Corona, CA – Saturday night the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart will make its fifth visit to the Irwindale (California) Events Center for the fifth race of its 10th Anniversary season with the reigning series champion and 2014 race winner in fifth place in the point standings.
That’s a lot of fives. But chances are unless they presage a victory for Dave Arce (5) or Kyle Tellstrom (5K) or Blaine Perkins (55) the numbers won’t have anything to do with the race except give the numerologists in the audience something to discuss.
The numbers that matter are 75, the number of laps the 30 starters will run in the June 27 BILSTEIN Shocks Super Fast 75 presented by Five Star RaceCar Bodies; $1,500, which will be the amount the winner of the event on the lightning-fast half-mile oval will take home; and 23, which represents the margin series leader Scott Winters has over fifth-place Dylan Cappello in the Hoosier Tire West point standings.
Winters, who got his second win of the season June 6 at Madera, California, finished 15th at Irwindale last season, when he was busy adjusting to the technical aspects of the series. He and the Ferrari-Kramer Racing team appear to have it figured out this year, however, and so far have been the prime beneficiary of a revised scoring system with a five-point differential between first- and second-place finishes.
That difference accounts for most of Winters’s 12-point lead over Taylor Miinch of El Cajon, California, who has finished third twice and seventh or better in all four outings. Two-time Irwindale winner Austin Barnes is third in the points, 19 behind Winters; two-time series champion Jim Mardis is fourth, 22 behind; and Cappello fifth as he returns to the site of his leap to prominence a year ago.
Cappello, who has been dubbed “The Prince of Peoria (Arizona)” by series announcer Mike Flanders, bested past series champions Chris Gerchman and Jason Patison in a terrific race-long, three-car battle last August. That gave the Northern Arizona University student his first Lucas Oil win and a points lead he never relinquished.
Gerchman, the 2013 champion and all-time wins leader, has taken a hiatus from the series and Patison has struggled badly this season. However, Patison has had success at Irwindale, including a win in the 2013 Lucas Oil Modified main event, and debuted a new Port City chassis at Madera, so seeing him in contention this weekend wouldn’t be a surprise.
Several others who frequently have raced at Irwindale and will be in action Saturday include 2014 Super Late Model champion Linny White, 2005 Super Stock champion Jimmy Sloan, Travis Irving, Jack Madrid, Matthew Hicks, Jerry Toporek and Perkins.
The BILSTEIN Shocks Super Fast 75 will wrap up a busy race day that includes the MAVTV 500 Verizon Indy Car race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana at 1:30 p.m.
Irwindale admission is $10 in advance (www.irwindaleeventcenter.com) or $15 at the gate for adults and $5 for children 6-12. Spectator gates will open at 4 p.m. and the first race of the night, for Bandoleros, is scheduled for 5 p.m. The Irwindale Race Trucks, Legends Cars and SPEARS Southwest Tour S2 cars also are on the schedule in addition to a Jet Dragster exhibition and a combination trade show and car show at 4 p.m.
KTLA5 news reporter Christina Pascucci is the event’s Grand Marshal.
The Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart is supported by a potent marketing concept known as “Team Lucas” whose members include General Tire, GEICO, E3 Spark Plugs, Optima Batteries, Carlyle Tools, Kawasaki, AutoMeter, iON Cameras, Speedco Truck Lube and Tire, BILSTEIN Shocks, LoanMart and SuperClean.
Additional sponsorship is provided by Lucas Oil Products, Protect the Harvest, MAVTV Motorsports Network, Hoosier Tire West, Sunoco Race Fuels, K&N Filters, Aero Racing Wheels, ASI Racewear, Bosch, Five Star Race Car Bodies, Frank’s Radios, Racing Plus and DJ Safety.
Detailed information on the series is available at www.LucasOilModifieds.com.
LOM PR – Speed51.com photo