Irwindale, CA., Oct. 30 – Irwindale Speedway staged its final race night of 2021 Saturday on Halloween eve. It was titled “Haunted Night of Destruction” presented by LKQ Pick Your Part. The evening featured trick or treating, costume contest, monster fire truck rides in the infield during the on-track driver autograph session, and a jet-engine old car burn-down in the infield by the monster fire truck. Six motorcycle stunt riders from Kraze Motorcycle Stunt Show also performed three-times on the front straight between main events. About 6,000 spectators were present on a low 70s So Cal evening.
Usual Night of Destruction events included a 25-lap Tucker Tire enduro cars race on a new eight-turn “r-oval” with two new turns (right and left) in the infield just past the starting line. A 25-lap Figure-8 race and 15-lap skid plate sedans race were followed by wheelies and donuts performed by the six motorcycle stunt riders, and the old car burn-down by the monster fire truck. A 14-entrant trailer destruction race on the watered third-mile oval preceded the IS popular ten-minute aerial fireworks show that concluded the busy evening at 9:45 pm.
During the afternoon, F-8 and skid plate cars, and enduro sedans practiced and qualified. Bobby Ozman sport class enduro sedan (No. 18 1998 Acura Integra) set the new eight-turn r-oval track record of 28.259 (63.697 mph) and earned pole position for the opening main event. It was a non-points race because October 9 was the final IS point racing.
Enduro 25: Ozman started first and led all 25 laps. The sport class driver beat runner-up Ian Rotundo by 0.426. Rick Conti was third, with highest stock class driver Jason Woolcott’s Honda fourth. Both were three seconds off the leader’s pace. Robert Rice placed fifth, 14 seconds back. In a 17-car field, 14 drivers reached the checkered flag. Three-time IS late model champion Trevor Huddleston made a rare enduro start in the No. 31 Honda Accord. He finished ninth, one lap down. The all-green race took 11:49.179 and averaged 63.454 mph. Non-finisher Bory Molina’s Toyota Celica logged the fastest race lap of 27.569 (65.291 mph). Four drivers ran laps in the 27 second bracket including the first, second and fourth finishers.
Figure 8, 25 laps: Former 410 ci sprint car driver Rodney Argo, from Gardena, drove his No. 9 Honda Prelude from pole and led family member Nick Argo for five laps. Rodney was a car length ahead of his buddy Jason Woolcott during the final ten laps. On the final lap Argo’s car struck the lap 24 crashed No. 6 that pulled into his path as he headed for the finish line. Woolcott won by 3.728 seconds over Ian Rotundo. Robert Rice and John Beard placed third and fourth. Argo limped across the finish line fifth as the last driver to complete 25 laps. Ten cars finished the 11-minute event.
Skid Plate Cars: Eighteen drivers started the SPC race on the third-mile oval. Mike McIntyre and rookie Rider Gardner led the first three laps. Robby Salcido led laps 4-15. Fast-closing Austin Lee and all-time SPC feature winner Mike DiGregorio (from the back row) made the final five laps a close contest. Past SPC feature inner A. Lee trailed by ten yards and DiGregorio was 15-yards back at the conclusion. The all-green light race took 9:44.977 (40.5889 mph). P 4-6 drivers Robert Rice, Wayne Lee and Gardner also completed all 15 laps.
Trailer Demo Race: All 14 starting sedans or pickup trucks towed trailers with boats, campers or assorted cargo. Drivers raced more than 15 uncounted laps while destroying a few parked boats and old camper trailers on the front straight and the trailer contents of fellow competitors. The event ended prematurely when the No. 176 pink station wagon driven by Cheryl Hyland hit the IS black & white ex-Sheriff patrol car headon in the infield as it pushed a dislodged boat towards the front straight. Both cars stopped abruptly and the ex-cop car (with red and blue rooftop lights flashing) had white smoke rising from the broken radiator. The track ambulance and rescue trucks arrived promptly and helped both shaken, but not seriously injured, drivers from their cars.
Spectators as usual voted by cheers and applause for the winner based on the entertainment value they provided. Steve Cook (No. 99) received the most cheers and won his second of three Trailer Demo Race victories this season. Earlier, spectator cheers voted Cody Pearlsteins’s No. 3 best-looking trailer contents. The open rowboat had three masts with sails decorated as a pirate ship. The creative pirate ship motif earned the driver extra money.
With the speedway on-track season concluded, the second annual Christmas Lights Winter Wonderland Santa Speedway event is being prepared in collaboration with Mobile Illumination. The dates are November 26 through January 2. Information and tickets are available on-line at www.santasspeedway.com.