IRWINDALE, Ca — High Point Racing rolled into Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night after a shortened off season. Working late hours in the night and testing on weekends can certainly take a toll on the crew, but it all suddenly becomes “worth it” when the cars roll off the trailer for the first race of the season. This year was no exception and with the expansion of the Legend and Bandolero program there was certainly a sea of blue floating around the pits.
Eight year old Brandon Weaver definitely proved he’s got a natural talent behind the wheel of his #56 Bandolero. Brandon set the fast time during qualifying and ran the fastest time of the race. Unfortunately, while dominating the main event, Brandon got the car a little to loose coming out of turn two and spun after leading over half of the laps. The mistake left his teammate, Trevor Huddleston, in the second position with the opportunity to capture the victory.
Trevor led for several laps, but after getting caught up behind lapped traffic, the #24 was able to get around Huddleston and take the checkered flag. While watching his dad first Super Late Model race, Trevor was in the grandstands when he was told that the #24 had been disqualified during post race tech and he was the official winner of the Bandolero race.
Brandon Schulhof and Ryan Dunkleberger rounded out the High Point Racing Bandolero team with 6th and 14th place finishes. It was great start for the two boys who made their first ever race starts.
In Legends competition, Hunter Colodny started in the 3rd position, his best ever qualifying effort after starting to race in his family owned car during the 2009 racing season. He kept his new High Point Racing entry in the top five the whole race and even looked like he could capture the win. Contact from behind on lap 31 left Hunter with a 13th place finish. “I raced really clean all night; it’s just disappointing to be taken out from behind like that. I guess next race,” Colodny said, “I’ll just have to be far out ahead.”
Rookie Legend Driver Blake Dunkelberger finished 15th in his first time out in his #50 Legend car. Andrew Phipps was a last minute addition to the #59 Legends car getting the call on Thursday that he could drive the car if available. Phipps jumped at the opportunity to get in a racecar, regardless of size, and was running fifth when a he lost his muffler, leaving him unable to finish the race.
Fans were really confused when Tim Huddleston’s name was announced as driver of the #89 red and white Speed Wong Racing entry. Tim had done some r&d testing with the car and it was decided that they would race it after qualifying the car in the Super Late Model division for Darryl Wong and Racecar Factory and led 15 laps before getting a flat tire and pulling to the infield. Tim’s not sure of his 2010 racing plans, but was excited to drive the Racecar Factory built car to the front of the pack. “We’ve been focusing on building our program so much this season, it was nice to be able to jump in the car prepared by Racecar Factory and put it out front in my first outing. I only wish we could have shown what it was capable of and brought it back to Darryl with a W!” Huddleston commented.
The S2 division kicked off it’s first full-schedule season with a 25 lap opener. Returning drivers RJ Johnson and Kendall Lopez started mid pack but quickly found their way to the front. RJ passed rookie Andrew Porter to take the lead and never looked back. Kendall finished in the third position but it wasn’t without a great battle between herself and Las Vegas resident Rookie, Roman Lagudi. At one point Lagudi had the third position but Kendall persevered and got it back before the checkered flag dropped. Since neither RJ nor Travis Thirkettle, who finished in front of her are slated to race the next race, Kendall should be looking to take over the points lead at the drop of the next green flag. She’ll have a tough battle with Lagudi and the other HPR rookie Dylan Lupton who finished 5th in his first ever stock car race. The finish for Lupton meant that all four HPR S2 cars finished in the top five. With the largest field of s2 cars since the series began last july , there was ten cars for practice and after having one crash in practice and another having engine trouble,eight cars started the first s2 main event of the 14 race schedule
High Point Racing is a Driver Development Program that fields cars in four divisions at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. High Point Racing would like to thank all of their sponsors for their support:, Justice Brothers, Extreme Wrench, Sunrise Ford, ACS Express, Racecar Factory, Liz-Zard Racing Engines, Ron’s Rear Ends, Central Valley Auto Body, Gilley’s at Treasure Island and Swift Springs. Look for High Point Racing Late Model Action to kick off next week with drivers, RJ Johnson, Dallas Colodny, Brandon Davis, and Travis Motley. For more information visit www.HighPointRacing.com.