IRWINDALE, California — The High Point Racing team of Tim Huddleston swept the three podium positions in both NASCAR Auto Club Late Model 30-lap features Saturday in their “blue crew” Chevy Monte Carlos built by Jeff Schrader's Racecar Factory. HPR entered seven cars and had six in the twin 30s. ACLM rookie Dylan Lupton, 17, ran the fastest lap in both races and won both twin 30s, giving him three victories in the last four ACLM main events. More than 4,000 persons spectated on “Father's Day Appreciation Night” with fathers and kids 12 and under admitted free. It also was the annual working trucks night; more than 20 big rigs, including 18-wheelers, parked in the infield during the weekly King Taco autograph session on the front straight from 5:45-6:20 pm. The trucks made several slow parade laps around the half-mile before the first race at 7:20.
The action-packed night had five other divisions on the half and third mile ovals and the first of two auto soccer matches this season in the infield. Two teams of three cars each moved a round-metal ex-propane tank “ball” towards large tire-marked goals at the east and west ends of the infield. Jan's Towing defeated the new Low Budget TV auto soccer team 1-0.
Winners on the half-mile were:
> Vista Paint Super Stocks: Relative newcomer/Long Beach resident Zack Green started third and led all 35 laps of the VPSS race in his Camaro for his first feature triumph..
> Southwest Tour Trucks: Two-time series champion Jeff Williams dominated the 30-lap event by starting in the back row and leading every lap.
Third-mile winners were:
> Ken Porter Auctions Open Comp: Track announcer Jason Galvin came down from the announcer's booth and drove the No. 84 winged modified of Rich DeLong III from fourth to first on the initial lap in a 12-car field. He stayed in P. 1 all 25 laps for his first career victory in only his second race. He drove like a veteran and now knows what it's like out there.
> Seidner's Collision Centers Skid Plate Cars: The always entertaining skid plate field of 24 cars ran in a clockwise direction in the fourth race this season. Competitors drew for their starting positions. The race had three leaders before James Altman took command on lap 7 of 20 and won his third consecutive skid plate race by a lap and ten yards over Adam Ditto.
ACLM 1ST MAIN: The largest ACLM field of the season—27 cars—took the green flag at 7:23 pm. Series rookie Taylor Miinch, 16, out-dragged pole starter Tim Smith to barely lead the opening lap. There were 26 qualifiers and a six-car inverted start based on the first of two qualifying laps. Fourth starter Lupton took second on lap 3 and became the race leader a lap later. He remained the leader to the lap 30 checkers and won by 20-yards (1.087 seconds). Fastest qualifier/sixth starter Brandon Davis, the point leader, also moved past Miinch on lap 3 and ran second to a lap 10 caution for debris. The cars of Chris Johnson and Devon Ostheimer had collided and tore off part of Johnson's LF fender. Rookie Nik Romano started fifth as second quickest qualifier and passed Davis on the inside on the lap 10 green at the starting line. Romano, 20, held second despite pressure from his HPR teammate Davis and beat him to the finish line by 0.248. Third finisher Davis lost his June 11 second place finish and points after a post-race technical inspection of the top five cars found the standard Richmond transmission in a gray area legally.
Miinch finished fourth, 1.335 in back of the winner's Lupton Excavating Chevy. Larry Cerquettini, the track 2009 VPSS champion, enjoyed his best run from eighth starting to fifth finishing position. Travis Irving, Tim Smith, second-ranked ACLM points driver Toni Marie McCray, May 21 feature winner Chris Holloway, and Kenny Smith, from Bakersfield, completed the top ten. Michael Lewis, 20-year old son of USAC Midget Team Nine owner Steve Lewis, of Laguna Beach, made his first Irwindale start this season in the HPR No. 59 Chevy. He turned the fourth FQ time and finished 11th after racing this season in Europe in the Italian Formula 3 Series, where he ranks third out of 16 drivers. Another commendable effort was that of 14-year old Andrew Murray, from Temecula. The 2009 USAC Ford Focus Midget six-time main event winner (at four tracks) currently races a 360-ci sprint car at dirt tracks in central California. He made his auspicious debut in a heavy stock car Saturday aboard the No. 21 Bowles Chevy. Murray set 18th fastest qualifying time of 19.335 and raced to his 12th place finish, only 10.300 seconds behind the winner. Twenty-two of 27 starters finished and 19 drivers completed all 30 laps in the 16-minute event.
ACLM 2ND MAIN: As the fifth event on a busy seven event evening, the ACLM series had 25 cars in the second 30. The starting lineup was determined by the second of two qualifying laps during late afternoon time trials. The inversion number--two--put second fastest qualifier Lupton on the pole and FQ Davis second, with third quickest Romano third. HPR's Lewis started fourth, giving HPR a monopoly of the first two rows. The smooth start of the first 30 was not replicated in the second 30. On the initial lap, a six-car collision occurred on the backstretch and caused an 11- minute red flag for track clean-up work and removal of Murray's damaged car. Four cars were sidelined, but all drivers involved escaped injury. When racing resumed Lupton led the first lap over Romano, Davis, Irving and McCray. Davis passed Romano before lap 10 and the finishing order remained unchanged—Lupton, Davis, Romano, Irving and McCray. Positions 6-10 went to HPR rookie Devon Ostheimer,17, Miinch, Bakersfield's Kenny Smith, Kyle McGrady and rookie Austin Dyne, in a William Rast-sponsored HPR Chevy. Seventeen cars finished and 13 completed all 30 laps.
