Irwindale results 2004-09-25

IRWINDALE, CA., Sept. 25 - Tim Huddleston started third and led all but the first four laps of Saturday's NASCAR Auto Club of Southern California Late Model post-season Villa Roma 100-lap open at Irwindale Speedway. He collected $2,500, including...

IRWINDALE, CA., Sept. 25 - Tim Huddleston started third and led all but the first four laps of Saturday's NASCAR Auto Club of Southern California Late Model post-season Villa Roma 100-lap open at Irwindale Speedway. He collected $2,500, including $1,000 posted by his own company High Point Distributing (Justice Bros. Products), sponsor of his No. 50 Pontiac Grand Prix. The victory was his fifth this season at the track for the third place driver in Late Model final points.

Huddleston held off the closing charge of second year Late Model driver Andrew Myers Chevy Monte Carlo during the final 30 laps of the season's longest race for the competitive series. Huddleston had radio contact during the race with the track's weekly live four-hour broadcast of all Saturday races on radio (KTIE 590AM) and Internet ( <>). During caution laps, Huddleston told listeners about his strategy and track conditions in conversations with broadcasters Harold Osmer and Kane Crawford.

Myers collected $1,000 as runner-up. Mike Johnson started second and finished third to earn $600. "I used my five-year old backup Monte Carlo because this race is usually a bash-fest," Johnson told the media. In fact, the 48-minute event only had three yellow flag incidents and 15-laps for minor one or two car spins. Eighteen of the 25 starters finished and eight drivers completed 100 laps. Fastest qualifier/2004 IS track champion Doug McComb led the first four laps from the pole position and ran a close second to lap 55 when he began slowing with a shock absorber problem and finished sixth for $350.

Huddleston stopped his car with its nose against the crash-wall at the finish line to participate in post-race interviews. He then climbed onto the roof of his car and saluted the crowd of 4,200. He then imitated Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves by climbing the wire fence to wave to the crowd. The winner thanked "Justice Bros and High Point Distributing, Race Car Factory and Jeff Schrader, you had me at hello, Lee Ladd for helping everyone here, my race team, M & R Engines, Circle Wheels, Advantage Ford, Irwindale Speedway and the Auto Club and Rick Lalor." Then Huddleston became serious and said, "11-years ago tonight at Saugus Speedway I asked the love of my life to marry me. She (Lisa Prosser, daughter of long-time stock car driver Oren Prosser) said yes and she is present tonight with our three children." Announcer Bruce Flanders then told the crowd, "That man really knows how to make a speech."

Four other classes competed in the almost four-hour racing program. King Taco Legend Cars twin 25-lap features went to first-time series winners at Irwindale. Sixteen-year old drivers Ryan Partridge and Matt Hicks won the 26-car events impressively by holding off pressing veteran drivers. Partridge, whose father John is the IS drag-strip announcer, started second and led laps two-18 and 20-25 to edge Jim Smith and J. D. Hendley. Hicks came from fourth in the second main to pass Hendley on lap 11 and pace the final 15 laps, edging Hendley by ten yards. He won a main earlier at El Cajon. Tom Landreth finished fourth in both features and won his third IS Legends championship (2001, 03, 04). He won six of the ten features this season and beat the runner-up, his father Bob, by 42-points (442-400).

Mini Stock point leader/fastest qualifier Greg Tucker started his Ford Pinto third and led all but the first two laps of his 35-lap feature. He captured his eighth main in 11 races by a straight-away over pole position starter Kevin Bernhardt, the first two laps leader. Jim McNear came from seventh to take third place in an all-green flag race that took only 10:19.563. Twenty of 24 starters finished and 11 drivers ran all 35 circuits.

A 16-car Pick-Your-Part Figure 8 25-lap race had a complete re-start and three red flag stoppages. The usual Figure 8 cars were joined by two Late Models and a Super Stock in the chase for $3,900 purse paid to the first 15-finishers . Steve Stewart started his winged Figure 8 Special sixth, took command on lap six, and won by half a lap. He collected $1,000. Runner-up Dan Burns took home $600 and third place Tony Curtis got $450 for his efforts. Fourth finisher Rod Proctor, who led the first five laps, received $350. He was the final driver on the lead lap and became the IS Figure 8 track champion by 16-points.

