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BRANDON DAVIS FLIES IN, WINS IRWINDALE LATE MODEL MAIN JUNE 2011

BRANDON DAVIS FLIES IN, WINS IRWINDALE LATE MODEL MAIN JUNE 2011
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Irwindale, Ca. - June 26, 2011 –    Auto Club Late Model Series point leader Brandon Davis continued his fastest qualifier weekend on the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale half-mile Saturday. He backed up his new track record with a come from behind victory in a 40-lap feature. He also set fast time for the K & N Pro Series-West race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma a day earlier. He ran second in his No. 10 Ford Fusion on the Sonoma road course before dropping out with an engine problem after 18 laps. After conferring with his crew chief at Sonoma, Davis flew in the same six-passenger airplane he rode in after the K & N West race at Tooele, Utah to the [email protected] April 30 ACLM race, which he won also. Davis said he flew from Napa to El Monte, near the Irwindale track, and arrived at 4:40 pm. ACLM time trials started at 7:45 and Davis, the 15th of 17 qualifiers, broke his own [email protected] one-lap track record of 18.471 (97.450 mph) with his lap of 18.445 (97.587 mph).

A post-qualifying toss of one dice rolled a five for the starting field inversion number. Davis, 25, had to charge forward in his Racecar Factory-built No. 55 Applied Computer Solutions Chevy Monte Carlo from row three in a 16-car field. The Henderson, NV transplant from “Beach City USA” did just that and took the lead on a lap 36 restart. He deposed his ACLM rookie teammate Nik Romano, 20, with an inside pass in the second turn and won his sixth ACLM feature in 11 races this season. It was his seventh ACLM victory in two years of ACLM racing. The IMSA World Challenge Series Long Beach Grand Prix sports car winner in a Ford Mustang beat Romano by 0.681.

Three Metal Mulisha freestyle motocross jumpers concluded the five-division main event program at 10 pm in front of about 3,700 spectators. Their two-wheel aerobatics took place in mid-flight between a short launch ramp and larger landing ramp on the front straight. Ryan Partridge won the other main event on the half-mile in a yellow flag marred 40-lap King Taco Super Truck race. It was the fourth KTST triumph this season in six events for the reigning series champion. He now has 21 feature victories at the track in four divisions. Two features used the third-mile oval. Chad Schug won his fifth Echo Equipment Legend Cars main in eight Legends races this year in a thriller. Christian McGhee, 12-year old son of late model and super late model track champion car owner Loyd McGhee, dominated the weekend in a pair of Jan's Towing Bandolero 20-lap mains on Friday and Saturday. Jay Henson started second in a ten-car Pick Your Part Outlaw Figure 8 race and led every lap. He beat fastest qualifier/pole starter Steve Stewart. The first race at 7:10 pm was a KTST trophy dash for the seventh through 12th quickest qualifiers with a fully inverted lineup. Pole starter Lucas McNeil, 18, led all six laps and edged grandpa Kenny Smith, 64, by 0.306.

ACLM: With 17 cars present, series rookie Dylan Lupton, 17, blew the engine of his High Point Racing No. 56 Chevy on his first qualifying lap entering turn one. Team owner Tim Huddleston, the fifth fastest qualifier, relinquished his newest No. 50 Chevy to his protege Lupton for the main event. The car had to give up pole position and move to the back row because of the driver change. The revised lineup put sixth fastest qualifier and HPR rookie Devon Ostheimer, 17, on the pole next to CHP-backed Travis Irving. Ostheimer (No. 57) led the first lap over teammates Romano and Davis with Irving fourth and second fastest qualifier Larry Cerquettini fifth. Irving took third on lap 2. The four drivers waged a fan-pleasing, two-by-two battle through lap 9 with Ostheimer and Irving on the outside and Romano and fourth place Davis on the inside. On lap 10, leader Ostlheimer spun out to the infield in front of his pursuers and rejoined the field at the back. After inheriting the lead, Romano led Davis, Irving and HPR's newest rookie Michael Lewis, 20, in the No. 59 Chevy. It was the third ACLM race for Lewis, a 2011 Italian Formula 3 driver, on a break from the European series. As the race reached lap 30 Romano held off challenging Davis by a length, with third place Irving half a straightaway back. On lap 36 a caution flag flew for a mid-pack spin-out after contact. That set the stage for a final five-lap dash for cash. Davis ran leader Romano hard entering the first two turns and as Romano drifted up the track in the second turn Davis shot into the lead. He held the point to the end and beat Romano by ten yards. Davis said, “I don't know if I could have passed Nik without the caution flag. I was resigned to finishing second unless he made a mistake. I don't think he warmup up his tires enough,” Davis added as he spoke to media members.

Lupton, winner of three of the last four mains, raced the newest RCF-built Chevy in the HPR fleet for the first time and was impressive. He came from 16th to seventh place by lap 11. He was fifth at the lap 36 caution and took fourth from Irving on lap 37. Lewis had passed Irving for P.3 on the lap 36 restart. Lupton chased down Lewis and took third on lap 38 and trailed winner Davis by only 1.594. He said the car drove a lot more loose than his older No. 56 RCF Chevy does and it took him some laps to get used to it, but he liked it a lot. Lewis finished fourth, 1.900 in back of Davis, giving HPR a P. 1-4 sweep. Last week HPR had sweeps of the top three positions in both twin-40 mains. Irving finished fifth. Rookie Taylor Miinch, 16, Kyle McGrady, HPR's Ostheimer and Austin Dyne in the HPR No. 58 followed. Toni McCray, who entered the race second in ACLM point standings only 36-points in back of Davis, was tenth at the checkers. All 15 finishers completed 40 laps.

