Michael Lewis puts broom to IrwindaleBy Bobby Gerould – Baldwin Park, CA. – October 8, 2005. …For all intents and purposes it was over in turn four on lap one. Already the fastest qualifier, and a heat race winner, Michael Lewis started sixth on the grid for the USAC Western Sprint Car 40-lap feature Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway. From the green flag, Lewis powered to the high side of the ˝-mile paved oval and passed three cars in turn one. Coming off of turn two he was second, and he had the lead by the time he entered the front chute to complete the first lap! As fans shook their heads in amazement, Lewis drove off, lapping up to tenth in a non-stop race that took all of eleven minutes and 27 seconds to complete.


“That makes four in a row here”, said the happy winner from Noblesville, IN. “I can’t believe how easy they made it for me. The groove here is on the top but when the race started everyone went low.”


While the start was spectacular it only told part of the story of Lewis’ dominance. In the furious 40-laps, Lewis opened up a full straightaway lead over second running Kody Swanson. After two wins at Irwindale Speedway in his USAC Western Sprint Car championship season of 2003, and a win at Turkey Night in `04, Lewis hasn’t been beaten at the Southern California facility in his last four sprint car starts.


“The Western Speed Eagle was good but it wasn’t great”, he said. “I couldn’t get it to turn the way I wanted it to so we will try to improve that on Thanksgiving.” The next and final USAC Western Sprint Car race of 2005 is at Irwindale on Thanksgiving evening as part of the renowned Turkey Night Grand Prix.


Swanson, a high-school Senior from Kingsburg, CA, passed Bud Kaeding for the runner-up spot on lap seven. He finished as runner-up to Lewis, and extended his points lead in the 2005 series title chase. Tim Barber of San Francisco completed the podium finishers. In so doing Barber moved ahead of Mike Murgoitio into second in the series points. Kaeding wound up fourth, driving a second Murgoitio Racing entry. Jeff Gardner of Fresno was fifth at the checkered flag. The top ten was completed by Cody Veenstra, Jimmy Waters, Michael Trimble, Murgoitio, and Rick Hendrix.



Irwindale, California – Irwindale Speedway


       QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Michael Lewis, 40, Western Speed-16.529; 2. Kody

Swanson, 75, Swanson-16.599; 3. Tim Barber, 14, Pierson-16.825; 4. Bud

Kaeding, 60, Western Speed-16.831; 5. Cody Veenstra, 07, Veenstra-16.881;

6. Robert Beck, 03, Beck-16.917; 7. Jeff Gardner, 51, Gardner-16.937; 8.

Michael Trimble, 15, CTR-17.012; 9. Scott Hansen, 3, Finkenbinder-17.016;

10. Rick Hendrix, 97, Hendrix-17.031; 11. Mike Murgoitio, 80,

Murgoitio-17.051; 12. Jim Waters, 24, Ault-17.072; 13. Brian Geiszler, 44,

Geiszler-17.131; 14. Jimmy Wysong, 29, Spiers-17.136; 15. Josh Ford, 73,

Ford-17.155; 16. Tony Hunt, 94, Kaiser-17.268; 17. Shauna Hogg, 5,

Hogg-17.306; 18. Brian McClish, 04, McClish-17.444; 19. Chris Petersen, 18,



       FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Lewis, 2. Barber, 3. Ford, 4. Murgoitio, 5.

Hogg, 6. Gardner, 7. Geiszler, 8. Veenstra, 9. Hansen. 2:17.80


       SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Swanson, 2. McClish, 3. Hendrix, 4. Waters,

5. Kaeding, 6. Beck, 7. Trimble, 8. Kaiser, 9. Wysong. 2:16.44


       FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Michael Lewis, 2. Kody Swanson, 3. Tim Barber,

4. Bud Kaeding, 5. Jeff Gardner, 6. Cody Veenstra, 7. Jim Waters, 8.

Michael Trimble, 9. Mike Murgoitio, 10. Rick Hendrix, 11. Josh Ford, 12.

Brian Geiszler, 13. Shauna Hogg, 14. Bob Beck, 15. Jim Wysong, 16. Alan

Kaiser, 17. Brian McClish, 18. Scott Hansen. 11:27.10


FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Beck, Laps 2-40 Lewis.



3-Murgoitio-561; 4-Tony Hunt-501; 5-Veenstra-485; 6-Trimble-459;

7-McClish-457; 8-Hogg-367; 9-Brad Bumgarner-343; 10-Chris Petersen-304.


NEXT USAC WESTERN SPRINT CAR RACE: November 24 – Irwindale (CA) Speedway