Aug. 26 PRO LT MODEL & N of D –By Tim Kennedy

Aug. 26 PRO LT MODEL & N of D –By Tim Kennedy

Irwindale, CA., Aug. 26 – The final Saturday of August at Irwindale Speedway presented by Pick Your Part was a combination NASCAR Pro Late Models and Night of Destruction event. It had NASCAR Pro Late Models in a single 50-lap feature as the opening act in a three-plus hours night of entertainment. The event attracted about 6,000 spectators on a warm, upper 70s evening.

As the 13th of 15 scheduled NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Racing Series Pro Late Model races for national points, late models raced 50-laps on the half-mile. The race inverted the seven fastest qualifiers in an 11-car field. Fastest qualifier Linny White came from inside row four and took only three laps to take the lead from his Clay Wooster Racing teammate Jeff Peterson, who started fourth and led the initial two laps. Second fastest qualifier Trevor Huddleston started sixth and took second from Peterson on lap 7. The top two runners remained unchanged to the lap 50 checkered flag and White won by 2.499. Three caution flags for solo spins slowed the event to 33-minutes and reduced the winning speed to 44.687 mph.

Peterson finished third, 2.670 behind White. Nick Joanides started fifth and earned fourth (3.156 behind White). Cody Kiemele, Ethan Cheek and rookie Andrew Chapman, of Pasadena, followed in fifth through seventh and also logged 50-laps. Spec late model drivers Chapman and Tanner Huddleston, both 20, made their NASCAR Pro Late Model debuts in a pair of High Point Racing team cars owned by Tanner’s father Tim, co-promoter at IS. White, the 2022 series IS champion and current point leader, ran the fastest lap of 19.520 (92.213 mph). It was his ninth victory in 13 races this season. It was his 18th feature triumph at Irwindale.

ENDURO DOUBLEHEADER: A season-high 18 enduro four-cylinder sedans raced in a pair of main events. One started at 4:05 pm, shortly after the front gates opened for fans at 4:00, All 18 cars started with 12 stock class cars in front of six faster sport class, OHC-equipped cars. The event was a 20-lap run on the six-turn r-oval course prior to the subsequent autograph session for fans conducted under the grandstand in 90-degree heat. Pro late models and enduro cars were lined up in two rows on the road under the grandstand.

Bory Molina, from Glendora, made his first IS appearance in two years with his red No. 71 Toyota Celica sport class car. He set the fastest qualifying time at 22.094—a new track record. He eclipsed the 22.192 recorded by Rodney Argo on May 27, 2023 on the same course. Molina was leading the main event and about to win when he mistook the white flag for the checkered flag and pulled off the track before the checkered flag. That enabled Bobby Ozman to win his sixth main of the season and his 22nd since 2019 when enduro racing started at IS. Mike McIntyre and Jason Woolcott followed. Robert Rice placed fourth in his Honda Accord and won the stock class 50-points.

The second enduro main event was a 30-lap contest and followed the pro late model 50-lap feature. Jason Woolcott started 12th and led laps 7-8 and 9-30. He earned 50-points as the sport class victor and recorded his eighth IS career victory. Ozman placed second, 0.295 off the lead. Rodney Argo settled for third, 0.818 behind his protege Woolcott. McIntyre was fourth, 9.966 behind the winner. Robert Rice, from Hawthorne, started fourth, finished fifth and earned his second stock class triumph Saturday. His 50 points moved him closer to his fifth consecutive IS enduro stock class championship. It was his 81st IS main event victory in various types of events. That total moved him only two victories behind all-time IS feature winner Trevor Huddleston’s 83 wins.

Rider Gardner and laps 1-6 race leader/pole starter Robert Walk–the last lead lap drivers–followed in positions six and seven. Rapid Bory Molina started last in his No. 71 Celica and led laps 9-25 and appeared headed for the victory that eluded him in the first main event. However, he lost a lap on lap 26 when his car experienced a mechanical problem that slowed his pace briefly. He placed eighth, a lap down after regaining speed.

Second year stock class driver Mikey Killen, 16, passed Rice on lap 2 for third place overall. However, entering turn four (turn three of the third-mile) his left front wheel hit a large truck tire marking the course. It flipped his Honda Accord onto its side, causing a red flag. Killen emerged unhurt, but his car was hauled to the pits on the back of a wrecker. Molina, who easily could have won both main events without his misfortune, ran the fastest lap of 22.540 (79 mph), a bit slower than his fastest lap of 22.053 in the first main. That time was faster than his NTR qualifying lap.

TUCKER TIRE FIGURE 8: The 25-lap F-8 race had 15 entrants, but only ten were able to race following the enduro 30-lapper. Jason Woolcott, from San Pedro, led all 25 laps in a 11:21.l711-timed, all-green light race without any close calls or collisions at the mid-infield intersection. He averaged 49.772 mph and beat R. Rice by 9.937. Argo and Gardner followed and completed 25 laps. Walks, Francisco Prado and Robbie Salcido ran 24 laps in P. 5-7.

SKID PLATE 20: N of D veteran Robbie Salcido, from Perris, led all 20-laps of the skid plate race in his Honda Accord equipped with metal skid plates instead of tires on the back wheels. He started fifth and lapped the field. Runner-up M. McIntyre, from Glendora, beat Rice and Argo and all logged 19 laps. The all-green flag race took 13-minutes. Salcido’s 39.090 lap (46.048 mph) on the six-turn r-oval course was the quickest in a 13-car field. He averaged 44.076 mph in winning his 20th IS victory in various N of D events.

The final on-track event was a nine-car trailer destruction race with each entrant pulling a trailer containing a boat or other cargo on a watered third-mile oval that used the infield for the backstretch. They ran about 15 non-scored laps and demolished four old mobile homes parked on the front straight and the cargo of other competitors. Fans voted for the winner by their cheers and applause. Bailey Maywald won his second event in as many months over Steve Cook and R. Salcido for providing the most entertainment with his No. 20 pickup truck. Voting took place following the usual IS ten-minute aerial fireworks show over the darkened speedway.

The next IS oval track racing will take place on Saturday, September 9 with another NASCAR Night featuring all the usual IS divisions in the final points racing night for the divisions. NASCAR Pro Late Models will race twin-30-lap features to conclude the 2023 Advance Auto Parts Racing Series national points scoring for the premier racing division at IS.