Tom Landreth Monarch Of King Taco Legend Cars, Rusty Stewart Ruler Of The Pick Your Part Figure 8'S Dave Lyon started fourth, took the lead on lap 40 and won the 23-truck American Race Trucks 75-lap feature by 0.142 seconds Saturday on ...
Tom Landreth Monarch Of King Taco Legend Cars, Rusty Stewart Ruler Of The Pick Your Part Figure 8'S
Dave Lyon started fourth, took the lead on lap 40 and won the 23-truck American Race Trucks 75-lap feature by 0.142 seconds Saturday on the half-mile Irwindale Speedway. It was his initial main event triumph at the track in three years of racing his All-Contractors, Inc.1998 Chevy truck and his second career feature victory in the series.
The final two track championships, for Legends and Figure 8s, were decided during the evening. A crowd of 6,195, including hundreds of first time visitors to the track, witnessed four racing divisions compete. Numerous spectators indicated they were attracted by the Figure 8 and demolition derby events that concluded competition. A jet-powered drag racing exhibition race car that resembled an Army tank performed during an intermission making its way around the half-mile on short (but very crowd-pleasing) bursts from its afterburner. A 40-foot long tongue of flame shot out of the wild machine every time the driver hit the accelerator.
The final King Taco-sponsored Legend Cars point race of the season took place with 29 starters on the third-mile. Tom Landreth, the point leader for the past 12 races, came from sixth starting spot to lead the first 33 laps of the 35-lap main in his 1934 Ford coupe. Title-contender Art Nevill led the final two circuits and captured his fourth feature victory of the season at Irwindale. Nevill fell four points (572-568) short of catching 34-year old Landreth for the inaugural Legend Cars championship at the track "I saw those guys (Nevill and Jim Smith) behind me," Landreth told the media. "I said 'What's more important, winning a race or a championship? No way do I want to lose the championship.' I wanted to win the race, but that wasn't my goal." Landreth finished in third position after letting Nevill go by on lap 34 and then allowing Smith to pass on the final lap.
The longest Pick-Your-Part sponsored Figure 8 race in track history went 25 laps and had 15 entrants. Seven of the purpose-built cars had roof wings mounted. Chris Williamson, of San Bernardino, drove his winged creation to his first Irwindale triumph and collected $1,000. Track point leader Rusty Stewart, from Long Beach, finished second in his winged car and won the track's inaugural Figure 8 championship.
Long-time Figure 8 driver Earl Cox was in front from the pole for 18 laps, but a lap 19 collision with Harry Kuenniger at the X sidelined both cars. Cox was shaken by the hard impact, but he walked from his car under his own power. Only eight cars were still racing at the conclusion, with third place Robert Rice's winged car the last runner on the lead lap. Williamson led laps 19-25 and kept Stewart, winner of three of the five Figure 8 mains at Irwindale this year, at bay. The race took 17 minutes, including a red flag for the lap 19 collision at the X.
An 11-car demolition derby also sponsored by Pick Your Part concluded the evening. Grand American Modified and Figure 8 veteran Robert Rice won by outlasting the field in a 13-minute crash-fest. Rice backed his way to the $1,000 victory in his bright orange 1974 Cadillac Coupe De Ville. The winning car was remarkably free of significant damage at the checkered flag.
Steve Cook finished second in a 1976 Chevy station wagon and earned $700. Mini stock driver Howard Brown placed third in his 1985 Ford station wagon.
The American Race Trucks feature had a late race yellow flag when 15th-running Chris Johnson blew his engine leaving the fourth turn. He pulled into the infield quickly amid an oil fire that engulfed the engine compartment and got into the truck cab. Johnson climbed out as the track mobile fire crew extinguished the blaze. He received minor burns to his right leg, but Johnson declined paramedics suggested trip to a hospital. "We didn't need that last yellow and oil dry in the top groove," said ART winner and West Covina resident Lyon. He won his only other main event earlier this season at Altamont Raceway in northern California. "I've been trying to win here all year and finally did it in the final point ace of the year. We'll be back here November 3 for the ART Nationals race," the winner told the crowd.
Runner-up Michael May started second and led the first 39 laps in his Ford. He equaled his ART career best main event finish. Third place Deyon Young, the 2001 ART Southwest Region champion, said his new engine wasn't right for the first half of the race, but it got better before the finish. ART rookie and former Grand American Modified driver Aaron Staudinger was in third place at mid-race. He accidentally hit the ignition kill switch after being bumped by the fourth place car and stopped on the track. He restarted at the back and raced forward to fourth place. Seventeen of the 23 starters finished and 15 drivers ran all 75 laps.
First-time Irwindale Speedway racer Tommy Jordan, a 62-year old from Hartsville, S.C., had the fastest time in two mid-afternoon practice sessions for Legend Cars. He backed up that preview of his talent during group qualifying by setting the fastest qualifying time by 0.079 seconds in a 29-car field. Jordan, who has competed at 29 tracks this year, came west to race in the Legend Cars National next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
With the inversion number two for the feature, Jordan started outside in row one and grabbed an early lead. However, Jordan slowed before he completed a lap after his car broke a trailing arm. He pitted on lap two, as did pole-sitter Donnie Akers, who broke his shift knob. Fourth starter Nevill said he got stuck behind the slowing Akers car on the first lap, allowing Landreth to pass him. "I couldn't believe it," Landreth stated. "I went from sixth to first in one lap and thought there was a yellow flag or something."
KING TACO LEGEND CARS;
Fast Time: Tommy Jordan, 16.784.
Dash: Jim Smith, Jason Brennan, Art Nevill, Cory Miles, Brent Jones, Ricky Wildman.
Main: Nevill, Smith, Tom Landreth, Ricky Wildman, Brent Jones, Brennan, Harold Grafton, Ralph Alexander, Gene Brokaw, Bob Landreth, Mark Gaiser, Dana Moore, Dave Doll, Rod Schug, J. D. Hendley, Ted Landreth, Bory Molina, Kevin McMahon, Jim Mann, Greg Pyke, Tom Skahill, Jeff Collins, Brian Vandehen, Miles, Bill Watson, Wendi Westbrook, Steve Twilligear, Donnie Akers, Jordan.
AMERICAN RACE TRUCKS:
Fast Time: Dave Lyon, 20.627.
Dash: Randy Nelson, Deyon Young, Lyon, Michael May, Richard Harbaugh, Aaron Staudinger.
Main: Lyon, Michael May, D.Young, Aaron Staudinger, Nelson, Josh Hulsebosch, Terry Young, Bret Carlson, Richard Harbaugh, Kirk Knostman, Dale Cromwell, Mark Schilling, Tony Forfa, Michael Thomas, Jeff Williams, Jim Satterfield, Corey Taylor, Chris Johnson, Alan Rizzone, Steve Dyer, Kenny Vanderham, Val Cummings, Ray Komar.
PICK-YOUR-PART FIGURE 8s:
Main: Chris Williamson, Rusty Stewart, Robert Rice, Ron Chaney, Richie Altman, Jeff Marguet, Tony Curtis, Jim Pierce, Earl Cox, Harry Kuenniger, Don Rogers, Billy Ziemann, Steve Cook, Henry Miles, Duke Thompson.
Main: Robert Rice, Steve Cook, Howard Brown, Brad Mulvihill, Julie Paez, Brian Hayden, Jr.-other drivers out early: Scott Zieman, James Hollan, Jeremy Conrad, Todd Cameron, Mike Atkinson.