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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Deegan prepares for X Games, NASCAR

Brian Deegan is heading to this weekend's X Games entered in three events and considering adding a fourth. He has also started pursuing a career in NASCAR.
Deegan will be competing in Rally Car Racing, the new SuperRally and Speed and Style at X Games. He has been invited to compete in Step Up. When interviewed on Wednesday, Deegan said he was undecided on Step Up.
When it comes to NASCAR, however, Deegan has no reservations. He started racing late model stock cars at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale and wants to move up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West by November.
He isn't the the first X Games veteran to delve into NASCAR territory. Ricky Carmichael started racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series a couple years ago.
Deegan said he has talked to Carmichael about the challenges NASCAR present.
"My timetable for NASCAR would be coming through the ranks, like Ricky Carmichael did," Deegan said last week from his Metal Mulisha compound  in Temecula. "I talked to him years ago. He’s like, you gotta do local races, these guys are fast and this is all they do. It’s a harsh reality starting over at something. For me, fortunately I’ve had the opportunity given to me and I want to take it."
Deegan has been in two NASCAR Super Late Model races at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. He plans on returning to the track for a few more races in August before making the jump to the West Series at Phoenix International Raceway.
"I’ll go as I feel right. If it takes two years, oh well. If it takes three, it takes three," Deegan said. "I’m going to go as I feel safe and progress. Obviously I’d like to be there right now, but that’s not how it is."

Photo: Brian Deegan will be competing in Rally Cars and Speed and Style at Summer X Games 16. He is also pursuing a career in NASCAR.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jonathon Gomez wins SRL Southwest Tour race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale

Jonathon Gomez survived a five-lap shootout and won the SRL Southwest Tour Spears Manufacturing 100 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Gomez, a driver from Twin Falls, Idaho, took the lead on lap 17 and held it for the next 81 laps. Derek Thorn took the lead on lap 99, but Gomez beat Thorn to the finish line on the last lap and won by 0.012 seconds. It was the second SRL Southwest Tour win of the season for Gomez.
“Very nerve wracking,” Gomez said after the race. “Every time we saw a yellow we were pretty nervous. Before I knew it (Thorn) was in third. I was pretty surprised.”
Thorn came in second and Greg Voigt was third. Rookie Jacob Gomes was fourth, followed by Kyle Cattanach in fifth.
Gomez was in the lead when a five-car crash in turn 2 brought out a yellow caution flag and slowed the field on lap 95. It was the second caution period in the final 15 laps of the race.
Carlos Vieira, Joe Farre and Rex Lockwood crashed on lap 85, bunching up the field with 15 laps to go in the race. Gomez was in the lead, followed by Ryan Foster in second and Vidovich in third. Rookie Jacob Gomes was in fourth and Justin Westmoreland was in fifth when the race resumed on lap 88.
Thorn, a driver from Bakersfield, had worked his way to the front of the pack after falling back midway through the race. He set fast time in qualifying. Vieira, a driver from Livingston, the ninth fastest qualifier, started the race on the pole on the invert.
Auggie Vidovich of Lakeside took the lead on the first lap of the race. He stayed out front for the first 10 laps of the race. Foster, from Redding, took over the lead on lap 11 and held it for six laps before Gomez passed him.
Gomez, a regular on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, is traveling between Portland, Ore., and Irwindale for races over the weekend. The West Series is racing at Portland International Raceway on Sunday.
Gomez is third in the West Series standings with two top-five finishes in six races. He has also won the SRL Southwest Tour race at Stockton 99 Speedway on June 12 and entered the race at Irwindale in third place in the Southwest Tour standings.
Jim Pettit II, the leader in the SRL Southwest Tour standings, finished 13th. Vidovich, who won the West Series race at Irwindale on July 3, finished 16th.
Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga won his eighth straight NASCAR Super Trucks race of the season. He is undefeated in the Super Trucks at Irwindale in 2010. Pat Mintey Jr. of Quartz Hill was second and Jeff Peterson of Riverside was third.
Partridge increased his lead in the Super Trucks standings at the track to 56 points over Todd Cameron of Monrovia. Cameron, who has been the runner-up to Partridge four times, took a big hit in the standings. He finished 17th. Matt Kimball of Mission Viejo, the third-place driver in the Super Truck standings, had a bad night too. He finished 18th in the 21-truck field.
Mintey, a two-time champion in the Super Trucks at Irwindale, had his best finish of the season.
Brent Scheidelmantle of Alta Loma won the Legend Cars race. It was his third win of the season and snapped Darren Amidon’s four-race winning streak.
Amidon, a driver from Santee, finished second, followed by Chad Schug of Oak Hills in third.
Scheidelmantle increased his lead in the Legend Cars standings at the track to 16 points over Schug.
Dylan Lupton of Wilton won the S2 stock car race, his first of the season. Roman Lugadi of Las Vegas was second, followed by Joe Anderson of Valencia in third.
Lupton is two points behind Lugadi for the lead in the S2 stock car standings at Irwindale.

