CORONA, California – This weekend at Irwindale Speedway fans of the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by MAVTV can watch two exciting races in one as the championship season moves into the homestretch.
The SpillVak Triple Crown II presented by E3 Spark Plugs at 7 p.m. PDT Saturday (August 18) is the seventh of 10 races that determine the Hoosier Tire West point standings. It’s also, as the name indicates, the second round of the three-race added-money series presented by SpillVak and its “One Tough Sucker” line of absorbents.
The ninth Lucas Oil Modified race at the track will be the feature attraction on a program that also includes the Race for Hope – twin main events for the track’s Late Model class to benefit the nearby City of Hope medical center.
The Triple Crown competition began June 30 at Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield, California, and will conclude November 11 at The Bull Ring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and when it’s over the five drivers with the most points in those races will share $2,250 in bonus money, with $1,000 of that going to the top scorer.
The leader after round one is Jason Irwin, a 20-year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who dominated the race on Kern County’s half-mile oval while beating Dylan Cappello, Justin Johnson, Scott Winters and Taylor Miinch to the finish line.
Irwin easily could repeat that performance on Irwindale’s fast half-mile, where he has two thirds, two fourths, a seventh and paced qualifying once in five tries. But chances are he’ll again have to beat Cappello, Johnson, Winters and Miinch, who also have enjoyed success at the track.
Cappello got his first series win here in 2014 and went on to claim the series title as a rookie. Johnson, who leads this year’s Downforce Racing Products Rookie of the year standings, won the California state and Irwindale track championship in a Super Late Model in 2010. Winters has a pair of top five finishes. And Miinch won this race a year ago, over Ryan Partridge, Winters, Austin Barnes and Jim Mardis, en route to the series title.
Miinch, who won the first four races of the season, has 432 points and a 28-point lead over Johnson. Cappello is third with 368, Irwin fourth with 363, and rookies Cody Kay and Ryan Schartau fifth and sixth with 340 and 320, respectively.
Partridge, a many-time track champion and current leader of the Irwindale Race Truck class, has finished second the past two years. He and Schartau, a 16-year-old from Chino, California, who is second in Irwindale’s Late Model standings, should be strong as well.
Spectator gates will open at 4 p.m. and an on-track autograph session will precede the racing program that begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children 6 through 12 and may be purchased on the track’s website, irwindalespeedway.com .
-Lucas Oil Modified Press Release and Photo