KTST: The always exciting King Taco Super Trucks had 18 trucks present and produced a pre-July 4th fireworks type event. The 25-minute event had two lengthy yellow flags and laps were counted under caution after both yellow flags. Fastest qualifier Jeff Peterson cost himself a possible victory by missing the mandatory drivers meeting and had to start from the back row instead of the pole position. Second FQ Partridge outgunned pole sitter Connor Cantrell and led every lap despite pressure from Cantrell and third starter Todd Cameron. McNeil brushed the east turn wall on lap 14 and produced the first caution with Peterson up to P. 10. By lap 20 charging Peterson was fourth and then third on lap 22. A two-truck collision on the front straight involved Cameron and Trick Mintey III and sent both trucks through the infield before they continued. Cameron's 99 truck had back end damage and dragged its loose tailgate. He pitted and his crew removed it before he returned two laps down. Yellow laps counted through lap 28. At the lap 29 green flag, Dennis Arena and Scott Corrigan were sidelined. Arena's truck backed tail first into the first turn pit entrance road attenuator. Repairs to the attenuator ate laps as trucks circulated on the third-mile. When lap 40 arrived, still under caution, the checkered flag was shown, ending the race. Peterson's crew said all he needed was one more green flag lap and he would've won. The top ten finishers were: Partridge, Cantrell, Peterson, Matt Kimball, Ryan Fortier, Kenny Brown, rookie Ken Michaelian, grandpa Kenny Smith, Philip Lauck and Smith's grandson Andrew Porter, 17, in Ron Mongenel's No. 58. Thirteen trucks completed all 40 laps.

ECHO EQUIPMENT LEGENDS: Fifteen Legends ran a 14-minute minute race with two cautions. There were three race leaders and five lead changes. Third starter Eric Gunderson led laps 1-2 and 4-5. Fourth starter Brent Scheidemantle led lap 3 and laps 6-30. Schug came from the five slot and took command on lap 31 via an inside pass of Scheidemantle in the third and fourth corners. The three leaders exchanged top four positions throughout the race. P 2-5 at the end were: Gunderson (-0.988), Scheidemantle (-1.222), Jordan Hyland (-1,456) and Blake Dunkleberger (-1.902). Twelve drivers ran all 35 laps and two drivers were down a lap.

JAN'S TOWING BANDOS: McGhee and R. J. Stearns were the two fastest qualifiers and started from row one. Stearns paced the first seven laps. After a yellow flag for a solo spinner, McGhee passed Stearns on the inside in the fourth turn and led through lap 10. FQ Stearns retook the point on lap 11 and took the white flag with a slim lead over McGhee. A three-car tangle in turn four sent Kendall McCulty's car broadside into the wall at the right side. He was shaken, but walked to the track ambulance for a precautionary checkup. A final green, white, checkered flag finish enabled McGhee to go to the inside at turn three on lap 19 and retake the lead from Stearns. Schlick dropped Stearns to P. 3 by edging him at the finish line by 0.003. McGhee won by 0.370. Mikael Lovas and Brandon “Shorty” Weaver followed. Ricky Lewis, Ian Wesolowski, Danny Nikolai (in the borrowed HPR Bando), Blaine Perkins and Alexis Mann completed the top ten as 17 of 18 drivers finished.

Friday Bando Action: Fifteen drivers competed in the first of two 20-lap INEX mains. FQ Stearns and second FQ McGhee had the front row. McGhee led all 20-laps to edge Stearns by 0.203. Rookie Ricky Lewis finished third, with Lovas, Weaver, Perkins, Nikolai, Schlick, Troy Wesolowski, Michael Womack following. All 15 drivers finished the six-minute all-green light event and 14 completed all 20 laps.

PYP FIGURE 8: Henson won his first Irwindale F-8 main this season and led all 20-laps in a 5:58.352 all-green race at 9:30 pm. Steve Stewart, the April 9 winner, ran second all the way after starting from the pole. He trailed Henson by 6.219 seconds. Billy Ziemann passed three-time 2011 main event winner Rod Proctor on lap 11 and beat him to the checkers by 0.377. They were eight seconds behind winner Henson and were the last drivers on the lead lap. Fifth finisher Andy Schoening was the only driver with 19 laps with eight cars still racing a the conclusion.

Next weekend will be the annual NASCAR K & N Pro Series-West King Taco 200 race at [email protected]. Local S2 cars will be Saturday's support race. On Friday at 5 pm a NASCAR race car hauler parade from the Marriott Hotel on Huntington Drive in Monrovia will take place. Race car haulers will travel through local cities to the [email protected] pit stalls for overnight parking prior to Saturday's event. The public is invited to the Marriott parking lot to visit the racing teams and observe the parade start or watch along the parade route as the 18-wheelers travel to the speedway by 6 pm.