IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY FATHER'S DAY RACING- By Tim Kennedy
IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY FATHER'S DAY RACING – By Tim Kennedy
Irwindale, CA., Jun. 15 – Six racing divisions entertained about 3,000 persons Saturday at a Father's Day celebration for dads and their families. Some dads received special prizes during drawings. Total car count was 78 on K & N Filters night. Two divisions—late models and super stocks—used the half-mile, and three classes—legends, mini stocks and bandoleros—raced on the third-mile. Figure 8 cars used the third-mile and infield X intersection.
LUCAS OIL LATE MODELS: Toni McCray started from pole position as fifth fastest qualifier in a 16-car field and led all 50 laps in her No. 90 Chevy Impala. It was her second feature triumph this season and the third by a female driver on Irwindale's half-mile. Two caution flags for single-car spins caused the event to run 24 minutes. The Highland resident won by 2.607 seconds (half a straightaway) over a pair of impressive teenage rookies in late models. Both drivers registered their best late model results to date. Outside front row starter Andrew Porter, 19, from La Verne, drove the No. 7 Chevy Impala owned by Kevin Bowles, father of NASCAR Nationwide driver/past K :& N West champion Jason Bowles. He ran second all 50 laps.
Third place Juan Garcia reached his 16th birthday last month. He flies to Southern California from his home in Bogata, Columbia to compete in Joe Nava's Performance Position One Motorsports No. 77. He qualified third fastest, started and finished third before flying home with his family. He competes in his native country with cars that have heavy down-force and reportedly is the point leader. Ryan Partridge came from eighth starting slot to earn fourth. Kyle McGrady, a 20-year old UC Riverside senior, started tenth and raced to fifth position in his first Irwindale outing this season. He pressed Partridge during the closing laps and trailed by only 0.069 at the lap 50 checkered flag.
Fourteen of 16 starters finished with ten cars on the lead lap and three cars down a lap. Fastest qualifier Luis Martinez, Jr. fell from fifth to eighth on the opening lap. He worked his way to second place by lap 14 and began closing on leader McCray. He was turning laps in the 19.30s to the leader's laps in the 19.50s when a lapped car spun, causing a yellow flag. That wiped out McCray's 15-yard advantage. Under caution, P. 2 Martinez suddenly slowed in the second corner and pulled into the infield with “ignition failure”. McCray then gradually built her winning edge to half a straightaway over runner-up Porter, a Bandolero and S2 Cars veteran. McCray now leads point standings by four (146-142) over Partridge.
SUPER STOCKS: The Superior Automotive Engineering Super Stocks staged a competitive 35-lap main with three leaders .A post-race tech inspection disqualification of the apparent winner followed. Robert Dezarov, of Palm Desert, started first and led the initial 12 laps in his silver Camaro. Recent winner Zack Green, from Long Beach, brought his Camaro from fourth grid position to second place by lap 9. He engaged Dezarov and third place Craig Rayburn, a 49-year old former Irwindale late model driver, in a nose-to-tail dogfight. Green led lap 13 as Rayburn dropped Dezarov to third place on the same lap. Rayburn made a third turn pass on lap 14 for the lead and retained it to the finish. He “won” by ten yards (0.584) over Green. Dezarov was a close third at the checkers. Camaro drivers Greg Crutcher and Gary Read finished in P. 4-5. Post-race tech inspectors examined top finishing cars near the tech bay. They disqualified Rayburn's No. 18 Camaro reportedly for using a non-stock aluminum roller rocker arm.
INEX LEGENDS: The field of 19 Legend Cars had a seven car inverted starting lineup. Mark Borchetta led the first three laps from the pole. Brent Scheidemantle came from sixth starting spot to lead laps 4-27. Fast timer Donny St. Ours put his new No. 22 replica 1934 Ford coupe out front on lap 28 with an inside pass entering the first turn. On lap 30 Scheidemantle used the same move entering turn one to reclaim and keep the lead to the finish. He beat St. Ours by 0.969. Chad Schug used the No. 37 Ryan Cansdale car to race from outside row four to earn third, 1.102 off the lead. Last winner Darren Amidon started fifth and placed fourth with Aaron Wells fifth. Fourteen of 19 starters finished and 13 completed all 35 laps. Amidon now leads series points by two (142-140) over Schug. Scheidemantle ranks third with 130.
