Irwindale preview 2001-09-29

Irwindale, Calif. - - They've put on a great show all year long at Irwindale and, with only 24 points separating the top three drivers and one race left to run Saturday night just has to be a "Must See" event for everyone who witnessed the hot ...

Irwindale, Calif. - - They've put on a great show all year long at Irwindale and, with only 24 points separating the top three drivers and one race left to run Saturday night just has to be a "Must See" event for everyone who witnessed the hot Automobile Club of Southern California Late Models in action at Irwindale Speedway at any one of their previous 17 races this season.

As he has all season long, Deryk "The X-Man" from Palm Springs leads the points coming into the final race. Ward's driving has been, in a word "consistent", building his lead with a series of good finishes and two outright wins. He's kept his focus well and knows that his 12 point lead over second place is a tenuous one at best. His spotter will really be "doing the math" on Saturday night watching the competition and calculating Ward's championship hopes out to the nearest decimal.

Behind Ward, and we mean RIGHT BEHIND him, are two top competitors who both want the title. Dave Hessing from Canyon Country has had a great season as well with a pair of wins on his points tally too. And veteran competitor Brian Kelley from Arleta lurks in third place after a steady season of good finishes. Only 12 (Hessing) and 24 (Kelley) points down to Ward, both need Deryk to make an uncharacteristic mistake for their name to be put on the champion's roll at Irwindale Speedway.

San Pedro's Mike Price and Riverside's Todd Burns are mathematically out of the running for the championship but still want to finish as high as they can in the season points. Price is the 1999 track Super Stock Champ and Burns has won the most races (5) in the series. With 632 and 618 points respectively and 50 points on the line for the win both could conceivably move up into the top three in this prestigious division.

Winning Saturday night's Auto Club 75-lapper will require both speed and patience. Tire conservation will arguably be the most important factor. Run fast, stay near the front, stay in contention, but don't wreck your chances in an early sprint that wounds the equipment. The set-up has to come in at about lap 55 and the race (really) starts on lap 65. This is bound to be one of those "write home" about races -Check it out for yourself on Saturday night September 29.

-IS-

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Series Stock car