Irwindale preview 2001-09-08

Irwindale, Calif. - - If you're anywhere near the top five in Irwindale Speedway 2001 Championship points in the Food 4 Less Super Late Models, the Automobile Club of Southern California Late Models, Super Stocks, or King Taco Legend Cars, the...

Irwindale, Calif. - - If you're anywhere near the top five in Irwindale Speedway 2001 Championship points in the Food 4 Less Super Late Models, the Automobile Club of Southern California Late Models, Super Stocks, or King Taco Legend Cars, the date Saturday, September 8 has got to get you taking pretty serious stock of your race car, your team, and yourself.

On Saturday, September 8 the Food 4 Less drivers will be starting their second-to last season points event with a Winston West champion in the lead and at least five drivers still in contention for the 2001 series title. Saugus's own Sean Woodside will lead the Super Late Models into battle carrying a 42 point lead over San Marcos' Nathan Wulff (642 to 600). Brent Reynolds (Escondido), still smarting from a bad day a the track in the August 18 Twin 50 races, is still a threat with his 568 points, while David Gilliland (Chino) and Tommy Fry (Simi Valley) lurk in the weeds at 534 and 530 points respectively knowing that a combination of good luck (for them) and bad (for their adversaries) could catapult them into the points lead as quickly as you can say: "DNF". Such scenarios are the sum and substance of this time of the season in all series sports. Just for good measure this F4LSLM race is also the second-to-last Miller Lite Big 10 Challenge race-within-a-race -- Stand by for action.

Deryk Ward, Dave Hessing, Brian Kelly, Todd Burns and Mike Price the top five in the Automobile Club of Southern California Late Models and hailing from Palm Springs, Canyon Country, Arleta, Riverside, and San Pedro respectively, are tightly bunched at the top of that points page with this first of only three races left. Only 66 points separate first from fifth place (a win pays 50 points, by the way) so one would have to assume that the Championship is truly up for grabs in this division. Burns took a tremendous thumping at the last event on August 25, in an accident that nearly destroyed his car -- He came through (personally) unscathed and will be back at the Speedway to keep driving for the win. And, just to add a bit more "interest" to the already heavy night -- This one is a 75-lapper.

With three races left to go Alta Loma's Tom Landreth has what amounts to a pretty good lead (by Irwindale standards) in the King Taco Legend Cars season series points. He leads Acton's Art Nevill 432 to 378. Garden Grove's Jim Kalawaia is third at 310, young charger Rick Wildman from Yorba Linda is still in the hunt at 306, with Victorville's Ralph Alexander filling out the top five at 280.

The Modified 4's will also start the first of three for the championship on September 8 with Guy Tripp (Saugus) in the lead over Tim Ross (Riverside) 324 to 286. Thousand Oaks's own Lee Ladd is hanging in there at 260 while Terry Limberopoulos (Bellflower) continues his up and down season in fourth place with 254 while Steve Rodgers from Pedley motors up close behind with 248.

Add in a 75-lap race for the American Race Trucks and you've got a late Summer's eve packed with anticipation and action -- Points chases in every event, no cruising, no points padding -- Pure racing every lap, every position.

Tickets for this important night of action-packed NASCAR racing are on sale now at the track box office (13300 E. Live Oak Avenue just off the 605 freeway), by phone (626-358-1100) an over the internet at www.irwindalespeedway.com.

Gates always open early at Irwindale (4:00 pm) and fans are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy a live band, face painting for the kids, and an "insider's" look at the race cars as they practice and then qualify for the night's action. Pre-race festivities start at 6:30 pm and the busy pit area, normally off-limits during the races, is open to one and all right after the last race of the evening offering fans a close-up and personal contact with the drivers and the machines that they race.

-IS-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Ralph Alexander