/STOCKCAR: Irwindale results 2004-06-05

It was "Super Night" at Irwindale Speedway Saturday as Advantage Ford presented Super Late Models, Super Stocks and Super Trucks on the banked half-mile. Figure 8 racing concluded four hours of racing action at 11:00 before about 5,000 fans. Greg ...

/STOCKCAR: Irwindale results 2004-06-05
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It was "Super Night" at Irwindale Speedway Saturday as Advantage Ford presented Super Late Models, Super Stocks and Super Trucks on the banked half-mile. Figure 8 racing concluded four hours of racing action at 11:00 before about 5,000 fans.

Greg Pursley dominated the Lucas Oil NASCAR Super Late Model twin-50-lap features by winning both races in his No. 13 King Taco Chevrolet Monte Carlo. He extended his points lead from 40 to 48 points after starting third and leading all the way in the first 50. He started sixth and led the final 42 laps of the second 50, a makeup-date for the April 17 race lost to rain.

HAT TRICK: The double main event winner set a track record during late afternoon time trials by running 17.849 (100.846 mph). His time eclipsed the 17.966 record set four weeks ago by Tony Bruncati. Remarkably, Bruncati and Brandon Loverock finished second and third respectively in both races. Bruncati trailed by 0.497 seconds in the first 50 and 3.739 seconds in the second race. Pursley secured his fourth and fifth IS victory plaques (and third in a row) this season after eight of 18 scheduled races. Pursley also leads the NASCAR Sunbelt Region seven-track point standings.

In one of the most inspirational triumphs during six years of racing at IS, rookie Eric Hardin led all 50 laps of the NAPA Auto Parts Super Trucks feature. He uses a prosthetic right leg with hydraulic features that enable him to race his family-owned No. 01 Chevy S-10 standard truck. The 21-year old driver from Anaheim Hills had lost his lower right leg to cancer at age 12. Fastest qualifier Hardin started on the pole and led all the way, despite a lap 45 red flag for track clean-up after a hard crash involving seventh place Rich Geisler and a lapped truck.

Hardin whose brother Jared, 27, is his crew chief and spotter, held half a straight-away advantage at the red flag. When the green flag appeared for lap 45, Ron Peterson and the next six trucks in running order were on his tail. The rookie winner coolly held his line despite pressure from Peterson, winner of the last feature at IS. Hardin edged Peterson by five yards (0.295 seconds) in a 17-minute race. Veterans Pat Mintey, Jr, Joe Herold and Mark Holeman followed. Eighteen of the 22 starters finished and 11 drivers ran all 50 laps. "I'm so happy. I want to thank my mom and dad (in the grandstand) and brother," the happy winner told the crowd.

With a ten-car inversion, sixth fastest qualifier Lee Ladd, 65, passed early leader/recent winner Craig Rayburn on the inside exiting the fourth turn on lap six. Ladd, the series 2003-track champion, paced the final 35 laps of the Vista Paint Super Stock main. He drove his 2004-built Chevy Camaro in the green color of sponsor Stock Building Supply.

Series rookie Jimmy Sloan started ninth and charged his Camaro into second place on lap 24. Sloan traded second spot with veterans Rayburn and T. K. Karvasek before taking second for good on lap 30. Sloan trailed Ladd by 0.279 seconds. Camaro drivers Rayburn, Karvasek and Greg Crutcher completed the top five. Twenty-five of 30 starters finished and 21 drivers completed 40 laps.

A 20-lap Pick-Your-Part Figure 8 race concluded the evening. Karvasek, using his NASCAR Super Stock Camaro that he had just driven to fourth place in the S/S feature, started ninth in the 11-car field. He won the wild 16-minute event and received $1,000. Billy Ziemann started second and led the first three laps until tapped by second place Rod Proctor entering the third turn and spinning. Seventh starter Proctor led laps four and five. Fourth starter Steve Stewart passed him and led through lap 17. Then Stewart and lapped Don Rogers collided entering turn three on lap 18, spun out to the infield and stalled together.

Karvasek led the final three laps and won by ten yards over Harry Kuenniger, who collected $650 for his career best finish. The runner-up bumped second place Proctor on lap 19 entering turn three, spinning Proctor into the infield next to stalled cars of Stewart and Rogers. Ziemann came back to place third, the final car on the lead lap. Only five cars finished.

