THE KENNEDY REPORT - IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY - JUNE 4, Irwindale, CA., Jun. 4 - Six racing divisions and seven main events provided almost four hours of action Saturday at Irwindale Speedway with the featured Auto Club Late Model Series running ...
THE KENNEDY REPORT - IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY - JUNE 4,
Irwindale, CA., Jun. 4 - Six racing divisions and seven main events provided almost four hours of action Saturday at Irwindale Speedway with the featured Auto Club Late Model Series running twin-50-lap features. Point leader Tim Huddleston, of Agoura Hills, lived up to his "dominator" status this season by winning both 50-lappers in his No. 50 Justice Brothers High-Point Distributing Chevy Monte Carlo.
"I've wanted to win Twin-50s for a long time. Winning one is great but winning two is better," said the jubilant father of three. "I'm worn out. I've been working all day and didn't eat or drink enough today. My left front tire grew 11 inches and the sway bar dropped an inch. We adjusted that problem between the two races," the winner said. His fourth and fifth victories this season gave Huddleston 23 triumphs at IS, all in his Late Model. With an IS championship trophy his goal this year, Huddleston increased his point lead from 42 to 74 points. Huddleston started fourth in the 23-car first 50 and ran third for 34 laps. Pole starter Jameel Saied led the first 22 laps until fastest qualifier/third starter Mike Johnson made an inside pass on the backstretch during lap 23 for the lead. Huddleston took second position on lap 35 and a lap later made an inside pass for the point from the fourth turn to the starting line. He led the final 15 laps and beat Johnson by 1.782 seconds. Saied finished a personal best third, 2.317 seconds back. Following a one-hour and 40-minute break, 20 Late Models came to the grid for the second 50. Huddleston started third and wasted no time in taking command of the race with his now properly handling Monte Carlo. He shot inside pole starter Johnson in the fourth turn on the first lap and led all the way by as much as 40-yards. Runner-up Johnson again trailed, by 1.849 seconds this time. Scott Youngren came from seventh starting slot to press Johnson most of the race, but he fell short of second place by two lengths. Youngren jumped from third to second in points after nine of 16 scheduled races.
The only other series that used the banked half-mile track was the Vista Paint Super Stock Series. The scheduled 40-lap main went to first-time winner Jimmy Sloan in his Kasco Pipe & Supply 1980 Chevy Camaro. He led all the way from the pole position in the final event of the night. Track officials shortened the race to 20-laps after a two-car incident at the end of the backstretch on lap nine sent Larry Sampson's 1977 Camaro at speed into the outer wall. The eighth place car spun back across the track in front of on-coming cars and stopped at the inside edge of the track. No other cars hit Sampson's careening car. After ten counted laps under the yellow flag, officials displayed the red flag and stopped all cars for 12-minutes. Track emergency workers cut off the roof and roll-cage of Sampson's Camaro to expedite his safe removal from the car after they installed a protective neck restraint. He was conscious and complained of pain. Sampson was transported by ambulance to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for evaluation and treatment. The Covina driver spent the night in hospital and was released to go home on Sunday afternoon. Officials ordered a green, white checkered flag for a 20-lap official race with 11:00 p.m curfew approaching rapidly. Sloan ran the fastest lap of the race (21.998) and edged fastest qualifier and fellow front row starter Robin Bourgeois by 0.610 seconds. Camaro drivers Bryan Harrell, Lee Ladd and Steve Gilmore finished third through fifth respectively in a 20-car field.
In action on the third-mile track, Jim Smith won the 30-lap King Taco Legend Cars main by five yards over Tom Landreth, the fourth starter. Officials also cut the Legends race by five laps because of time constraints caused by four yellow flags to remove damaged cars in a season-high field of 38. Pole starter J. D. Hendley led the first 14 laps over Matt Hicks. As the two leaders entered turn one on lap 15 Hicks' car hit and spun Hendley. Officials sent title-contender Hicks to the back of the field with Hendley. Smith, a seven-year IS Legends racer, led the final 16 laps over hard-pressing Landreth, a three-time IS Legends champion.
With the checkered flag waving for the Legend Car leaders, the third and fourth place cars got together and third place Larry Meredith spun, triggering a multi-car tangle. The first 11 cars crossed the finish line before the starter waved the yellow flag. Cars from 12th back were scored initially by the lap 29 running order. Ryan Partridge started 38th in his new coupe and crossed the line third. However, race control penalized him to the back of the lead lap (25th) for causing Meredith's spin. Landreth entered the race tied with Hicks for first in points. Hicks now trails Landreth 238-192 with five of 11 scheduled races completed.