Ten Figure 8 drivers finished. Major crashes at the X intersection involved three cars during the fifth lap. The Late Model of Robert Rice received a RF fender hit from Harry Kuenniger's Figure 8 car and retired from the race. A lap 11 hard crash at the X involved "Barefoot" Billy Ziemann and Craig Yeaton's Super Stock. Both drivers climbed out uninjured, discussed the crash and walked together to the pits. Hard chargers selected by race control were Eric Reed (Mini Stocks), John Ahrendt, the Late Models $150 award winner, and rookie Evin Powell (Legends).

The final event of the night was Extreme Racing League match-race competition between barrels on the front and back straights of the half-mile, across a ramp in the infield to parallel park stops next to the start/finish crash-wall. Five movie stunt drivers competed. The final match was a best of three simultaneous runs by past IS winners Lori Van der Meer (in her Camaro) and Chris Guzzi (in his Mustang). Both drivers won a match and had a tie. Guzzi won the rubber-match when Van der Meer knocked over three barrels at the first 90-degree turn into the infield. Guzzi made a flawless run and received the checkered flag and no penalty points.

Chris Guzzi defeated Lori Van der Meer in final best 2 of 3 match.

Main: Steve Stewart, Dan Burns, Tony Curtis, Rod Proctor, Don Rogers, Robbie Stutzel, Ron Chaney, Steve Cook, Harry Kuenniger, Jeff Marguet, Billy Ziemann, Craig "No Fear?" Yeaton, Earl Cox, Robert Rice, Dennis Schlarbaum, Jeff Seeholtz.

Fast Time: Greg Tucker, 17.376. (third mile)
Main: Tucker, Kevin Bernhardt, Jim McNear, Eric Reed, Jim Mardis, Dustin Morgan, Robert Lovas, Virgil Young, Kristopher Melleby, Fred Adams, Dennis Croasmun, Carl Farless, Rod Schmitt, Mike Morales, Bob Reed, Glenn Duffin, Mario Ruiz, Ron Cooper, R. C. Zimmerman, Ed Lavender, Steve Rogers, Ron Pugh, Brenda Pugh, Tom Dye. Time-10:19.563.

Fast Time: Kenton Grey, 16.980 (third mile)
Main # 1: Ryan Partridge, Jim Smith, J. D. Hendley, Tom Landreth, Evin Powell, Austin Grabowski, Bob Landreth, Ryan Schug, Kevin Wong, Mark Gaiser, Micah Nourse, Steve Twilligear, Van Iungerich, Tom Skahill, Jason Alsop, John Barnett, John London, Brian Wong, Larry Alsop, Lynn Sours, Brian Vandehey, Kenny Chastain, Gray, Matt Hicks, Chuck Gay, Chad Schug.

Main # 2: Hicks, Hendley, Smith, T. Landreth, R. Schug, Grabowski, C. Schug,. B. Landreth, Partridge, Gaiser, Powell, Twilligear, Skahill, Gray, London, Nourse, Barnett, J. Alsop, L. Alsop, Iungerich, Sours, Chastain, Gay, B. Wong, Vandehey, K. Wong.

Fast Time: Doug McComb, 18.996.
Main: Tim Huddleston, Andrew Myers, Mike Johnson, Keith Spangler, Butch Gilliland, McComb, Richie Altman, Todd Conrad, John Ahrendt, Brian Jones, Ron Schartau, George Ruark, Andy Bargaehr, Danny Renko, Mike Mulhall, Candace Muzny, Dennis Schlarbaum, Robert Rice, Brian Kelley, Scott Youngren, Tom Whitson, David Lowenstein, Ron Daniel, Craig Yeaton, John Jones.


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About this article
Series NASCAR , Stock car
Drivers Helio Castroneves , Steve Cook , Mike Johnson , Bob Reed , Andrew Myers , Jim Smith , Scott Young , Brian Wong , Brian Jones