TV star Jesse James, host of "Monster Garage" on the Discovery Channel and owner of West Coast Choppers in Long Beach, competed in two divisions. He drove his self-built Figure 8 special and ran the NASCAR SLM twin-50s in his Victory Circle chassis Monte Carlo. James won the first of two four-lap Figure 8 heat races at 7:00 for his initial victory at IS. James started 25th in the 32-car first SLM feature and spun to the backstretch infield on the third lap while avoiding an accident. He lost a lap, but finished 22nd.

In the second SLM main James started 24th and was 20th after two laps when he veered into the fourth turn crash-wall heavily with the right front. His car careened to mid-track and fluid drained from his broken radiator. Track emergency crews assisted the shaken James from his car, onto a gurney and into an ambulance. He had a reported leg injury. Actress Sandra Bullock, James' girl friend, left the James suite and rode with him in the ambulance to nearby Arcadia Methodist Hospital. James' crew withdrew his Figure 8 car from the subsequent feature.

SLM drivers ran two separate qualifying laps to determine lineups for the twin-50s. Pursley ran his record 17.849 lap on his initial circuit. His second lap, 17.925, also shattered Bruncati's four-week old 17.966 mark. Pursley was the only qualifier under 18-seconds. He spun the inversion wheel in the pits and got a three-car inversion for the first 50 and a six-car inversion for the second 50.

Hard Charger award winners were: (S/S)--rookie Lyle Spangler (28th starting to 13th in the 2003 Ladd championship Camaro); (SLM)--1st 50-rookie Charlie Wahl (20th to 10th) and 2nd 50--Nathan Wulff (22nd to 10th); (Trucks)--rookie Ken Bryan (15th to ninth).


Heat 1: Jesse James, Tony Curtis, Ron Chaney, Robbie Stutzel, DNS-T. K. Karvasek, Rod Proctor.

Heat 2: Billy Ziemann, Steve Stewart, Don Rogers, Harry Kuenniger, Jeff Marguet.

Main: Karvasek, Kuenniger, Ziemann, Marguet, Proctor, Stewart, Stutzel, Rogers, Brian Tully, Chaney, Curtis. DNS-James.


Fast Time: Johnny White, 21.919.

Main: Lee Ladd, Jimmy Sloan, Craig Rayburn, T. K. Karvasek, Greg Crutcher, Greg Benner, Bryan Harrell, Robin Bourgeois, Eric Sunness, Chris Houwen, Jeff "Hibachi" Grill, Garry Howell, Lyle Spangler, Brent Cusick, Victor Wu, Rick Riley, Steve Smith, Brian Tully, Bobby Desarov, Mike Gilmore, Craig Yeaton, J. White, John Arlotti, Billy Shoemaker, Larry Sampson, Kenny Brown, Henry Miles, Tim Gardner, Ricky Callens.


Fast Time: Eric Hardin, 19.619.

Main: Hardin, Ron Peterson, Pat Mintey, jr, Joe Herold, Mark Holeman, Billy Helgeson, Kyle Evans, Derek DiSarro, Ken Bryan, Darren Sigwing, Michael Mantel, John Sereika, Randy Colling, Ken Maler, Cory Sisler, Richard Legere, Jim Madrid, Jeremiah Robins, Rich Geisler, Larry Hinderman, Paul Galli, Jeb Bailey.


Fast Time for 1st 50: Greg Pursley, 17.849 - NTR 100.846 mph (old record 17.966 by Tony Bruncati on 5-8-04).

Fast Time for 2nd 50: Pursley, 17.925.

RACE 1: Pursley, Tony Bruncati, Brandon Loverock, James Bruncati, Kevin O'Neil, Todd Southwell, Kevin Thompson, Chris Oddo, Russell White, Charlie Wahl, Roger Brown, Rod Johnson, Mike Price, Mark Perry, Dennis Arena, Jim McGill, Jeff Shafer, Ed Hoffman, Steve Hamilton, Tony Jackson, Chuck Sisler, Jesse James, Richard Hooper, Terry Elliott, Kevin O'Connell, Scott Conaway, Tim Buckley, Tim Woods III, Nathan Wulff, Gary Jenkins, Andy Coyle, Dan O'Donnell.

RACE 2: Pursley, T. Bruncati, Loverock, Southwell, White, Brown, Thompson, Price, O'Neil, Wulff, Johnson, Shafer, Buckley, McGill, Arena, Jackson, Jenkins, O'Connell, Elliott, Wahl, J. Bruncati, Hooper, Hoffman, Oddo, Perry, James.


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