Irwindale, CA, Sept. 20 - Three car and two truck series that usually are support divisions shared the spotlight at Irwindale Speedway before 4,352 fans Saturday and staged "a five-ring racing circus" with 103 racing vehicles. Five past...
Irwindale, CA, Sept. 20 - Three car and two truck series that usually are support divisions shared the spotlight at Irwindale Speedway before 4,352 fans Saturday and staged "a five-ring racing circus" with 103 racing vehicles. Five past winners again won first place trophies on the IS half-mile and third-mile tracks.
Feature winners were T. K. Karvasek in NASCAR Vista Paint Super Stocks, point leader Rod Johnson in Grand American Modifieds, Tom Landreth in the King Taco Legend Cars, Dean Kuhn in the West Coast Pro Trucks, and Ron Peterson in the Ultra Wheels Super Trucks. The latter race concluded 191 laps in features and more than three hours of racing at 10:30 pm.
Perhaps the most entertaining race was the Vista Paint Super Stock 40-lap race. Numerous drivers asked track officials to fully invert the 24-car field based on qualifying times to present a more spectacular race. The S/S series point race concluded two weeks earlier and drivers wanted to give fans something special for their support. Karvasek started 21st and became the third and final leader on lap seven after snaking his way expertly to the front in three and four wide traffic aboard his Camaro. He won by 15 yards over fastest qualifier and 2003 S/S track champion Lee Ladd, who started next to Karvasek in row 11.
Despite faster cars coming from the back of the pack and drivers starting up front for the first time, the S/S main had only one caution on lap 21 for a one-car spin. Four of the top five finishers started in rows nine through 11. Third place Johnny White, an 18-year old recent high school graduate from Phoenix, made his second ever racing start memorable. Two weeks ago he replaced his uncle, Kenny White, from Bakersfield, as driver of the No. 50 Aaron Cass 1979 Camaro and finished 13th. This week the ex-karter started eighth and raced into second place on lap nine. He battled S/S track champion Ladd evenly from laps 14-23 when Ladd took second. White said he plans to move to California and drive the No. 50 Camaro to IS rookie honors next year.
The popular Karvasek celebrated his fifth victory of the year by climbing onto the roof of his Camaro and spinning around several times on his posterior as he saluted fans. He returned to racing this year after a one-year retirement with five races already in the books. Karvasek said he plans to race in every S/S event next year and will even paint his Camaro for the Vista Paint-backed series. Ladd said, "It was a great race and a lot of fun. Finishing second to T.K (Karvasek) isn't bad. That 50 car (White) really made me work."
GAM winner Johnson started in row four and led all the way in a 15-car, 35-lapper. He drove the Tom Bush Chevy to a 30-yard victory over race-long challenger Travis Thirkettle. Two noteworthy events occurred during the race. On lap 27 the cars of Jim Smith and Garrett Yamada collided at the starting line and stopped near the first turn. Yamada complained of back pain and rescue workers cut off the top of his car to remove him on a backboard. An ambulance took him to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Baldwin Park for medical evaluation. (Ed. Note: Garrett was released later that evening and is resting comfortably - because his doctor told him to - at home for a few days).
The greatest display of sportsmanship at the five-year old speedway took place following the Yamada crash red flag. Fourth place Andrew Phipps, a GAM rookie and S/S winner, push started race leader Johnson's car after it would not restart and other drivers drove past it. Johnson started the race leading Phipps by only two points, with three GAM point races remaining before the season finale (October 18). If Johnson hadn't restarted the race Phipps would've become the point leader. Phipps finished third. After the top three drivers stopped at the finish line for interviews, winner Johnson praised Phipps' driving and thanked him for push-starting his stalled car. He told fans, "I've just gained a whole lot of respect for him (Phipps) too."
Round 10 of the 12 race Legends season went to perennial contender Landreth, who started third and led laps eight-35. He waged a close duel with Cory Miles and edged the most recent feature winner by five yards in a 23-car field. Bill Everett sub-drove Dave Green's car to third position. Point leader Brent Jones earned fourth and saw his point advantage shrink from 28 to 22 points, with two races remaining before the season finale on October 18.
