IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY SATURDAY JULY 8, 2000 RACE REPORT: MILLER LITE "BIG 10" CHALLENGE TOMMY FRY JR. IN FIRST WIN AT IRWINDALE If you talked to Tommy Fry Jr. and his jubilant crew after his stirring first victory in the featured Food 4 Less...
SATURDAY JULY 8, 2000
RACE REPORT: MILLER LITE "BIG 10" CHALLENGE
TOMMY FRY JR. IN FIRST WIN AT IRWINDALE
If you talked to Tommy Fry Jr. and his jubilant crew after his stirring first victory in the featured Food 4 Less Super Late Model event at Irwindale Speedway on Saturday night you would have heard them quoting their season-long mantra, "We're building a team to win races." Well, they did that, and did it convincingly on a night when 5,459 excited racing fans stood up and shouted their approval for a great 75-lap main event that saw a five and six car lead draft simply swarm round the track with Camarillo's Charles Utts at the head and pole-sitter Tim Woods III (Chino) at the "tail".
Utts, Canyon Country's Fry, and North Hill's Ben Walker were the show up front, with Brandon Loverock (Santa Fe Springs) and Woods jostling for fourth place high low and down the middle. Two- and, many times, three-wide, the lead pack was joined at a little past half-way by points leader Greg Voigt from Goleta. On lap 59 Walker made his best (of many) moves and roared past Utts for the lead, a yellow for a couple of spinners on lap 63 only served to increase the tension and heighten the potential for action in the closing laps. Voigt eventually got past Woods and Loverock to capture fourth place points and keep his points lead over Walker, but Fry was not about to let the field bunching up behind him make a bit of difference to him. The former Southwest Tour crew chief, racing shock, and set-up specialist simply turned on his heel and took off for the checker. The win was not only the first win at Irwindale for the driver, but the first outright win ever for the 5-year old #74 Chevrolet race car which Rod Johnson had driven to the F4LSLM championship last year at the Speedway. On the way back from his pressbox interview, the first person who stopped Fry to congratulate him on his win was Johnson, who smiled broadly and extended his hand, acknowledging a job well done.
Ben Walker finished a bit more than half a second behind Fry, with Utts getting a creditable third, Voigt was up for fourth place, and Loverock got a solid fifth.
Again, the Food 4 Less Super Late Models had put on a stupendous racing show. As one pressroom veteran put it (after he caught his breath), "All that show needed was a pit stop and it would have looked like a Winston West race." We couldn't agree more.
Rip Michels won again. That's about all anyone needs to know about the Grand American Modifieds race. Borrrr-ing? Ho-hum? Yawn time?