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Irwindale: FIRECRACKER 100

1657 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  kwhopper89
See the last paragraph for SSR news!

Irwindale, Calif. - - There'll be plenty of great reasons to attend Irwindale Speedway this Saturday night: great NASCAR stock car racing including a tough 100-lapper of the Late Models, a USAC open wheel show, Mini-Stockers, Super Stockers, and what many consider the San Gabriel Valley's finest fireworks show bar none.

“We have a tradition of producing one of the best fireworks shows in the area at our 4th of July racing events,” said track GM Bob DeFazio. “Our seventh year will be no different … We expect a sell-out on Saturday.”

And, the on track part of the Saturday show at Irwindale promises to be every bit as spectacular as well with a new event, “The Firecracker 100” for the Automobile Club of Southern California Late Models. This is double the race length that these machines are usually asked to complete. Tough? Yup? This is race 11 of the 16-race 2005 championship series. Tim Huddleston from Agoura Hills has got the points lead (468) winning six of the 10 races run so far and only finishing out of the top five once.

Everyone else in the chase for this year's trip to Hawaii (courtesy of Rick Lalor and the Auto Club) has had a bumpy ride and the next three runners are covered by a scant 22-point spread with Fallbrook's Scott Youngren in second at 390, Mission Hills' Brian Kelly in third at 368, and Mike Johnson in fourth at 368. Interestingly enough, none of the above three has won a race (so far) this year. One hundred laps … That's a one with two zeros after it.

AUTO CLUB INSIDER: The Rookie of the Year battle in this division is blazing hot! Two very good shoes, Travis Thirkettle and Craig Yeaton are in fifth and sixth place only two points apart 316 to 314 in that “race within a chase”. It's the battle of the valleys with Travis hailing from Sylmar and Yeaton towing in from nearby San Dimas.

FIREWORKS: Perhaps the best fireworks show in the San Gabriel Valley is part and parcel of Saturday night's show and the price is the same as any other regular night of racing at Irwindale Speedway. Adults are only $15, Kids are $5, and the under 5 set is FREE. (Oh …Uh Huh! … Sure! …Rick Lalor just tapped the writer on his shoulder to remind everyone that your Automobile Club membership card will get you a nice $5 discount off of the above adult tix.) By the way, those ticket prices are the same as the night that the Speedway opened in 1999 … Name something else that has gone that long without at price change.

IMPORTANT: All fans are invited to meet the drivers, inspect their racing cars, and to get autographs, photos, and other memorabilia, right on the front straightaway of the Speedway! The King Taco On-Track Autograph Party is FREE (with your admission) and more fun than a barrel of monkey-wrenches. It starts at 5:30PM runs for 45 minutes and is absolutely the most fun that many of the younger fans have all night!

AND … IN OTHER NEWS: Support races on Saturday night include the cool little USAC Ford Focus Midgets. Audra Sasselli has the points lead in these high-centered, slick-tired, little buzz-bombs. Everyone knows that Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Mike Bliss, JJ Yeley, Dave Blaney, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, and Casey Mears all drove open-wheelers on the way to 'Cup. So do these kids.

There is a heavy slugfest going on in the Vista Paints Super Stocks. “Rockin'” Robin Bourgeois the veteran from Costa Mesa versus Jimmy “The Kid” Sloan the upstart contender form Palm Desert. Bourgeois has thirty points on Sloan (332-302 at halfway in the 14-race series), but Jimmy has been coming on of late with two wins in the last two bouts to Robin's second and fifth place. Covina's Greg Crutcher keeps on punching with a series good finishes that see him at 290 points and in third place.

The Mini-Stocks are another two-man show at this point, with Fontana's Kevin Bernhardt holding a 2-point lead over Glen Avon's Steve Rogers (330 to 328). Dusty Morgan, who one the opening night race, is back a notch or two at 262, but the Covina challenger is always a threat in these mighty-minis.

STOP THE PRESSES: that “Monster Garage” TV guy finally won a Pick Your Part Figure 8 race at Irwindale Speedway! Jesse James kept his foot on the floor, his car out of danger, and streaked to a hugely popular victory. Only 100 points now separate him from division points Steve Stewart.

Both of these brave boyos live in Long Beach and, if James can keep on winning, that city (once long-ago known as “Iowa By The Sea”) may well not be big enough for the two of them. Hopefully “Barefoot” Billy Ziemann will be back this Saturday night with a new motor … Billy is still the only guy who never lifts for no one in the mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world of the Crazy 8's. This will be race six of nine scheduled this year (add ominous background music here) …Time for everyone get their acts in gear in if anyone expects to catch Stewart.

The Irwindale on-site ticket offices are open every day at 9AM. Tickets may also be secured by phone (626) 358-1100. On Saturday, the ticket office opens at noon, and the spectator gates open at 4PM. Autographs at 5:30PM, Opening Ceremonies at 6:30PM with baritone Robbie Britt singing the national anthem, and racing at 7.

CONVERTIBLE PICK-UP TRUCKS?: And there's something of a special treat scheduled for the track's Chalet Village this Saturday night … Fifty Chevrolet SSR convertible pick-ups will be on hand from all over California. This has got to be one of the largest-ever gatherings of these sleek Corvette-engined two-seaters. They'll all be meeting for a specially-catered lunch at Sierra Chevrolet on the 210 freeway at Mountain and then be escorted to the Speedway by a pair of motor officers from the California Highway Patrol. Great car clubs are part of the scene nearly every Saturday at the Speedway, this one promises to be one of the more spectacular shows!

:lol Maybe these guys will escort us... :lol


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ADD: FIFTY (that's a big 5-OH!) Chevrolet SSR convertible pickemup sport trucks (someone called them Corvettes with cabooses) converged on Irwindale Speedway from all over the western United States on Saturday. Feted first at Sierra Chevrolet in Monrovia (gathering point display and catered lunch) and then at Irwindale Speedway where the group set a Neeeeeeew Trrrrrack Reeeeecord (thanks Tom) for number of participants, the SSR Club Victory lap was a real crowd pleaser and was replete with the CHP's number two top cop in the state, CHP Chief Manny Padilla, riding shotgun in his brother-in-law's in bright red SSR.

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