Irwindale season opener preview

Irwindale, Calif. - - The Speedway's latest racing division, and by far it's most economical, the Pure Stocks will be racing on Friday night at 9PM right after the regular test and tune session on the Irwindale oval. Fans will be admitted free...

Irwindale, Calif. - - The Speedway's latest racing division, and by far it's most economical, the Pure Stocks will be racing on Friday night at 9PM right after the regular test and tune session on the Irwindale oval.

Fans will be admitted free of charge to this new event as an encouragement to get involved in stock car racing themselves through this entry-level division. "We hope to see many new drivers giving Irwindale a try," said competition director Lester Boyer. "We really needed an entry-level class where would-be racers can give stock car racing a try without breaking the bank."

Candidate cars for this division are full-size domestic sedans, model years 1972 or newer. The cars must remain completely stock in every way but are required have standard safety modifications and equipment. A 4-point roll cage that protects the driver's compartment, a trunk-mounted fuel cell, and a welded-shut driver's door are all part of the mix. Driver's must wear full safety gear (approved fire suit, underwear, helmet, and gloves) and the car needs to have a 5-point seat harness and window net.

"A ready-to-run car for this division could cost as little as $750 (if the owner/driver gets lucky buying a used racer, is handy with tools and torches or both) and a complete turn-key car shouldn't top out at much more than $2500," Boyer figured. "We'll specify a very durable tire for the division, one that will last for a number of races and (again) keep the cost of racing to a very low roar."

To make technical inspection easy and competition fair, all competing Pure Stock cars regardless of make, model, or year will be required to run a box stock Holley 4412 two-barrel carburetor.

As with any of Irwindale's NASCAR racing divisions, each car will need to undergo a complete safety and rule compliance check before running. "Even though these cars a on the 'budget' end of the racing cost scale, we want them to be safe," said Boyer. (Full and complete rules and regulations are on the Irwindale website as of 02.10.04)

"We expect that a number of our regular Saturday night drivers will have crew members that might want to give the steering wheel side of the process a try," said Boyer. "Many of them are already here on Friday nights for open practice and having an inexpensive race car that they can 'play with' after some serious testing looks like fun."

The entry fee will be a nominal $25 and the racers will be running for a posted $500 purse on the every other Friday events. And, at every fourth event, the track will throw in a Figure-8 race for these machines just for the fun of it.

Irwindale Speedway operates an open practice session for all divisions each Friday night prior to its Saturday races. At 9, the Pure Stockers will line up, practice, run two qualifying heat races and then run a main event. Fans are invited to come out to watch (in fact, admission the April 2 practice session and race will be FREE!) the fun. They'll be able to watch the proceedings from the turn 1 grandstands and the pit snack bar will be open for fans and crews alike to get an authentic Irwindale Speedway "track dog dinner" just like the Saturday night fans.

SPECIAL NOTICE: Irwindale Speedway Competition Director Lester Boyer has indicated that he will try very hard NOT to schedule any IS race dates in conflict with any of the other southern California tracks that offer this division. "People from all over want to race at Irwindale Speedway, this Pure Stock Class is a great way to get here and get racing," said Boyer.

Boyer wants to hear from any potential competitors (626-358-1100) and is working with a local car constructor (The Race Car Factory in Monrovia) to build a working example which will be available for 'guest drives', saying, "We really want to put a few of the journalists that cover races here in this car to let them see what its like out there for themselves!" (Media members who want to give this try are directed to contact Doug Stokes at the same number)

ONE MORE THING: "We got a lot of folks' attention with the first announcement that this class will be a 'Bump and Run' deal --" Boyer says, "That was just a sort of a test to see if anyone was listening -- We'll run these races just like a normal NASCAR stock car race, under the same rules of the road, except that we'll have standing starts as opposed to rolling starts. Intended contact is a no-no in any form of stock car racing except Demolition Derby, and that's NOT what this division has been set up to teach. Heck, we might even build a two-seater and sell ride-alongs to the fans!," he concluded. If the class catches on with competitors and fans it's planned that it will become a points-paying series later in the season.

Real grass roots stock car racing at one of America's premier short track facilities -- Here's to great pure stock car thrills on a tight budget!


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Series Stock car