Irwindale race preview 2000-09-09

¯… Here they come … Drivin' down the street … (NOT) gettin' (any) funny looks from anyone they meet …¯. (…with sincere apologies to the Monkees) For the third grueling week in a row … It's Irwindale Speedway's own action-packed...

¯… Here they come … Drivin' down the street … (NOT) gettin' (any) funny looks from anyone they meet …¯. (…with sincere apologies to the Monkees)

For the third grueling week in a row … It's Irwindale Speedway's own action-packed Food 4 Less Super Late Models will be going for it full bore. This time in the Miller Lite 50 on Saturday Night, September 9.

After last Saturday night's Twin 50 races the points battle still looks the same with Greg Voigt in the lead over Ben Walker (720 to 662). Neither man won a race last weekend (there were two to win) and Tommy Fry's win in the second of the twin catapulted him into third place in the 2000 point chase with an excellent outside chance to win the whole enchilada if either Greg Voigt or Ben Walker has a bad night at the racetrack. This could well be it for the new millennium's top seasonal championship!

The Super Late Models are the most colorful and best prepared weekly racing series seen at Irwindale … At the end of the season, a time when many tracks see diminishing car counts, Irwindale's Food 4 Less Super Late Models have been experiencing increased car counts, with new cars appearing at virtually every event! Must be something in the water … Or the great competition witnessed by thousands of great fans each week.

Rarely on the same card with the F4LSLM's, Irwindale's own NASCAR Late Models will share the bill with their bigger brothers. In their last race here (August 19 seen with the Winston West Home Depot 250) James Weston clinched the 2000 season points championship with another win (his ninth this season). Second points in the title chase is still very much up for grabs and everyone in the division (including Weston!) would still like to win the race (any race) outright. Tony Green is a "shoe"-in for the division's "Rookie-of-the-Year" honors, but the consistent-finishing driver would really rather have a win (or two) to add to his honors. Here's a trivia question you: Who was 1999 Rookie of the Year in this division? (answer at the end of this release).

The NASCAR Grand American Modifieds are fast (low 18 lap times), powerful (500 to 600 horsepower on alcohol fuel), colorful (there's isn't one dull-looking mono-color car in the lot), and squiggley (they run on really narrow Goodyear racing tires, the same size -- 8-inch -- all the way around). All of the above makes for some spectacular watching and some super three-wide-sideways slipping and sliding when the going gets good (which is usually from lap one/turn one on). Can race wins leader Rip Michels be beaten? Is NASCAR in New Jersey?

Sharing the card are the always-feisty Legend Cars. A full field of the fast little motorcycle engine-powered machines is expected to take to the flat 1/3-mile inner oval at Irwindale on Saturday. Fans of these rapid retro racers should plan to stop by the Legend Cars of California display in the pits after the races to find out how they might personally test drive a Legend Car on the Irwindale Speedway oval … Really!

And, speaking of Test Drives, the Speedway's super-great automotive sponsor has a unique deal for all fans purchasing a car at either Advantage Ford or Advantage Lincoln-Mercury … The unique opportunity to "test drive" their new Focus or Lincoln LS on the high banks of Irwindale Speedway. (BTW: No other FL-M dealer anywhere in the World can make that offer). Interested fans are urged to contact Advantage at (888) FUN FORD for details or to ask about the "Drive the Oval at Irwindale" deal at Advantage's Auto Exhibition Pavilion (West end of main grandstands) at the raceway any event night.

Kids under the age of 12 will be admitted FREE with adult ticket purchase, there'll be games, activities, and plenty of surprises … Fast Family Fun!

Four HOT divisions of racing action, an early (4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) live band, free car club show, NASCAR fan participation Trivia Game and on-track contests, even a chance to win the track's Advantage Ford Mustang GT Convertible Pace Car! There's always lots to do and see early at Irwindale. The gates open at 4 p.m. and the first race goes off at 7 p.m.

Fans should be reminded that the Pits are open to all right after the last race of the evening. It's a great chance to meet the drivers, get an autograph or two, take a photo of your kid sitting in the seat of a real race car, and generally re-live all the night's action with the drivers and their pit crews. While fans are there (in the Pit Area) they are also urged say hello to a "Red Shirt" or a "Yellow Jacket", one of the dedicated and hard-working NASCAR track and safety officials, the unsung heroes of the night's production who keep everything running safely and smoothly; and who really know how to take care of business in all situations.

For advance tickets call (626) 358-1100, go to, or visit the on-site ticket booth located right at the track … However fans get their ducats … They're going to have FUN!

The answer to this week's trivia question is: No one. 1999 was the first year of operation for Irwindale Speedway and there were no official rookie participants (everyone was one so they could have called the divisional Champs the rookie winners as well).

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Drivers Ben Walker , Rip Michels