laps up to fifth in dominant Irwindale USAC run – By Bobby Gerould –
“Our car was unbelievable tonight”, said Hunt. “We’ve got some momentum going now, and our team is staying focused on that championship. We all love racing at Irwindale. The fans and the facility here are great, and the track is as good as it gets for us.”
The win was Hunt’s 21st career USAC Western Sprint Car triumph, and it extended his series points lead over Mike Murgoitio who struggled to an eleventh place result Saturday night.
Nick Green led the opening laps but Hunt closed quickly from his inside third row starting position. Aboard the Alan Kaiser owned Eagle/Bailey #4, Hunt was in second place by lap three and he overtook Green with a low maneuver in turn two on lap six. As Hunt ran away and hid, a great battle for third broke out between Shauna Hogg, Tim Barber, Swanson, and the series’ top rookie performer in 2006, Bradley Galedrige.
Swanson, running the highest groove on the ˝-mile paved oval, eventually earned third and then passed Green to take second spot on lap 15. Two laps later Hunt’s advantage was a full straightaway in traffic. At the halfway point, the running order was Hunt (by almost half a lap) over Swanson, Galedrige, Barber, and Green.
in his initial run in a sprint car at Irwindale, closed on Swanson making a
good fight for the runner-up spot. From lap 23 to the checkered flag Galedrige,
who started eleventh, pressured Swanson. However, the defending series champion
Hogg wound up sixth. Jeff Gardner, the 1998 USAC Western Sprint Car champion, was the ‘Hard Charger’ of the event scoring a seventh place finish after starting 16th. Greg Anderson was eighth followed by Rick Hendrix, and Nick Rescino Jr.
Murgoitio’s car was the subject of controversy after it was flagged for exceeding the decibel limit in both qualifying, and in his heat race. Before lengthy lobbying by the Davey Hamilton APEX Racing Team, Murgoitio and teammate Galedrige, were told to put their cars on the trailer by Irwindale Speedway officials. Ultimately a compromise was reached. After adding (more) mufflers, the cars were allowed to race in the feature.
established quick-time for the meet with a lap of 16.730 seconds. Murgoitio,
NOTES: Among those watching the action
Saturday night was well known actress Sandra Bullock. Bullock’s husband Jesse
James was racing in another division at the track Saturday. …The Irwindale
Speedway brought in a huge “Diamond Vision” style screen that played the NASCAR
Cup race from
USAC WESTERN SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Kody
Swanson, 75, KT-16.730; 2. Tony Hunt, 4, Kaiser-16.799; 3. Shauna Hogg, 5,
Hogg-16.904; 4. Tim Barber, 14, Pierson-17.001; 5. Nick Green, 114,
Green-17.015; 6. Bryan Warf, 91, Warf-17.286; 7. Jim Kaiser, 94, Kaiser-17.360;
8. Matt DeMartini, 6, Carr-17.435; 9.
FIRST HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Murgoitio, 2. Swanson, 3. McClish, 4. Green, 5. Hogg, 6. Hendrix, 7. Galedrige, 8. Kaiser, 9. Rusconi, 10. Trimble. 2:15.08
HEAT: (10 laps) 1. Geiszler, 2. Hunt, 3. Barber, 4.
FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Tony Hunt, 2. Kody Swanson, 3. Bradley Galedrige, 4. Tim
Barber, 5. Nick Green, 6. Shauna Hogg, 7. Jeff Gardner, 8. Greg Anderson, 9.
Rick Hendrix, 10. Nick Rescino Jr., 11. Mike Murgoitio, 12.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 Green, Laps 6-40 Hunt.
NEW WESTERN SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Hunt-643; 2-Murgoitio-556; 3-Swanson-511; 4-Galedrige-503; 5-Hogg-432; 6-McClish-410; 7-Rescino-319; 8-Gardner-311; 9-Green-309; 10-Barber-256.
NEXT WESTERN SPRINT
CAR RACE: September