Irwindale, Calif. - - The date makes it clear, school is back in session, the LA County Fair's a-coming, and the frost's on the pumpkin (well, maybe the weather's NOT really that cold) but three of the five divisions racing at Irwindale Speedway...
Irwindale, Calif. - - The date makes it clear, school is back in session, the LA County Fair's a-coming, and the frost's on the pumpkin (well, maybe the weather's NOT really that cold) but three of the five divisions racing at Irwindale Speedway on 09/06/03 are still locked in red-hot points battles for 2003 track championships*.
First of all, let's talk about the winners. Lee Ladd has clinched the Vista Paint Super Stock title. It's the second time that he has been first to the annual Championship Circle (He was the first-ever Champ at the Speedway) and this truly nice man truly deserves his championship. He fought hard, drove well, never complained (at least publicly) when his car was wrecked by less talented drivers' bonehead moves, and always lead with his head. And it was great to see TJ (Tony) Karvasek back late in the season to challenge Lido, they were a heck of a show!
This being the last points race of the season for these machines there's a salty scramble for second place honors behind Ladd. Greg Benner (446) Chris Houwen (438), Brian Harrell (434), Steve Gilmore (430), and Danny Renko (424) all would like the 50 possible first place points up for grabs on Saturday night. Adding 50 big ones to any of the above (or NOT adding 50 points) will make the difference -- Calculators? Anyone?
The Ultra Wheels Super Truck 2003 Championship was won last weekend with fifth place finish by Dave Blankenship. That doesn't mean that the S-trucks won't be going for it hot and heavy on Saturday night, because those sports at Ultra Wheel have stepped in and created an Ultra-Short 3-Race "Second Series" starting with this week's race. Pull up a seat and hold on as these pickup artists go for a brand new set of beautiful Ultra Wheels (valued at $500+), a $250 Gift Certificate from D&H Tools, and a sleek leather-sleeved Irwindale Speedway jacket for first, second, and third place in the three race run which includes September 20, and concludes on October 11. For the technically-minded: the regular tire rules (branding and purchase limitations) will apply, and the standard racing purse will be paid.
The King Taco Legend Cars will race all the way to October 18. Presently young Brent Jones holding off the son and father team of Tom and Bob Landreth. Their numbers are 384, 358, 304 and with 200 first place points still left on the horizon -- The permutations are, let's just say: "-- very interesting".
The Pick Your Part Figure 8's are back and the points are tight with two to go. Chris Williamson leads the wild and wacky racers with 276, with Dan Burns at 250, Tony Curtis at 236, and "Barefoot" Billy Zieman still in contention at 218.
The Automobile Club of Southern California Late Models race is down to a two-man show at this point, even with two races to go and 100 points out there, only Todd Burns and Scott Youngren can win the championship in 2003. Burns, with 9 wins, has 640 points and Youngren's got 570. Back a couple of clicks, David Huddleston (504) can be a "spoiler" but can't be this year's champ.
The gates open at 4PM and at 6PM all fans of all ages are invited to come right down onto the front straight of "America's Nicest Track" (thank you Dr. Dick Berggren!), meet the drivers, get an autograph, visit with the crew, and pick up their program directly from the publisher, Harold Osmer (That's him standing right next to the track exit -- Say "Hi!"). Say "Thanks!" to King Taco too, they're the ones who make the cool pre-race autograph session possible.
Fans can get tickets on-line (www.irwindalespeedway.com), by phone (626-358-1100), or in person (that's them) at the track box office anytime during business hours. The box office opens at noon on Saturday.