VPSS 35: A 15-car field took the green in the second race. All 12 cars with qualifying times were fully inverted, putting the Impala SS of Rich DeLong III 12th on the grid and tenth FQ Zack Green in third for the start. At the start, Green shot into the lead over first time TS@I racer Ralph Adams, 71, in his 1978 Camaro (No. 73). The Oak Hills resident is the Lake Havasu 95 Speedway street stock champion for the last two seasons and has won 18 of 23 main events at the Arizona track during those seasons. The top three ran in close formation to lap 7 when 11th starter Gerrit Cromsigt passed Adams. Green increased his lead to half a straightaway over Cromsigt by lap 30 and won by 3.244 seconds. FQ DeLong reached third spot by lap 10 and saw his forward momentum stall there. He was 4.149 seconds in back of the winner. Positions 4-9 Curtis White, Bryan Harrell, Adams, Larry Sampson, Gary Frankovich and Brad Keegan all logged 30 laps. An opening lap multi-car crash sidelined cars of Eric Sunness and Gary Read and caused a complete restart. Twelve cars finished the all-green light, 13-minute race. Winner Green told the crowd, “This is my first win. I have to thank other teams for loaning me some parts today. Happy Father's Day and thanks dad for putting this Camaro together.” He also thanked his sponsors and fans for attending.
SWT TRUCKS: Jeff Williams, the series 2006-07 champion, continued his current series dominance by winning for the fourth time in four races this season and fifth in a row since he won the 2010 season finale. An all-time series low eight trucks were present. The former low was nine trucks May 28 and at the end of last season. With a full-field inverted start, Williams came from the back row in his Ford F-150 and still led all 30 laps. He charged out of turn four between to trucks on the opening lap to take command immediately. With no caution flags, Williams lapped up to fourth place. Neil Conrad started sixth and finished second, 1.468 seconds back. The best battle was a race-long duel for third between Kirk Knostman and Brady Helm. Knostman took P. 3 from Helm on lap 21 and kept it by one length at the checkers. Dan Coburn ran 29 laps and took fifth, with Cecil Phelps, Ed Cutler and Steve Reeves also running in a 10:19.640 race.
KPA OPEN COMP: Twelve cars representing four divisions ran 25 laps on the third-mile in race four of a nine event season. Track announcer Galvin drove the one of the DeLong team cars, the winged modified instead of their Camaro that he drove once last year. Galvin borrowed a racing uniform, helmet and HANS neck restraint from Joe Anderson, racing shoes from Tommy Mason and gloves from Jeffrey Best, of Low Budget TV. Galvin left his announcing booth duties to Larry Naston and jumped into the lead from fourth on the first lap. He retained it all 25 laps despite pressure from winged Figure 8 veteran Jerry Toporek, of Venice. The runner-up trailed all the way and finished 18-seconds back. Only Galvin and Toporek ran sub-16 second laps with Toporek's 15.550 on lap 3 the quickest. Late model driver Jim Schoening, super stock drivers Ralph Adams, 71, and Robert Dezarov completed the top five. The first three finishers were on the lead lap and P. 4-5 were down a lap. Two classic stocks raced. Seven of 12 starters finished the 16-minute race t hat had one caution flag for a spin by Ken Michaelian's classic stock Dodge Dart.
AUTO SOCCER: First-time auto soccer drivers Jeffrey Best and Tommy Mason and Tommy's girl friend Shayla Zins represented their Low Budget TV new team in yellow/blue/white painted big American sedans. The experienced Jan's Towing three-car team of Ken Palmer, Steve Keller and Chad Barum faced off in the next to-last event of the night. The match lasted 12 minutes and Jan's Towing won 1-0 with a take-away and break-away goal scored by the team's black car at the five-minute mark. As the checkered flag from the starter ended the match at 9:45, a Jan's Towing team car pushed the round ex-propane tank “ball” into the tire-marked goal, but the post-match goal did not count. It was the 11th auto soccer match in track history and Jan's Towing now has four victories against various teams.
SEIDNER'S SKID PLATE CARS: The final event started at 9:50 and concluded at 10:02 pm. The “skid platers” turned out 24 cars strong, including some new four-cylinder, FWD foreign cars fresh from wrecking yards. Drivers drew for starting positions and the race had three leaders. Jonathon DeStefano led lap 1 from the pole. Jim Smith came from sixth to lead laps 2-6. James Altman came from 11th grid spot to skate past Smith on the outside through the third and fourth turns. Adam Ditto took second from Smith on lap 14 and kept it to the finish. He gained ground on the leader during closing laps. Altman used the same 1994 Ford Escort in which he won the track's first two skid plate races this year on April 23 and May 21. Veteran “skid plater” Gabriella Hansen, 19-year old daughter of Figure 8 veteran Sean Hansen, came from seventh to third, a lap down. DeStefano was fourth, two laps off the pace. Tony Jackson took fifth, three laps down. Eighteen of 24 starters were racing their sparks-producing cars with metal skid plates replacing back tires. Spins and fender-benders were plentiful in the yellow flag free race that took 12 minutes. The winner averaged 32.568 mph. Best lap speeds ranged from 35.827 mph by Smith on lap 1 to the slowest lap of 26.653 mph by a non-finisher. Winner Altman turned his best lap 34.013 (35.245 mph) while leading on lap 12.