SATURDAY SHOWDOWN – IRWINDALE – OCTOBER 3 TWO 2015 CHAMPIONSHIPS ON THE LINE
It’s been a long year for the Seidner’s Collision Centers Late Model division at Irwindale Speedway and the chase for the track championship will go right down to the wire on Saturday night, October 3, when the nineteenth race in the Late Model’s 2015 season pays off in double points giving the leaders chills and the contenders hope for a big jump in the standings.
As befitting the nice, round (two times the regular 50 for first place) 100 points winner’s haul, Race Director Mike Atkinson has designated the race a 50-lap affair that will challenge every aspect of the pursuit.
#50 Trevor Huddleston, has what looks to be a very comfortable lead of 90 points coming into the night, the Agoura Hills resident finishing in the top three fifteen times in the eighteen S’sCCLM races run thus far, winning five and coming in second in another five events.
Huddleston’s job on Saturday is to do what he’s done all season long: run fast, run good, finish the race at or near the top and scoop up max points. His mathematical advantage having close to two race wins worth of points over second place #17 Mike Johnson from Covina looks very good from here … But all of that can vanish in an instant and one bad night, one bad race, could see the second generation racer loose the grip he’s had on the 2015 track champion’s trophy virtually all year long.
#55 Blaine Perkins, will start the final 2015 S’sCCLM race at third place in the standings with 726 points, only 24 out of second place with Highland’s #90 Toni McCray 66 clicks back of the Bakersfield driver in fourth.
Ten scant points behind seven-race winner McCray at 650 markers, young #19 Riley Herbst from Las Vegas (who’s a shoo-in for 2015 Rookie of the Year honors in the Late Models) is right there and ready to pounce, should any the above names make the slightest error in this quick, close-quarters, short track, winner-take-all style NASCAR racing where things happen fast and the arching lines of luck and talent sometimes seem to cross with unintended results.
As always, and particularly for this night, fans are urged to get out to the track early to take advantage of the last on-track autograph session for the Seidner’s-sponsored Late Model division. The free autograph session begins at 5:45 p.m. right on the race track and the expectation is for it to be a very popular place to see and be seen on Saturday night! FANS: … START, YOUR, SELFIES!
From the biggest, meanest, fastest Irwindale racing division to the smallest (but surely not slow) the Universal Studios Hollywood Bandoleros will complete their season as well this Saturday Night. There, the outcome is much more fluid than in the Late Model with two races and 150 up for their two-day Friday-Saturday finale. (Friday’s race is regular points, Saturday’s pays double!).
#10 McKenzie Eshleman checks in number one in points in the “Bandos” at 546, but the young lady from Twin Peaks (really!) only has a 36-point advantage over Upland’s #9 Zack St. Onge who’s collected 510 so far this season. #90 Kayla Eshleman (Fontana) is not all that far back in third with 480. One hundred and fifty points in two races is an exciting and scary deal (you get 150 points and it is cool, you fail to score, especially in the 100-point race on Saturday night and the season is not such a happy one). Rounding out the top five in the Bandos, #18 Austin Edwards from Mentone at 306 points and #89 Lakeside’s own Allison Gay at 182.
Champions will happen in both of the above divisions on Saturday!
The Pick Your Part Super Stocks will be back on Saturday with #21 Zack Green from Long Beach heading up the season points with 296. This is the seventh of nine races for the popular division and the top three have been close all year. Apple Valley’s #66 Gary Frankovich is number two in points with 274 and #01 Greg Crutcher (Covina) is third with 272. That’s only 24 points among the top three with three races left to go on the season. But wait … TWO of those three races will be on Saturday night! That’s two 50-point ops for everyone in the above trio and a whole bunch of other drivers who would like to be in the top three. As the wise men (who are NEVER listened to) try to impart, yes, on a twin race night there’s an op to bank 100 ducats, but, they add, you must have a horse (er… race car) that is fully capable of running in and winning two races on one night … strategy and smart driving. “Patience” always seems weird word when applied to short track racing … it applies well here.
In the INEX Legend Cars division, there’s only 12 scant points (after seven races) between Oak Hills’ #29 Chad Schug and Lakeside’s #33 Darren Amidon. That would be 322 points to 310. And, only 46 points back (remember, a race win pays 50 points and a DNF pays 0) #7 Mark Lungerich (from Granada Hills) is hanging out and hanging in there “going to school” on the two guys ahead of him and learning fast.
The Speedway will play host to two exciting touring series on Saturday: the Spears S2 Series and the Pick-Your-Part Southwest Tour Trucks. #4 Ed Cutler has a big lead in the Pick-Your-Part sponsored Southwest Series, and local driver #59 Johnny Butler from Arcadia is number one in the 2015 points list in the Spears S2 machines. Both series are “spec” type divisions, with identically-equipped racing machines the specifications for which are very tightly controlled and enforced to keep competition costs down.
As bill-boarded earlier, the Speedway’s always-popular On-Track Autograph Session at 5:45p.m. will be a great place for fans to say thanks to all Seidner’s Collision Centers Late Model and the Universal Studios Hollywood Bandolero drivers and their crews on Saturday night … Fans are urged to get a program and get it signed by as many of these great drivers as possible! Both divisions have put on great shows all year long and one driver from each series going to be crowned a 2015 Irwindale Speedway Champion THIS Saturday night!
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