Saturday, May 1, 2010
RJ Johnson wins first NASCAR Late Model race of his career at Irwindale
R.J. Johnson of Canyon Country won the first NASCAR Late Model race of his career at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night before 2,015. It was Johnson’s fourth career start in the Late Models at the track.
“I didn’t expect to get it this quick,” said Johnson, who moved up after winning the NASCAR Super Trucks championship at Irwindale last year.
Mike Johnson of Covina was second, followed by Christian Copley of Santa Ynez in third. It was Copley’s best finish in the Late Model division at Irwindale.
R.J. Johnson was the third different winner in three Late Model races at the track. Travis Irving of Norco won the opening night race. Nick Joanides of Woodland Hills, the reigning Late Model champion at Irwindale, won the second race of the season.
Joanides, who also won the NASCAR Super Late Model championship at the track in 2009, said before the race that he was not going to continue in the Super Late Model division and focus on the Late Models. The motor on his Super Late Model car broke in last weekend’s races.
Joanides finished fourth in the Late Model race. Irving was fifth.
R.J. Johnson took over the leads in the Late Model standings. He has a six-point lead over Irving after three races.
Ryan Partridge and Rancho Cucamonga made it three wins in a row in the NASCAR Super Trucks. Rookie Ken Maler Jr. of Acton had a career-best runner-up finish and Todd Cameron of Monrovia posted his third straight top-three finish, coming in third.
Partridge is also racing in the NASCAR Super Late Models and is in sixth place in the Super Late Model standings at the track. He is coming off a season-best second-place finish in the Super Late Models last week.
Maler was making his fourth career start in the Super Trucks division. It was his first top-five finish of the season. He was sixth in the opening night Super Trucks race and followed with a seventh-place finish.
Eric Sunness of Chatsworth won the NASCAR Super Stocks race and snapped the three-race winning streak of Rich DeLong III.
DeLong, a driver from Santa Clarita, finished second, followed by Gary Frankovich of Barstow in third.
DeLong won the first three races of the Super Stocks season. He has three wins and one runner-up in four races and leads the Super Stocks standings.
Sunness missed the first race of the Super Stocks season, but has not finished worse than third in the past three races.
Mike Colato Jr. of Chatsworth won the NASCAR Classic Stocks race, his first of the season. Lawndale’s Harry Michaelian finished second and Ken Michaelian was third.
Colato snapped Ken Michaelian’s three-race winning streak to start the season.