May 13, 2001 (North Hollywood, Calif.) - Sean Woodside, driver of the ...
May 13, 2001 (North Hollywood, Calif.) - Sean Woodside, driver of the #45 Team Walker/Ron's Rear Ends/NAPA Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston West Series, and Team Walker Motorsports finished in third place in last night's Food 4 Less 250 at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, giving the team its second podium finish for the 2001 Winston West season.
Woodside was fast in practice, and high on the list of times early in the day. His qualifying lap of 18.812 seconds gave him a seventh place starting position, not reflective of his practice results, but good enough to give him a shot at the lead.
Woodside was relentless in his hunt for the front, looking under the competition lap after lap until he took over each position. He took over second place on lap 103, and then shot to the lead on lap 109.
An accident at lap 116 brought out the caution and cut short Woodside's lead when, after the double file restart, he narrowly avoided being caught up in an accident caused by a lapped car trying to regain its lap. Woodside's car suffered just very minor damage, limited to the bodywork.
In the scramble, he was shuffled back to second place. For the next twenty laps, Brendan Gaughan, Kevin Richards and Woodside jockeyed for position, until Gaughan took the lead. A four-tire pit stop during a late race caution put Woodside back out on the track in sixth place, but he quickly regained track position.
He was in second place and closing in on the lead with seven laps to go when he and a lapped car made contact, spinning him out and once again bringing out the caution flag. Woodside restarted in sixth place, looking to retake as many positions as he could during the green-white-checkered finish.
By the end of the first lap, he was in fourth place, and, incredibly, he gained yet another position on the final lap to finish the race in third place.
"Our team needed a run like that," Woodside commented just after the race. "A race like that should give us a ton of momentum going in to the rest of the season. The car was great, and it looks like all the laps we've been running here at Irwindale paid off a little."
Woodside currently heads the point standings in Irwindale Speedway's Super Late Model program.
Team owner Donna Walker said, "That was a very exciting race. The fans were on their feet until the very last lap. The car was perfect, and my entire team pulled together and gave the fans a great show. We're looking forward to what we hope will be another great performance next weekend at Laguna Seca."
The Food 4 Less 250 will be televised on Fox Sports Net, date and time to be determined.