WWS: Winston West makes first Irwindale appearance of the year

Irwindale, Calif.- - The Home Depot 250 for the NASCAR Winston West Series will take place on Saturday night, June 24 on Irwindale Speedway's super-fast ½-mile speedbowl. After 5 of 12 events the "West" championship is a tight one with...

Irwindale, Calif.- - The Home Depot 250 for the NASCAR Winston West Series will take place on Saturday night, June 24 on Irwindale Speedway's super-fast ½-mile speedbowl. After 5 of 12 events the "West" championship is a tight one with Brendan Gaughan narrowly in the lead with 818 points. Kevin Richards will arrive at Irwindale from Spokane, Washington in second place at 748, followed in third place by Spark's Nevada's Steve Portenga at 701. "Everyone on the Winston West tour is anxious to get back to Irwindale," said series media coordinator Kevin Green. "They all know that a win in the Home Depot 250 at this speedway is one that everyone will hear about across the country." Last year Portenga and El Cajon's Austin Cameron each won events at Irwindale, this year there are three races, giving our drivers three good shots at the important win."

Irwindale Speedway will also be a popular place for the top 15 Winston West Teams because that's where R.J. Reynolds representatives will divvy up $50,000 in prize money for the first leg of the series. Brendan Gaughn will be presented with a nice round $10,000 for leading the points into Irwindale. Richards will get $6,000, and Portenga $4,000. Mike Grady in 15th place will receive $1,600 for his efforts so far in the series. The season total of prize money from R.J.R. is rich at $350,000.

NASCAR Winston West cars are virtually identical (weight, wheelbase, and engine displacement) to Winston Cup cars with one exception, their 350 cubic inch V-8's utilize a 9.5 to 1 compression ratio while 'Cup cars are 12 to 1. These steel-bodied cars are also some the heaviest racing machines to run at Irwindale Speedway weighing-in at 3,400 pounds without driver.

Irwindale Speedway is very proud to have been chosen by NASCAR to host three out of 12 "West" events in the 2000 season. All of the Winston events at Irwindale Speedway will be televised by the SpeedVision Network.

NASCAR Winston West races are the only events held at Irwindale Speedway which specifically require pit stops. This week's 250-lapper, the August 19th 250-lapper and the season finale 300-lap event on October 7, all will feature flat-out pit stops with tire changes and refueling in full view of the fans. Using the 1/3-mile inner track as a pit lane, every fan in the house gets a TV-like look at all the furious pit action … If you've only seen it on television, you owe yourself an up close and personal look at the real thing …It's more than exciting!

Adding to that excitement on Saturday night are the track's own justifiably famous NASCAR Food 4 Less Super Late Models. The premier weekly division at the Speedway, its points battle tightened up last week when David Gilliland of Chino Hills won his first main event. Goleta's Greg Voigt is still in the lead with 404 points, but North Hill's Ben Walker is working hard at closing the gap with 340 for second in the standings.

David Brandon (Canyon Country) is a solid third place (318) with Tim Woods III from Chino (280) fourth, and AJ DiMarzo (Saugus) and Dan Holtz (Pacific Palisades) only four points apart in fifth and sixth (260 - 256). These drivers are some of the most likely candidates to move up to Winston West and Featherlite Southwest Tour rides …They'll all be earnestly showing their best stuff on Saturday night, hoping to catch the eye of a team owner or two. Everyone onsite will be on their fastest behavior for sure.

The track's onsite ticket offices will open at noon, and the spectator gates open at 4:00 pm. As is the IS tradition live band will be playing and the free car club car show will be going on. Fans can get a preview of the night's action by watching qualifying and maybe win a cool prize by playing "Know your NASCAR Trivia" with Pat Patterson in the grandstands, or get an autograph from one of the top Winston West drivers at the Alta Dena Milk Chugs Autograph Session. Pre-race ceremonies are at 6:30 and the Star Spangled Banner is in the air at 7:00. After that it's flat-out NASCAR Super Late Model and Winston West action-packed family entertainment at "LA's ½-Mile Super Speedway!"

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Brendan Gaughan , Steve Portenga , Tim Woods , Kevin Richards , David Gilliland , Dan Holtz , Ben Walker , Austin Cameron