The 23-truck WCPT scheduled 40-lap race was red-flagged on lap 11 following a six-truck crash at the starting line. Winner Kuhn started seventh and led all but the initial four circuits in his repainted, renumbered No. 23 Mirka Abrasives-sponsored Ford. His new Ohio-based sponsor representatives were present to see Kuhn open a straight-away lead by lap 15. A final lap crash by fifth place Neil Conrad into the first turn wall resulted from contact with the sixth-place truck. The resulting green, white, checkered flag caused the race to go 41 laps. Kuhn defeated series point leader Aaron Staudinger by ten yards.
Track officials reduced the final feature-a 50-lap UWST race-to 40 laps because it started after 10:00. Sixth-starter Peterson became the third leader on lap 14 and won by ten yards over laps 11-13 leader Jim Kondziela. Reggie Church, the leader of the first ten laps, dropped to fourth on lap 11 and he was back to second by lap 15. His third place Chevy and the second-place Chevy of Greg Adler collided and hit the fourth turn wall together during lap 17, sidelining both trucks.
Hard charger award winners selected by track officials received gloves from Ringers Gloves. They were (Legends)--Mark Gaiser (17th to 11th), (S/S)--Chris Houwen (18th to fourth), (UWST)--Eric Hardin (17th to eighth), (WCPT)--Michael Young (15th to seventh, and (GAM)-Mike Trottochau (14th to ninth). Young and Trottochau were noteworthy first-time honorees. Truck rookie Young, 33, is a paraplegic who lost the use of his limbs in an accident seven years and uses hand-controls to drive. Trottochau came to the track without a crew or spotter and per track rules he could not race on the half-mile unless he had radio-contact with a spotter. "My wife spots for me and she stayed home tonight. A guy I didn't know named Cecil overheard a conversation in the pits that I couldn't race without a spotter. He offered to go to the roof and spot for me. He did a good job too," Trottochau added.
KING TACO LEGEND CARS: (only Division that raced on third-mile track)
Fast Time: Cory Miles, 16.917.
Main: Tom Landreth, Miles, Bill Everett, Brent Jones, David Ross, Jeremy Wood, Austin Grabowski, Bob Landreth, Micah Nourse, Steve Twilligear, Mark Gaiser, Mark Iungerich, Tom Skahill, Ryan Partridge, Larry Meredith, Jim Smith, John Barnett, Dennis O'Connor, Ryan Schug, Brian Wong, Chad Schug, Brian Vandehey, Dana Higgins, Bill Bonney.
GRAND AMERICAN MODIFIEDS:
Fast Time: Andrew Phipps, 18.432.
Dash: Rod Johnson, Phipps, Roger Carufel, Jr, Travis Thirkettle, John Watkinson, Joe Ruggles.
Main: Johnson, Travis Thirkettle, Phipps, Carufel, John Watkinson, Joe Ruggles, Tim Morse, Dennis Schlarbaum, Mike Trottochau, Dennis Eckert, Doug Petsco, Eddie Ernst, Jim Smith, Garrett Yamada, Robert Rice. DNS-Jim Peacock.
VISTA PAINT SUPER STOCKS:
Fast Time: Lee Ladd, 22.132.
Main: T. K. Karvasek, Ladd, Johnny White, Chris Houwen, Craig Rayburn, Danny Renko, Larry Sampson, Greg Benner, Eric Sunness, Will Cottrell, Robin Bourgeois, Greg Crutcher, Randy Jackson, Paul Howard, Tim Gardner, Kenny Brown, John Arlotti, Craig Yeaton, Marcelo Canel, Bryan Rungaitis, Rick Crow, Brian Harrell, James Sloan, Rick Riley.
WEST COAST PRO TRUCKS:
Fast Time: Dean Kuhn, 20.144.
Main: Kuhn, Aaron Staudinger, Michael Thomas, Jim Satterfield, Craig Baker, Sean Bennett, Michael Young, Dennis Bennett, Dale Cromwell, Kirk Knostman, David Timewell, Neil Conrad, Don Helgeson, Barry Kalperis, Richie Altman, Mike Pennington, Jeff Williams, Chris Johnson, Tony Forfa III, Dave Lyon, Brian Pannone, Richard Black, Mike Mocaby.
ULTRA WHEEL SUPER TRUCKS:
Fast Time: Ron Peterson, 19.536.
Main: Peterson, Jim Kondziela, Mark Holeman, Frank Steiner, Pat Mintey, Jr, Tom Stanton, Eric Humphries, Eric Hardin, Cody Brown, Kevin O'Connell, Larry Hinderman, Jim Madrid, John Sereika, Rich Geisler, Greg Adler, Reggie Church, Paul Brennan.