Irwindale, CA., - Past winners came to the forefront Saturday night in a five-division NASCAR event with 114 cars parked in the Irwindale Speedway pits. 3,102 hearty fans were on hand despite an all-day sunless, overcast mid-60s day with ...
Irwindale, CA., - Past winners came to the forefront Saturday night in a five-division NASCAR event with 114 cars parked in the Irwindale Speedway pits. 3,102 hearty fans were on hand despite an all-day sunless, overcast mid-60s day with intermittent drizzle and light rain. The dreary day resulted in the lowest crowd count of the year. Poleman Rip Michels led all 50-laps in a Jani-King Super Late Model feature that officials shortened from the scheduled 75-lap distance to beat the targeted 10PM curfew. Michels fourth victory in nine races this year was his 31st career feature triumph at the half-mile. He drove his Ladco Chevy Monte Carlo.
Todd Burns, in his Villa Roma Sausage Monte Carlo, started sixth and led the final ten laps of the 50-lap Auto Club of Southern California Late Model race. It was his sixth consecutive main event triumph this season in eight L/M races, and his 32nd career victory at IS. The victory kept him one trophy ahead of Michels for the "winningest driver at Irwindale" title. Both Michels and Burns are defending champions and current point leaders in their respective series.
Second fastest qualifier/fifth starter Travis Thirkettle, the third race leader and laps 19-35 front-runner, captured the 35-lap Grand American Modified contest. T. K. Karvasek, in his Camaro, ran his second Vista Paint Super Stock 40-lap feature of the year after not racing since 2001 for family reasons.
Karvasek started fifth and led all but the opening lap as he ended the six-race winning streak of point leader Lee Ladd. Quickest qualifier Ladd started eighth and spun out while running a close second on lap 17, precipitating a multi-car crash that sidelined his Camaro and damaged several top ten cars.
Fastest qualifier Kevin Bernhardt started second in his Ford Pinto and led the final 15 circuits of a 30-lap Mini Stock main on the third-mile. It was his initial victory this season and moved the Fontana resident into the top six in points after four of 11 races. For the first time, officials placed rubber warning cones to mark the outside and inside edges of the third-mile to help keep drivers on the racing surface to avoid possible penalties for creating their own racing lines.
Ladco Racing had a monumental night in the fastest qualifying time department. Owner Lee Ladd set fast time in a 26 car S/S field. Rookie Andrew Phipps took his Ladco-sponsored GAM to quick time in a 19-car field. Tim Huddleston, in his Ladco Pontiac Grand Prix, out-qualified the 26-car L/M field and he did so by setting a new track record of 18.925 that edged the 18.929 mark set by Jess Flores a month earlier. Michels gave Ladco four for four atop the time trial pylon. A season-low 15 SLM drivers competed, with some IS regulars racing Saturday afternoon in the Southwest Series Featherlite 200 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma.
The second demonstration event in two weeks at IS had six teenage drivers run an eight-lap heat race on the third-mile following the High Banks Racing Collectibles six-lap trophy dash for the six fastest SLM qualifiers. Brandon Loverock led all six laps. Last week on the half-mile and in the infield, eight drivers from Japan gave fans a demonstration of the "Drift Driving" techniques in their colorful, right-hand drive Japanese super sport compacts.
Tony Bruncati, Rod Johnson, Stephan Sadler and Loverock finished second through fifth in the 18-minute SLM main with 13 of 15 starters still racing at the finish. Rookie Kevin O'Neil was sixth in a Dodge. Greg Pursley was second on lap 17 trying for his third consecutive series victory when he cut a left rear tire. He slowed to last, but parked with a flat tire after 23 laps.
Huddleston, lap one-40 leader Mike Price, rookie Andrew Myers and Deryk Ward finished second through fifth in the L/M main that took 31 minutes because of three yellows and two red flags. Sixteen of 26 L/M drivers finished and 14 ran all 50 laps. On lap 15 a lapped car veered up and into the passing sixth place car of Scott Youngren, causing Youngren's car to swap ends and spin into the crash-wall on the driver's side. Heavy damage resulted after another car spun and backed at full speed into the front of Youngren's stopped car. No injuries resulted.
Rookie Phipps, Rod Johnson, John Watkinson and Jeff Scott completed the GAM top five finishers in an 18-car field. Ken Brown, Brian Harrell, Danny Renko and Paul Howard ran two-five in the 26-car S/S main. Tony Lawler, Steve Rogers, point leader Greg Tucker and Dennis Croasman completed the Mini Stock top five in a 27-car field. Hard Charger Award winners as selected by race control officials were Amee Blue (Minis), Ken Brown (S/S), Wally Pettengill, Jr (GAM) and John Butler (L/M).
Fast Time: Kevin Bernhardt, 17.235.
Main: Bernhardt, Tony Lawler, Steve Rogers, Greg Tucker, Dennis Croasman, Ron Cooper, Robert Miller, Fred Adams, Dustin Morgan, Richard Boker, Richard Garver, Terry Limberopoulos, Amee Blue, Carl Farless, Craig Kennard, Randy Colling, Eric Reed, Brenda Pugh, Robert Lovas, Mike Morales, R. C. Zimmerman, Mark Suchy, John Bromberek, Tim Ross, Greg Didoha, James Lavender, Brad Hamilton.
VISTA PAINT SUPER STOCKS:
Fast Time: Lee Ladd, 21.572.
Main: T. K. Karvasek, Ken Brown, Brian Harrell, Danny Renko, Paul Howard, Steve Gilmore, Greg Crutcher, Curtis White, Robin Bourgeois, Jim Appleby, Jr, Niles Strever, Mike Gilmore, Victor Wu, John Arlotti, Tim Gardner, Greg Benner, Sean Vincent, Jeff Beard, Brian Tully, Chris Houwen, Mike Hall, Scott Corrigan, Ladd, Larry Sampson, Jose Martinez, Ed Dazzo.
GRAND AMERICAN MODIFIEDS:
Fast Time: Andrew Phipps, 18.597.
Main: Travis Thirketle, Phipps, Rod Johnson, John Watkinson, Jeff Scott, Joe Ruggles, Wally Pettengill, Jr, Dennis Eckert, Tim Morse, Robert Rice, Dennis Schlarbaum, Doug Petsco, Garrett Yamada, Eddie Ernst, Chad Daly, Jim Smith, Roger Carufel, Jr, Mike Knapp.
AUTO CLUB of SOUTHERN CALIFONIA LATE MODELS:
Fast Time: Tim Huddleston, 18.925 - NTR (old TR - 18.929 by Jess Flores on 5/24/03).
Main: Todd Burns, Huddleston, Mike Price, Andrew Myers, Deryk Ward, Tony Green, Del Dalrymple, Doug McComb, John Butler, Pat Ackley, Guy Tripp, Ron Schartau, Dave Hessing, Jess Flores, Jack Roberts, Tony Widmer, Mike Johnson, Scott Youngren, Walt Price, Eric Richardson, Keith Spangler, Tim Harris, Todd Conrad, Jameel Saied, George Ruark.
JANI-KING SUPER LATE MODELS:
Fast Time: Rip Michels, 18.212.
Dash: Brandon Loverock, Greg Pursley, Michels, Rod Johnson, Tony Bruncati, Russell White.
Main: Michels, Tony Bruncati, Rod Johnson, Stephan Sadler, Loverock, Kevin O'Neil, Andy Coyle, Chris Oddo, Ed Hoffman, Dean Cato, Gary Jenkins, Tim Buckley, Russell White, Pursley, Dan Moore.