time trials. Second place Jimmy Rouse, Jr, 11, was 20-yards back (1.508 seconds) at the finish in a nine-car field.
KING TACO LEGEND CARS:
Fast Time: Kenton Gray, 17.032.
Main: Tom Landreth, Austin Grabowski, Ryan Partridge, Evin Powell, Matt Hicks, Bob Landreth, Scott Fortier, Bill Everett, Steve Twilligear, Mark Geiser, John Barnett, Jason Alsop, Larry Meredith, Kevin Wong, Bill Bonney, Brian Wong, Bill Watson, Lynn Sours, John London, Mitch Brissii, Jim Paintier, Larry Alsop, Ed Rashid, Richard Btford. DQ-Kenton Gray.
Fast Time: Greg Tucker, 17.537.
Main: Tucker, Dennis Croasmus, Dustin Morgan, Bob Reed, Robert Lovas, Eric Reed, Kevin Bernhardt, Rich Garver, Carl Farless, Fred Adams, Virgil Young, Brenda Pugh, Kris Melleby, Steve Rogers, Ron Schmitt, Rod Schmitt, Ed Douglas, Tyler Rogers, Jim McNear, Tim Ross.
NAPA SUPER TRUCKS:
Fast Time: Eric Hardin, 19.627.
Main: Pat Mintey, Jr, Billy Helgeson, Ron Peterson, Rich Geisler, Mark Holeman, Hardin, John Sereika, Jim Madrid, Dave Scarcella, Randy Colling, Darrin Walts, Reggie Church, Paul Galli, Matt Saied, Ken Bryan, Michael Mantel.
VISTA PAINT SUPER STOCKS:
Fast Time: Johnny White, 21.934.
Main: Bryan Harrell, Jimmy Sloan, Craig Rayburn, Henry Miles, Chris Houwen, Greg Benner, Lee Ladd, Jeff Grill, Lyle Spangler, Curtis White, Victor Wu, Steve Gilmore, Eric Sunness, Steve Smith, Robin Bourgeois, Tim Gardner, Randy Jackson, Kenny Brown, Eric Bewley, Brent Cusick, Larry Sampson, White, Ed Dazzo, John Arlotti, Mike Gilmore, Jose Martinez.
LUCAS OIL SUPER LATE MODELS:
Fast Time: Greg Pursley, 17.817 - NTR (101.027 mph) old TR - 17.849 by Pursley on 6/5/04.
Main: Pursley, James Bruncati, Tony Bruncati, Shawn Calderwood, Rod Johnson, Mike Price, Russell White, Todd Southwell, Rip Michels, Ed Hoffman, Jason Patison, Tony Jackson, Jim McGill, Dennis Arena, Andy Coyle, Kevin O'Neil, David Ross, Scott Calvin, Jeff Shafer, Brandon Loverock, Nathan Wulff, Gary Jenkins, Charlie Saied, Brian Ickler, Ken Davis Chris Oddo.
Top five finishers: (field of 22) John Zimmerman, Steve Cook, Milton Eisenhauer, Chico Powell, Tyrone Klingbeil.
FRI. AUG. 6 RESULTS:
AMF BOWLING PURE STOCKS:
Fast Time: John Mattie, 18.745.
Main: Mattie, Michelle Rouse, Harry Michaelian, Jimmy Rouse, Kenny Rice, Dave Foster, Shawn Steele, Thomas hall, Bob Bartleson, Izzy Lewis.
Fast Time: M. Rouse, 18.732.
Race: Amee Blue, M. Rouse, Kelly Young, Ginger Bryk, Izzy Lewis, Holly Wright.
Fast Time: Austin Murphy, 17.987.
Race: A. Murphy, Jimmy Rouse, Jr, Kenny Christian, Broc Murphy, Donald Greenberg, Michael Greenberg, Andre Prescott, Jeremy Birch, Ryan Bragdon.