Photo: Derek Thorn finished second in the SRL Southwest Tour race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night. He was 0.012 seconds behind race winner Jonathon Gomez.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Martinez Tackling Steep Learning Curve | NASCAR Home Tracks

Martinez Tackling Steep Learning Curve | NASCAR Home Tracks

Luis Martinez Jr. has been asked to take the steering wheel of one of the more successful teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. The rookie driver from Long Beach is driving the No. 6 Sunrise Ford for Bob Bruncati, the same team that won the West Series championship with Jason Bowles as its driver in 2009.
Martinez said his rookie season has had its share of ups and downs. He is looking forward to the second half of the season, especially the road courses.
The next race on the West Series schedule is at Portland International Raceway, one of two road courses that remain on the West Series schedule.

Photo: Luis Martinez Jr. is the leader in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after six races.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Johnson returns to Victory Lane in NASCAR Super Late Models at Irwindale

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Justin Johnson of Las Vegas won the NASCAR Super Late Model race and extended his lead in the Super Late Model standings at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
It was Johnson’s sixth win of the season and his fifth in the past six Super Late Model races at the track. He has a 34-point lead over his Vision Aviation Racing teammate Dusty Davis after 12 races.
“They remind me every week. We’re just out for points right now,” Johnson said.
Johnson started from the pole and led all 50 laps of the Super Late Model race. Travis Thirkettle of Fillmore was second. Randel King of Fullerton was third.
Davis finished sixth. It was the first time he finished outside the top five since the second race of the season.
Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga was fourth and Luis Martinez Jr. of Long Beach, a rookie in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, was fifth. Partridge has won all seven of the NASCAR Super Trucks races at Irwindale this season.
Johnson raced in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Toyota Speedway last weekend. The Super Late Models have a break for the next few weeks. The next time they are scheduled to race is July 31.
“Long couple weeks,” Johnson said. “Glad we have a break now.”
Joey Licata Jr. of Van Nuys won the ASA Trucks race. Mike Herda of Las Vegas was second, followed by Jimmy Putman of Corona in third.
Joe Anderson of Valencia won the S2 stock car race, his second win of the season.
Nick Johnston of Mission Viejo, making his second start in the S2 stock cars, was second. Roman Lagudi of Las Vegas was third.
Lagudi, the leader in the S2 stock car standings, posted his fourth podium finish in eight races. He has a four-point lead over Dylan Lupton of Wilton.
Gerrit Cromsigt of Saugus won the NASCAR Super Stocks race, his third in a row. Rich DeLong III of Santa Clarita was second, followed by Eric Sunness of Chatsworth in third.
DeLong leads the Super Stocks standings. He has a 48-point lead over Bryan Harrell of Riverside after nine races.
Billy Ziemann of Bloomington won the Figure 8s race. Steve Stewart of Long Beach was second and Andy Schoening of Corona was third.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Keith Rocco tops NASCAR Hunter Index for June


The Hunter Index for June has Keith Rocco at the top of the rankings for the drivers in the NASCAR development series across the nation, Canada and Mexico.
Rocco, a NASCAR modified driver from Connecticut, has 16 wins in 28 starts at Thompson International Speedway, Stafford Motor Speedway and Waterford Speedbowl. In June, he won six races in 10 starts.
He received five of the six first-place votes. The other first place vote went to Andrew Ranger.
Again, I was the lone dissenter in the Hunter Index voting for the top driver. Ranger won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
On the same day as the Lime Rock Park race, Ranger flew to Quebec, Canada, and finished ninth in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race.
Eric Holmes, the leader in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West standings, came in fifth in my rankings. Auggie Vidovich, the winner of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, was eighth in my rankings.
Here is a look at how I ranked the top 15:

1.    Andrew Ranger
2.    Keith Rocco
3.    Bobby Santos
4.    Ryan Truex
5.    Eric Holmes
6.    DJ Kennington
7.    Brett Moffitt
8.    Auggie Vidovich
9.    Craig Preble
10.   Justin A Johnson
11.   Josh Smith
12.   JR Fitzpatrick
13.   Blake Koch
14.   Dale Quarterley
15.   Ted Christopher

For a look at the Hunter Index, go to NASCAR HomeTracks.com.

