On a beautiful night for racing, Irwindale Speedway saw a second-generation driver become a first-time winner. Chino Hills' own David Gilliland, son of champion stock car driver Butch Gilliland, and proud father of young Todd Gilliland (who David...
On a beautiful night for racing, Irwindale Speedway saw a second-generation driver become a first-time winner. Chino Hills' own David Gilliland, son of champion stock car driver Butch Gilliland, and proud father of young Todd Gilliland (who David told the crowd, "was in the stands cheering his poppa on, even though he's only four weeks old") won his first-ever main event at Irwindale Speedway. Gilliland was flawless as he handily lead the last 25 laps of the 75-lap Food 4 Less Super Late Model Division feature event.
Prior to that he had done a great job of qualifying (5th), and staying with the lead pack which meant the battling Ben Walker (North Hills) and Pasadenan Mike (no relation) Walker. Those two were the hammer and tongs pair for the first 20 laps running lap after lap virtually welded together. On lap 37 Jess Flores (Sylmar) seemed to spin on his own oil propelling Mike Walker (who was in the process of putting a lap on him) into the turn three wall. Gilliland took quick advantage and command of the situation (which also slightly involved Ben Walker). From there, Gilliland really made it look easy.
Even a late yellow on lap 73 that bunched up the field was seemingly of little concern to him as he cruised on for a sweet victory on a track that his father was one of the first-ever drivers to drive a racing car on. Ben Walker rallied for second place points, with Tommy Fry (Canyon Country), David Brandon (Palmdale) and Brian Kelley (Arleta) coming in third, fourth, and fifth behind Gilliland. Brandon Loverock, whose name we inadvertently typoed last week as "Lovesick" (damn spellcheckers!) was sixth. Points leader Greg Voigt had an uncharacteristic off night winding up tenth in the main but still holding on to a 64-point lead over B. Walker. Next F4LSLM event: June 24.
Rip Michels lived up to his name on Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway as he first ripped off a new track record lap time for the NASCAR Grand American Modified Division of 18.107 (which by our rusty old slide rule times out at a super 99 miles an hour average around the Irwindale ½-mile). Michels then proceeded to run down the flying Roger Carufel, Jr. and then take advantage of the Saugus speedster's bad luck when something seemingly let go in the undercarriage of Carufel's car putting him hard into the back chute wall and sending a tire rolling into the infield.
Mission Hill's Michels really didn't need an engraved invitation to take the lead and, a few fast laps later, take his fourth straight (out of five races) victory at the ½-Mile Super Speedway. Travis Thirkettle from Sylmar was second with Jimmy White (Covina) third, John Watkinson of Canyon Country fourth, and Dave Andrews of Frazier Park fifth.
White's Wynn's-sponsored Chevy carried a decal that read: "In Memory of Larry Nuber", the pioneer motorsports broadcaster-turned Wynn's national racing advisor who had passed away suddenly during the week leading up to the race. Nuber was remembered at the track in a touching tribute by PA announcer Bruce Flanders who had been a friend and colleague for many years.
A festive crowd of 5,678 also enjoyed watching Riverside's Bill Helgeson win the 50-lap Ultra Wheels Spec Truck race and Gary Scheuerell take the honors in the 35-lap Legends Cars main event.
Prior to the race thirty-seven firefighting vehicles took part in a special (replete with lights flashing and sirens blaring) lap of honor at Irwindale as the culmination of a day-long "relay" which saw firefighters from all over Los Angeles County converging on the Speedway as part of a fund-raising effort.
The event collected over $90,000 for the Alisa Ann Rauch Burn Foundation. One of Los Angeles' all-time favorite weathercasters, "Dr. George" Fishbeck, was the honorary chairman of the event and functioned as the "human baton" as he was passed from one truck to another along the route of the relay rally. -DS
<pre> FEATURE EVENT: FOOD 4 LESS SUPER LATE MODELS (75 LAPS) Name Hometown 1 David Gilliland Chevy Chino Hills 2 Ben Walker Ford North Hills 3 Tommy Fry Chevy Canyon Country 4 David Brandon Chevy Palmdale 5 Brian Kelley Chevy Arleta
NASCAR GRAND AMERICAN MODIFIEDS MAIN EVENT (30 LAPS)
1 12 Rip Michels Chevy Mission Hills 2 05 Travis Thirklettle Chevy Sylmar 3 03 Jimmy White Chevy Covina 4 98 John Watkinson Olds Canyon Country 5 97 Dave Andrews Chevy Frazier Park
LEGENDS CARS MAIN EVENT (35 LAPS)
1 13 Gary Scheuerell Temecula 2 08 Bobby Graham, Jr. Mira Loma 3 14 Kevin Krauss Temple City 4 711 Harold Grafton Jamul 5 92 Ben Asquith San Bernardino
ULTRA WHEELS SPEC TRUCKS MAIN EVENT (50 LAPS)
1 18 Bill Helgeson Riverside 2 15 Joe Herold Poway 3 72 Nathan Wulff Escondido 4 95 Dan Moore Burbank 5 76 Darren Michels Victorville
NEXT EVENT: SATURDAY - JUNE 17 NASCAR Late Models, Super Stocks, Mechanix Wear Speed Trucks, & NASCAR Mini-Stocks. Gates open at 4:00 pm. Pre-race events 5:00 on, first race: 7:00. Come early for maximum FUN.