Irwindale race report 2000-08-05

After Chino driver Tim Woods III took the $1000 Food 4 Less "Fast 4 Shoot-Out" appetizer, Santa Clarita pilot Ben Walker must have decided that the rest of the feast was all for him, as he handily cleaned the plates in both 50-lap feature...

After Chino driver Tim Woods III took the $1000 Food 4 Less "Fast 4 Shoot-Out" appetizer, Santa Clarita pilot Ben Walker must have decided that the rest of the feast was all for him, as he handily cleaned the plates in both 50-lap feature Food 4 Less Super Late Model main events, collecting 100 season points in the process. While Walkers domination on the track was first rate all the way, Goleta's Greg Voigt's determined driving netted him two second place finishes (that's 96 points) and kept his name at the top of the annual point column (over Ben) by a narrow 38 points.

The first 50-lapper ("The Silicon Speedway 50") was also the focus of a special "Mayor's Cup" race as well. City officials and their families from all over the southland were invited to Irwindale Speedway to enjoy dinner a night of racing fun as well as taking part in opening ceremonies. The mayors and representatives of 22 cities (Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bradbury, Covina, Diamond Bar, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Industry, Irwindale, La Puente, La Verne, Monrovia, Pasadena, Rosemead, South El Monte, South Pasadena, Temple City, Walnut, and West Covina) were all introduced to the crowd of 5,125 from the starting line. Each city chief was paired with a driver in the race who carried that city's name on their car in first main event of the evening.

Irwindale neighbor community to the near northwest, Arcadia, was the lucky city to be riding with Walker on Saturday night. Not only did Ben win the Mayor's Cup race but he went on to carry the city's name to a win in "The Miller Lite 50" for Super Late Models to give them a double victory. With his twin wins for Arcadia, the young and talented Mr. Walker gave the "brass" from the city of the Santa Anita Race Track (horses) a new appreciation of another from of racing.

Winston West regular Austin Cameron (who won the August 12 "West" race at Irwindale last season) brought his Super Late model for a little off-night practice at IS (where he'll be on August 19 in the second of three Home Depot WWS races at the Speedway). He finished a creditable 11th in the first race and was running along very nicely in the second when his car caught fire coming out of turn three and the El Cajon pilot had to pull up and bail out of his unintentionally "hot" ride.

Both 50-lappers were (even with the same guy winning both events) exciting matches with many three-wide (and occasionally 4-wide) laps and struggles for virtually every place on the race track. The restarts were especially crisp but "Both Mains Ben" (hey … we just made that up) seemed to have everyone's number on that particular night. Complaining of a migraine prior the evening's double header, Walker was asked in Victory Square how his headache was … His answer was a jubilant , "What headache?" Now, if only Squibb could bottle that for other sufferers.

It was surely not your typical evening of racing at Irwindale from the injury report standpoint. In the first 50-lapper a serious single car crash had the track safety crew using the "Jaws of Life" tools and sent Jeffery Wright of San Diego to the hospital for observation, Wright spent the night at County USC and was signed out on Sunday afternoon. In the second 50 Russell White of Corona caught the wall going into turn three and had his car virtually explode in flames. He too was taken to hospital, but not without getting the ambulance crew to relay a message through race control to Bruce Flanders in the announce booth that he was OK to his wife sitting in the stands. White's trip to hospital was precautionary for the most part, and he was released a few hours later.

In the NASCAR Mini-Stocks saw Terrry Limberopoulous from Bellflower in the division's lone Renault (remember them?) best Thousand Oak's Lee Ladd. Steve Rogers from Glen Avon was third, while divisional points leader Bob Reed from Riverside was fourth. Fontana's Kevin Berhhardt rounded out the top five in the Mighty Minis for August 5. By the way, these small-but-serious racers make a rare back-to-back appearance at IS next weekend.

The only guy who's not getting tired of Rip Michels' winning NASCAR Grand Am Modified races is the Mission Hills Master himself … No, that's not fair, Rip has legions of fans and they come to see him do what he does best, drive his #12 car around the Irwindale track with speed and savvy. No one else makes it looks so easy. Michels closest rival in the 2000 season points Dean Kuhn, did not earn any point this weekend, giving Michels a bit of breathing room in the chase.

Las Vegas' Deyon Young won the American Race Truck main over Michael Thomas of San Marcos in the all-exactly-equal "spec"-type pickemup truck race. Terry Young followed his 'Vegas neighbor home in third, while David Lyon (West Covina) and Robbie Brand (Barstow) duked it out over fourth and fifth places in the 26-truck battle royale.

NEXT WEEK: Public-Invited ground breaking for the track's new 1/8-mile NHRA street-legal dragstrip (1:30 pm in the main parking lot admission free). Be There!

Racing will start (as usual) at 7:00 pm and feature a full plate including: NASCAR Late Models, Super Stocks, Mini-Stocks, Legend Cars, Ultra Wheel Spec Trucks, and WILD FIGURE 8'S just for fun!

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FEATURE RACE #1 SILICON SPEEDWAY 50 FOR NASCAR SUPER LATE MODELS (50 LAPS) 1) BEN WALKER FORD SANTA CLARITA 2) GREG VOIGT CHEVY GOLETA 3) ROD JOHNSON CHEVY CANYON COUNTRY 4) JAMES BRUNCATI FORD GLENDORA 5) ERIC FERGUSON PONTIAC EL CAJON

FEATURE RACE #2 MILLER LITE 50 FOR NASCAR SUPER LATE MODELS (50 LAPS) 1) BEN WALKER FORD SANTA CLARITA 2) GREG VOIGT CHEVY GOLETA 3) TIM WOODS III FORD CHINO 4) TOMMY FRY CHEVY SIMI VALLEY 5) ERIC FERGUSON PONTIAC EL CAJON

NASCAR GRAND AM MAIN EVENT (30 LAPS) 1) RIP MICHELS CHEVY MISSION HILLS 2) ROGER CARUFEL JR. CHEVY SAUGUS 3) JIMMY WHITE CHEVY COVINA 4) TRAVIS THIRKETTLE CHEVY SYLMAR 5) STEVE LUECHT CHEVY CHULA VISTA

AMERICAN RACE TRUCKS MAIN EVENT (40 LAPS) 1) DEYON YOUNG CHEVY LAS VEGAS 2) MICHAEL THOMAS DODGE SAN MARCOS 3) TERRY YOUNG CHEVY LAS VEGAS 4) DAVID LYON CHEVY WEST COVINA 5) ROBBIE BRAND FORD BARSTOW

NASCAR MINI-STOCKS MAIN EVENT (30 LAPS) 1) TERRY LIMBEROPOULOS BELLFLOWER 2) LEE LADD THOUSAND OAKS 3) STEVE ROGERS GLEN AVON 4) BOB REED RIVERSIDE 5) KEVIN BERNHARDT FONTANA

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Tim Woods , Ben Walker , Austin Cameron , Bob Reed , Rip Michels