Andrew Ranger Wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut

Andrew Ranger Wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut

It's hard to argue there's been a hotter NASCAR driver than Andrew Ranger.
He won a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma three weeks ago.
He followed with a win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
From Lime Rock Park, he flew to Canada for a NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at Autodrome St. Eustache in Quebec, where he finished ninth.
It wasn't quite a perfect run for Ranger, but two wins and three top 10s are pretty impressive.
Go to the K&N website for more on Ranger's win at Lime Rock Park.

Photo: Andrew Ranger won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Saturday. (Getty Images)

Auggie Vidovich Wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Race at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale

Auggie Vidovich Wins NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Race at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale

Going up against the top drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, Auggie Vidovich won the King Taco 200 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
He held off challenges from West Series regulars Blake Koch and Greg Pursley to win the first West Series race of his career.
Pursley won the pole and led the first 42 laps of the race. But he got a flat tire and hit the backstretch wall on lap 43.
Koch led 11 laps, but was passed by Vidovich on lap 59 and led the rest of the way.
Go to the K&N website for more on the West Series race from Toyota Speedway.

Photo: Auggie Vidovich won the first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race of his career at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Auggie Vidovich wins first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race of his career

Auggie Vidovich won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Toyota Speedway on Saturday night as one of his contenders fell off the pace and stalled with two laps to go.
Vidovich won the first West Series race of his career. It was his first win in three West Series starts this year.
Brennan Newberry of Bakersfield was running in second place when his car slowed in the waning laps of the King Taco 200. He stalled in turn 2 with two laps to go. Blake Koch passed him for second place and Brett Thompson benefited with a third-place showing, matching his best finish at Irwindale in 14 West Series starts.
“The car was all right,” Vidovich said. “Blake, I thought he was the one who was going to get me. I was driving my heart out. Then Newberry got in position and I didn’t see much out of him, so then I just rode. When he stalled, I had a big enough lead. It really didn’t matter I don’t think.”
For Blake, it was his third top-five finish and his fourth top-10 finish in six West Series races this year.
“In the first half of the race, I was cool right there in fifth just holding my own,” Koch said. “We had a pretty good car on the bottom. Toward the end, we got a couple restarts with Auggie. I saw earlier that I could catch him and he had to go to the bottom. I knew if I could clear him once and stick him on the bottom, it would be tough for him to get back by me. I did it once, he got back behind me. We were racing good and clean. Auggie had a real good car.”
Thompson posted his second top-10 finish in three West Series races this year.
“We’re happy with a third place,” Thompson said. “We’ve had such a rough season to begin with. To bring it home in the top three, we’re pretty proud of that.”
Greg Pursley won the pole and led the first 42 laps of the race. He hit the backstretch wall on lap 43 and had to pull into the pits. He finished 29th.
Eric Holmes, who entered the Irwindale race at the leader in the West Series standings, finished 10th.
The next NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race is at Portland International Raceway in Oregon on July 18.
In the NASCAR Late Model race at Irwindale, R.J. Johnson, a driver from  Canyon Country, won his fifth race of the season and closed in on the lead in the Late Model standings at the track.
Johnson is two points behind Nick Joanides of Woodland Hills, the reigning Late Model champion at Irwindale. Joanides finished second. Derek Thorn was third.

Photo: NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver Auggie Vidovich won the King Taco 200 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.

Pursley in search of first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West win at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale


