IRWINDALE, Calif — - - Round four of the ten-race Lucas Oil Slick Mist Super Late Models 2011 Championship Series is set for this Saturday night, June 4 at Toyota Speedway and the Lucas Oil TV crew will be there to faithfully record every action-packed minute of the featured 75-lap race for a later showing on Versus*.
Kevin Thompson from Conroe, Texas has the series lead after turning in a nicely-progressive string third, second, and first place finishes in the beginning three races of the series; his 144 points giving him a 12-point lead on Canyon Country's Rod Johnson, Jr. who won the first two events and then had problems in race three.
Johnson, who won the Auto Club Late Model division championship at the Speedway in 2010, is considered a "Rookie" in the Lucas Supers, although no one racing against him in the track's top weekly racing division takes that term as any comfort at all!
All locked up at third place in points, with 126 each, Race Liberante from high desert Quartz Hill and Jason Patison, from close-by Corona, both have had good finishes in the first third of the season and both are looking to do even better for this round.
Ryan Partridge, another 2010 division track champion (King Taco Super Trucks) is hanging tough in fifth place at 124 points. With this sort of talent on track and the Lucas HD TV cameras turning, this one should really be a night to remember in person at the Speedway.
Also on the card for the night are the incredible Lucas Oil Modifieds. These are the high-powered, narrow-tired, all-out racing cars with full bodies and open front wheels that run record laps at Toyota Speedway every time the tour comes to town.
The "Mods" are also on race three of their 10-race championship tour that sees them competing at five different western U.S. race tracks and this is the first of two stops in Irwindale for these drivers.
Jim Mardis has the lead with his nice string of fourth, second, and first for 142 points. Tim Morse and Brian Collins are only two points apart in second and third (128 and 126 points) followed by Aaron McMorran with 124 and Austin Barnes with 112 points respectively.
This is the fastest track that these cars see all series long. The old racing question answered by a question is the best explanation for this one: "How fast do you want to go? How long can you hold your breath?"
But, if two rip-roaring racing divisions both in the middle of a hotly-contested, short (10-race) series where every race is critical, how about adding four more divisions for the night, just to give fans MORE than maximum value for their racing buck.
Here's how: Let's add in the Echo Equipment Legends Cars, the Langer's Juices S2's, the Jan's Towing Bandoleros, and the Pick Your Part Outlaw Figure 8's. By actual/official dictionary definition, the above divisions are (and in no particular order): Wild, Crazy, Intense, and just plain old: Fun to Watch. The bottom line is real racing, real fans, and real excitement, live and less than 50 feet away from the front row of grandstands. A warm night, a great crowd, six separate divisions of racing and all for the same price that the track opened with in 1999! Truly the best bargain in NASCAR!
And, just in case there are fans out there who simply can't get enough live, local, low cost NASCAR on Saturday nights at Toyota Speedway, Friday night practice sessions and (on this particular Saturday) a spirited Bandolero race should help with anyone with a paved oval addiction problem.
One of the best parts of the NASCAR races at Toyota Speedway is the Free King Taco Autograph Session right on the track before the races at 5:45PM. All the cars, all the drivers, and all the fans in a great pre-race fan fest that includes autographs, photos, kids in race car driver's seats, candy, hero cards, and up-close-and-personal face-to-face meets with the stars of the night and their machines. This is the one to get the kids (of all ages) out to, this is the event that sets the whole night up for great fun with a real "insider's" look at NASCAR.
The track's gates open to the pubic at 4PM and at 5:45 everyone is invited right down on the track to take part in the Speedway's special time to meet the drivers, see the cars up close, get a snapshot or the autograph of a favorite driver and just generally mix and mingle in the pre-race party that we call the King Taco On-Track Autograph Session that's more party than "session". Fans are reminded to bring the kids and not to miss this unique part of the special fan experience at the Speedway!
Toyota Speedway and Event Center opened on March 27, 1999 and has become one of the premier NASCAR Home Tracks in the country. Featuring virtually every aspect of stadium-style motorsports competition, the facility is clean, family-friendly and features a unique money-back guarantee that refunds any fan's ticket price if they are not 100% happy with the show. Located on the 605 freeway in Irwindale, California, the track is easy to get to from just about anywhere in southern California.
For more information, tickets, or directions: www.toyotaspeedwayatirwindale.com
* Both Lucas Oil championship events will be taped on Saturday night and be aired on Versus on August 21, 2011 at 6PM Eastern and then repeated on MavTV on September 1, 2011.