Fastest qualifier/poleman John Mattie, in a 1974 Chevy Nova, led all 35 laps of a rousing Justice Brothers High-Point Distributing Pure Stock race for the track's entry level, economy class. A season-high 20-cars competed. Michelle Rouse, Mark Whitson, rookie Branden Mulvihill and 2004 IS series champion Jimmy Rouse rounded out the top five. Fifteen drivers finished, with 11 drivers on the lead lap. The 14-car Pick-Your-Part 20-lap Figure 8 race went to point leader Steve Stewart, who paced laps six-20 and beat former Ascot Park driving ace Earl Cox. Tony Curtis led the first five laps from the pole but lost three laps and finished tenth. A lap 10 crash at the X involving fifth place Dan Burns and "Monster Garage" TV show star Jesse James brought out a brief red flag. Both cars drove away from the scene, but James' own creation, with a powerful Petty Enterprises Nextel Cup engine, trailed sparks from the RF suspension and exited to the pits. Burns finished sixth, with four of the ten finishers on the lead lap. Jimmy Rouse, Jr, 12-year old son of the Pure Stock driving husband-wife team, won a 14-car, 15-lap Bandolero race. He started fourth and led all but the first four laps. Albert Flores, Jr, 13-year old winner of the last IS race, finished second. Ten-year old newcomer Danny St Ours was third. The series now recognizes two classes of drivers-young guns and bandits. Long time track announcer Bruce Flanders was honored by IS and spectators before and after the races on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
PICK YOUR PART FIGURE 8s: (14 cars)
Main: Steve Stewart, Earl Cox, Harry Kuenniger, Don Rogers, Robbie Stutzel, Dan Burns, Jerry Toporek, Jeff Marguet, Steve Cook, Tony Curtis, Rod Proctor, Sean Hansen, Jesse James, Tom Gallagher.
BANDOLEROS: (14 cars)
Fast Time: Jimmy Rouse, Jr., 17.678.
Main: Rouse, Albert Flores, Jr, Donny St Ours, Jack Madrid, Andre Prescott, Jeremy Birch, Tyler Fabozzi, Carter Calhoun, Kurt Landgren, Jonathan St Ours, Ryan Bragdon, Chris Akers, Nicole DeLong, Brent Schneidermantle.
JUSTICE BROS. PURE STOCKS: (20 cars)
Fast Time: John Mattie, 18.054.
Main: Mattie, Michelle Rouse, Mark Whitson, Branden Mulvihill, Jimmy Rouse, Harry Michaelian, Bob Bartleson, Kenny Rice, Jeff Elder, Paul Vitale, Kevin hall, Vince Allevato, Tom Gallagher, Russell Daley, Izzy Lewis, Bill Bartleson, Nick Nuccitelli, Ron Davis, Joe Nuccitelli, Jr, Peter Bryk.
KING TACO LEGEND CARS: (38 cars)
Fast Time: Kenton Gray, 16.959.
Main: Jim Smith, Tom Landreth, John London, Brian Wong, Tom Skahill, Bill Bonney, John Barnett, Eric Brett, Gray. Lindsay King, Gary Scheurell, Mark Gaiser, Connor Cantrell, Bob Landreth, Cory Miles, Don Ackers, Van Iungerich, Larry Stone, Chad Schug, Bree Brewer, Lynn Sours, J. D. Hendley, Bill Calhoun, Larry Meredith, Ryan Partridge, Dennis Howell, Daryl Collins, Don Teller, David Gibson, Jim Pantier, Ryan Schug, Matt Hicks, K. J. Garrison, Ed Rashid, Mike Smith, Kenny Chastain, Carl Wuersch, Larry Alsop.
VISTA PAINT SUPER STOCKS: (21 cars)
Fast Time: Robin Bourgeois, 22.049.
Main: Jimmy Sloan, Bourgeois, Bryan Harrell, Lee Ladd, Steve Gilmore, Greg Crutcher, Jeff Grill, Victor Wu, Garry Howell, Steve Smith, Rich DeLong III, Kenny Brown, Dan Rodgers, Keith Wood, Tim Gardner, Richard Hansen, Rick Cullens, Bill Shoemaker, Larry Sampson, Ed Dazzo.
AUTO CLUB LATE MODELS: (23 cars)
Fast Time: 1st race--Mike Johnson, 18.961.
2nd race-Tim Huddleston, 19.084.
RACE 1: Huddleston, Johnson, Jameel Saied, Scott Youngren, Daniel DiGiacomo, Craig Yeaton, Johnny White, Richie Altman, Travis Thirkettle, Brian Kelley, Sean Bennett, Dan DiGiamarino, Robert Rice, George Ruark, Justin Lofton, Austin Grabowski, Brian Jones, Mike Mulhall, Candace Muzny, Dennis Schlarbaum, Tony Green, Greg Crutcher (#59), Brandon Mulvihill.
RACE 2: Huddleston, Johnson, Youngren, DiGiacomo, Mulhall, Ruark, Yeaton, Saied, Altman, Kelley, Brian Jones (#59), Muzny, Lofton, Bennett, Rice, Grabowski, White, DiGiamarino, Thirkettle, Mulvihill.