After flat tires, oil leaks and a couple of crashes that destroyed two of his team’s cars, Greg Pursley is going to throw caution to the wind.
His Gene Price Motorsports team has a brand-new car for tonight's NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. The decision to break out a new car is due in part because of what happened in the race at Iowa Speedway in May.
“The car that we hit the wall with in Iowa was the car that we usually race at Phoenix and at Irwindale and stuff,” the 42-year-old Pursley said. “It pretty much destroyed that car, one of them we’ve been running at all the short tracks. We decided after everything that’s gone on, we’d go ahead and pull it out for the Irwindale race and see what we can do with it.”
Pursley has put together some nice finishes in the West Series. He has three top 10s in five races. But Pursley is not one to sugar-coat things.
“We’ve been absolutely terrible,” Pursley said. “No luck whatsoever.”
He said he should have won the West Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. He led for 27 laps and was in the lead on lap 92 of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 100, but an oil leak dropped him to third.
He got a flat tire in the race at Douglas County Speedway in Roseburg, Ore., and went from fourth to sixth in the final laps.
Those were the races he finished. He’s been in two races that ended in crashes. The crash in Iowa, in addition to destroying his race car, gave Pursley a concussion.
“He didn’t remember anything for four days,” said Gene Price, the owner of the team. “He was pretty shaken up.”
Pursley was hit by Jim Inglebright in the West Series race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma two weeks ago. That crash put his team’s road course car out of commission.
“I don’t know where (Inglebright) thought he was going to go,” Price said. “Unfortunately that’s what the fans want to see. They want to see wrecks. It’s unfortunate. I guess it makes for good TV and all that, but it sure hits you in the pocketbook, especially at our level.”
Down two race cars, Gene Price Motorsports has been busy putting together some new cars for Pursley. After the Sonoma race, Pursley dropped from third to seventh place in the West Series standings. He’s not out of contention for the West Series championship, but he took a big hit in the standings. He is 139 points behind leader Eric Holmes.
Being that far back in the standings, Pursley and his team have a different focus heading to Irwindale.
“We’re going loaded to win,” Pursley said. “We have nothing else to lose at this point. We’re kind of back in points a little bit, so we’re going out to win races and not worry about points.”
Pursley has won his share of races at Irwindale. He won a NASCAR Super Late Model race during the Toyota All-Star Showdown in 2007. He won two races in the NASCAR Elite Division, Southwest Tour at Irwindale. But he has yet to win a West Series race at Irwindale.
“It’s very strange that way,” Pursley said. “These cars are a whole lot different than any other cars. They’re a lot heavier and there’s just a totally different driving style for these cars compared to anything else.”
When Pursley won the NASCAR Whelen All American Series national championship while racing primarily at Irwindale in 2004, he drove a Super Late Model car with the No. 13 on it.
The new car his team built for the West Series race at Irwindale is chassis No. 13.
“Hopefully 13 will work for us,” Price said.
Price has his share of success stories at Irwindale too. His son, Mike Price, won the NASCAR Super Stocks championship at Irwindale in 1999, in a car built by his dad. Gene Price and his son worked their way through the ranks at Irwindale, eventually racing in the Super Late Model division at the track. Without a doubt, Irwindale has been kind to Pursley and Price.
“The national championship, that’s the best thing for me that I’ve done in my career,” Pursley said. “In 2007, when we won the Toyota All-Star Showdown, we’ve won a lot of races at that track and we’ve won a lot of big races at the track. Ever since that place has opened, I fell in love with it. It fitted my driving style. Hopefully we can get a win in a West car. We’ve pretty much won in everything else there.”
After the West Series race at Irwindale, Pursley and Gene Price Motorsports are headed back to Iowa Speedway for a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on July 11.
The team bought two cars from Kevin Harvick Inc., both driven by four-time Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr., and plan to make their debut at the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway.
“I’m really excited,” Pursley said. “We tested the trucks at Pike’s Peak a few weeks ago. Tested well.”
It is the first of four Truck Series races Pursley plans to enter. The team is also planning on going to the Truck Series races at Chicagoland, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
“We tested at Pike’s Peak last month,” Price said. “We were fast. It’s the next level. We’re going to see what it’s like.”

Photo: NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver Greg Pursley has won a national championship, a Toyota All-Star Showdown race and two NASCAR Elite Division Southwest Tour races at Irwindale. He has yet to win a West Series race at Irwindale though.

Friday, July 2, 2010

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West visits Toyota Speedway at Irwindale

NASCAR K&N Pro Series West visits Toyota Speedway at Irwindale

Brandon Davis of Huntington Beach will be making his second start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West for Bill McAnally Racing in the King Taco 200 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.
Davis is coming off an impressive third-place finish in the West Series race at Infineon Raceway two weeks ago. The former SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge GT champion will be making his first start on a NASCAR short track. Toyota Speedway is a half-mile oval.
Davis is one of four drivers from Bill McAnally Racing entered in the West Series race at Irwindale. Eric Holmes, the leader in the West Series standings, Paulie Harraka, the reigning West Series rookie of the year, and Moses Smith are entered in the race for Bill McAnally Racing.

Photo: Jason Bowles (31) leads a pack of NASCAR K&N Pro Series West cars through Infineon Raceway in Sonoma on June 19. The West Series is visiting Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night.