Irwindale, Calif. - - The fastest-growing open wheel racing division in the country today, the United States Auto Club's Ford Focus Midgets, are all set for a race on 3M NIGHT, Saturday, June 28 at Irwindale Speedway -- Based on a full midget ...
Irwindale, Calif. - - The fastest-growing open wheel racing division in the country today, the United States Auto Club's Ford Focus Midgets, are all set for a race on 3M NIGHT, Saturday, June 28 at Irwindale Speedway --
Based on a full midget chassis and its running gear, every car in the race will have an essentially stock sealed Ford Focus 2-liter motor for power. "This division really stresses driving skill as THE most important factor in the race outcome, not the price of one's motor (which can run as high as $20 to $30,000 for a special full-out 4-cylinder race motor)," said Dick Jordan, the United States Auto Club's VP of Communications.
"The Ford Focus Midgets are rapidly becoming THE place where youngsters can to get into the open wheel ranks for a reasonable amount of money," he indicated. The fun-to-drive cars also are a great place for older drivers to 'Keep their hand in --', enjoying racing at a level that might be a little less intense (but just as competitive) as the big-time pro ranks. "Whatever the reason, these quick machines will remind everyone about how much fun midget racing is," the top USAC official concluded.
On the stock car front, the Jani-King Super Late Models will run again on Saturday for the third week in a row, a tough assignment even when the car's OK, but, if there's anything that needs fixing from last Saturday night's misty 75-lap run, well, its going to be a long/short week for many competitors. Number 12, Rip Michels, leads the Super Late points chase with Tony Bruncati and Greg Pursley in heated pursuit.
The above is also the "second half" of the Miller Lite Big 10 Challenge, ten selected SLM races-within-races that lead to a 2003 championship that pays a nice, round five thousand bucks at the track's annual banquet. Pursley leads in the Miller money with Dan Moore and Rip Michels right behind.
Saturday will be a "two-truck night" at Irwindale. The always-competitive (how many laps can these guys run four-wide all the way around this race track?) The slick Ultra Wheel Super Trucks come in with Ryan Arciero leading Dave Blankenship and 2002 champ, Carson Woods. And -- The equally-entertaining and colorful West Coast Pro Trucks will also be on the card with Michael Thomas, Jeff Williams, and Jim Satterfield in the first three points places.
Also on tap are the King Taco Legends Cars -- Every one identical (technically) and really racey. Last time out we saw a full front flip executed by one of the competitors (the judges gave the driver at 7.9 for style and a 8.0 for distance) who (happily) walked away from a seriously-bent machine. This week the motorcycle-engined machines are lead into Irwindale by young Brent Jones, with former champ Tom Landreth and J.D. Hendley in tow.
The show starts at six o'clock with the King Taco On-Track Autograph Session. Fans and competitors love it. FOR TICKETS CALL: (626) 358-1100, stop by the track during regular business hours or get 'em on the internet at the track's cool website: (www.irwindalespeedway.com). And Racer Rick wants ALL Auto Club members to remember to bring their membership cards for a "members' only" discount on Irwindale's already-reasonable admission tickets ($15 for adults, $5 for kinds under 6, and FREE for the 5 and under crowd).