NASCAR NIGHT & CHAIN RACER FIGURE-8 – By Tim Kennedy
Irwindale, CA, Jul. 9 – The monthly NASCAR Advance Auto Parts event for July had a new twist. When the seven usual main events for various classes concluded the first chain racers Figure-8 race held center stage. A 15-scored laps race kept the almost 3,000 spectators seated until the conclusion. The usual ten-minute aerial fireworks show followed and concluded the mid-70s night slightly before 10 pm.
LKQ-Pick Your Part PRO LATE MODELS: The first of two 30-lap main events on the half-mile had fastest qualifier Linny White, from Colton, on pole with Jeff Peterson alongside. They ran in their starting order until lap 16 when fifth starter Ryan Schartau dropped Peterson to third. Trevor Huddleston started third and reclaimed third from Peterson on lap 25 and that is how they finished. White led every lap and won by 1.403 seconds. Schartau, Huddleston, Peterson,and fourth starter Parker Malone completed the top five. All 12 starters finished 30 laps. ‘The all-green flag race took 11:48.870 and White logged the quickest lap of 19.319.
SECOND LM 30:The first eight finishers from race one two hours earlier occupied position one through eight in reverse order of their finish in the first race. Fourth starter Malone led thr first 15 laps. Sixth starter Huddleston executed an inside pass in turn four and led the final 15 laps. He had a 50-yard lead at the finish. Malone, White, Peterson and second starter Tegan Harlan followed. Nine of 11 starters completed all 30 circuits. Huddleston increased his IS feature victory total to 77, five more than the second best record.
INEX LEGEND CARS 35: Seventeen legend coupes and sedans used a six-car inverted starting lineup on the third-mile as usual. That put fastest qualifier Sean Hingorani outside row three, Pole starter Logan Chambers led the first lap. Four-time IS legends champion and third starter Chad Schug led laps 2-12 and 14-17. Hingorani led lap 13 and laps 18-20. Schug made his winning pass on the inside at turn three and led the final ten laps for his 24th IS feature triumph. He beat runnerup Hingorani by 2.332 seconds. Nathan Quella, Tyler Hicks and Chambers followed. Eleven of 15 finishers completed 35 laps. The 13-minute race had one yellow flag on lap 13 for a solo spinner. Hingorani ran the fastest lap of 16.659 (71.961 mph).
Street Stocks/Pro Trucks 30: A field of seven (four cars and three trucks) raced 30 laps on the third-mile. Fastest qualifier Jim Vermillion led every lap in his 1988 Chevy Monte Carlo and edged truck racer Mike Kelperis who jumped from fourth to second in the final four laps aboard his Ford F-150. Truckers Jesus Qunitero and Barry Kelperis and Camaro driver Robby Harryman completed the top five with Jay Verdugo sixth, also on the lead lap.
YouRaceLA Spec Late Models/Race Trucks 40: The two series in one race on the half-mile ran 40 laps as usual. The event took 40 minutes because of a serious-looking crash on lap 38 that caused a 20-minute red flag. Third fastest qualifier Ron Nava (in Kenny Smith’s No. 43 spec LM) started on pole and led the first 37 laps. Nash Youngren (turquoise blue No. 13 spec LM) started alongside and was fifth after three laps. Leading trucker Nico Mongenel ran second until Youngren regrouped and took second from him by lap 15. At lap 20 Nava had a comfortable 35-yard lead that Youngren cut to a mere five yards by lap 35.
Youngren and Nava ran side-by-side on lap 38 at the starting line. Their cars came together. Nava bounced off the crashwall and spun at speed into the third-mile first turn wall protective attenuator and tire barrier. His car hit and ricocheted off, heavily damaged. Youngren spun without hitting anything. He restarted at the back of the field for the final three laps. Nava was uninjured but his car left on the back of a Jan’s Towing wrecker.
A two-by-two restart of lap 38 followed with fastest qualifier Tanner Huddleston, 18, and Troy Anderson, 26, in Jan’s Towing No. 98 alongside. Anderson led the final three laps for his first win of the year. Huddleston passed Mongenel for second on lap 39. Truck victor Mongenel, trucker Jacob McNeil and Youngren completed the top five. Eight of ten finishers logged 40 laps.
TUCKER TIRE ENDUROS: Two enduro sedan mains had 17 enduro four-cylinder sedans divided into two classes—faster sports (with OHC) in the back and slower stock sedans in the front. Both class winners received 50-points with two point dropoff per position. The five-turn “r-oval” used this week bypassed the infield turn. The first 30 started shortly after spectator gates opened at 4:00 pm. Ian Rotundo, from Sylmar, came from 16th starting spot to win the sport class in his No. 4 2001 Honda Prelude. Chatsworth’s John Beard started second in his No. 35 Honda Accord and won the stock class after finishing sixth overall. Sport class drivers Jason Woolcott, Mike McIntyre, Bobby Ozman and Chris Voight finished second through fifth. Fifteen drivers finished with 11 on the lead lap.
SECOND Enduro 30: Ozman, from Phillips Ranch, started 12th in his N. 18 1998 Acura Integra and edged pressing Rotundo by one length for the overall and sport class victory. Rotundo trailed by 0.262. McIntyre and Woolcott finished in P.3-4. Beard started sixth and finished fifth overall for his second stock class triumph of the day. The all-green race took 10:15.135 with 13 of 15 starters on track at the end and 11 on the lead lap.
The final on-track event was the 15-lap chain Figure-8 race. Nine two-car teams of enduro sedans were chained together and started in rows of two on the Figure-8 course. The orange No 89 Honda Accords of driver James Altman and James Altman, Jr. in the trailing car started fifth and led every lap. But the seventh starting orange No. 7 Honda Accord team of driver Robert Rice and Robbie Salcido in the back car dueled the leading duo intensely all 15 laps from the outside position. At lap 12, the 89 team led by mere feet at the intersection. They prevailed and won by a few yards. The two leading teams were the only lead lap entries as seven of nine teams reached the checkered flag. The seven minute race had a few close calls at the X but no contact between front or back cars. Ten minutes of aerial fireworks followed.
The next IS oval track racing event will be another NASCAR Night on Saturday, August 13. The motorhome mayhem of another RV Figure-8 race and fireworks show will be part of the entertainment that night as well.