MINI STOCKS: Fifteen mini stocks waged a tight race with three race leaders. Robby Hornsby, 21, from Yucaipa, led the first 14 laps, laps 28-30 and 32-35 in his 1971 Ford Pinto (No. 61). Fastest qualifier Ryan Bragdon, 20, started fourth in his 1979 Ford Mustang II and led only lap 31 after he made a inside, door-to-door hard-charging pass. Hornsby used the same metal-rubbing move a lap later in the same spot to retake the lead. It was his fifth Irwindale main event triumph (four came in 2011). Bragdon trailed by 0.793. Dennis Croasmun (Pinto), Jeremy Perez (Pinto), and Tom Dye (Toyota Celica) followed. Eleven cars (eight on the lead lap) finished. Steve Rogers drove the No. 10 Pinto that Daryl Scoggins used to win several Irwindale track championships. Rogers shot from row seven to first place by lap 15. After leading through lap 27 his Pinto stalled and had to be towed to the pits. Bragdon now leads Hornsby by two points (148-146) after three 2013 races.
BANDOLEROS: (Friday) - Twelve Bandolero drivers ran a 20-lap main event at 8:05 pm during the 5-9 pm open practice session for all divisions. Ryan “The Rhino” Vargas, from La Mirada, set quick time, started on the pole and exchanged the lead six times with third starter Ricky Lewis, from Oxnard. The Lewis No. 11 had a sour engine during time trials so his team replaced the engine in time for the race. Vargas, a newcomer to Irwindale Speedway, was a 2012 Bandolero rookie with about 30 starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway's three-eighths mile “bullring” and two at the LVMS road course. He won six mains last season in the ex-No. 14 Chris Wiggins car. Vargas led laps 1-5, 11-12,15 and 17-20. Lewis led laps 6-10, 13-14 and 16 with passes accomplished on the inside in close quarters. Lewis trailed by half a length (0.164) at the end of the entertaining race. Rookie Levi Jackson, Austin Farr and Ryan Borchetta followed. The all green light race took 6:15.351.
Saturday – The same 12 Bandolero drivers ran a 20-lap main at 7:10 with a straight-up lineup by qualifying times. Fastest R. Vargas, 12, led the first 11 laps over third starter R. Lewis, who took the lead for good on lap 12 and beat Vargas by one length (0.341). Niko Mongenel, A. Farr and R. Borchetta followed closely. A three car crash on lap 3 in the second turn sidelined all three cars. L.Jackson spun and collected the car of Austin Edwards and Madison Gay, daughter of driver Danny Gay. The Edwards 99 car rode up Jackson's car, rolled once, and landed upright. No injuries resulted. Nine drivers finished all 20 laps. A freak accident occurred as drivers pulled to the finish line on the third-mile for interviews. Jakob Ulrich had stopped. Then Mongenel's car slammed into the back of Ulrich's car at about 20 mph. Mongenel said “I was going to take another slow lap. The sun was in my eyes and his car is white so I didn't see it in time.” No injuries and only minor car damage resulted. The top two drivers in points are now Lewis (198) and Vargas (186). It appears that these two talented drivers will vie all season for their first Irwindale championship.
PICK YOUR PART FIGURE 8: Five Figure 8 cars ran 15 laps to conclude racing at 10:10 pm. Fastest qualifier Rod Proctor, of Riverside, was the flag-to-flag $500 race winner last month. He again led all the way from the pole and won by a straightaway (4.538 seconds). Bryan Glidewell took second from Kendall Scheidecker's similar F-8 Special three laps from the finish. Past Irwindale F-8 champion Billy Ziemann finished fourth, 12 seconds off the lead pace. Robert Dezarov's Camaro was four laps down and avoided contact at the intersection with the faster F-8 creations.
The next Irwindale Speedway race will be Saturday, June 22 with five divisions competing. Super late models, race trucks, mini stocks, Figure 8s and a demolition derby will provide on track action.