HESSING CHASES HOT BURNS IN IRWINDALE.Byline: Tim Haddock
After reeling off five victories in a row in the NASCAR NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), organization that sanctions American stock-car races, est. 1948. It held its first race in Daytona Beach, Fla. Late Model division at Irwindale Speedway Irwindale Speedway is a motorsports facility located in Irwindale, California. It features banked, paved 1/2 and 1/3 mile oval tracks. It is mainly used for USAC sprint car and regional NASCAR races. , Todd Burns Todd Edward Burns (Born July 6, 1963) in Maywood, California, is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher.
Burns began his career with the Oakland Athletics (1988-1991) after the A's drafted him in the 7th round of the 1984 MLB amateur draft. of Riverside seems unbeatable.
But Dave Hessing of Canyon Country, the defending class champion, says he's able to close the margin.
``Todd's hard to beat, no matter what he's got,'' Hessing said. ``When I race side-by-side with Todd, I know he's all that. Sometimes I wish he wasn't in the division. But when we beat him, we know we've done our job.''
Hessing turned in a fourth-place finish, his third top-five of the season, in last Saturday night's race. Hessing's car has shown it can contend with the top of the division, but he hasn't been able to win this year. With the streak Burns has put together, the other drivers in the class can share in Hessing's challenges.
``The car's been handling real good, tight in, loose off the corner,'' Hessing said. ``The leaders never got away from us. The car was good. I am happy with the race.''
With five wins in seven races, Burns has been tough to beat. He finished second in the second race of the season. And if not for a disappointing showing in the season opener, Burns might very well be running away with the championship.
But the top-five drivers are all in the hunt for the championship, all within 38 points of Burns.
Hessing said he hopes to be at least this close to Burns in points when the season starts winding down.
``If you can be within one race of the leader with about four or five races to go, that's where you want to be,'' Hessing said.
Guy Tripp of Saugus was 13th in the Late Model race.
In other action at Irwindale Speedway, Ben Walker of Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, , a regular in the NASCAR Super Late Model class, finished 20th in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series King Taco 150. David Gilliland David Gilliland (born on April 1, 1976 in Riverside, California) is a NASCAR driver. He currently drives the #38 M&M's Ford for Robert Yates in Nextel Cup Series and the #25 FreeCreditReport.com in the Busch Series for Team Rensi. of Riverside won the Southwest Series race. Bob Lyon Bob Lyon, an American politician, is a former Kansas State Senator from the city of Winchester. A civil engineer, Lyon is a graduate of the University of Virginia and George Washington University. of Agua Dulce was 19th.
Chris Houwen of Canyon Country was 18th in the NASCAR Super Stock feature race won by Lee Ladd of Westlake Village. It was Ladd's sixth Super Stock win in a row. He has won every race in his class this year.
NASCAR Super Late Models, Mini Stocks, Speed Trucks, Legend Cars and Super TT Motorcycles will race at Irwindale Speedway tonight starting at 6 p.m.
--Indy Racing League: Valencia's Bryan Herta made his Indy Racing League The Indy Racing League, better known as IRL, is the sanctioning body of a predominantly American based open-wheel racing series.
The League consists of two series, the premiere IndyCar Series debut by turning in a top-five finish at Texas Motor Speedway Texas Motor Speedway is a superspeedway located in the northernmost portion of the U.S. city of Fort Worth, Texas -- the portion located in Denton County, Texas. The track layout is very similar to Atlanta Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway (formerly Charlotte Motor .
Herta, a Hart High of Newhall graduate, finished fifth in his Andretti Green Racing Andretti Green Racing is an auto racing team that competes in the IRL IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series. Early years in CART
Founded in 1993 by Barry Green and Gerry Forsythe as Forsythe Green Racing Honda in last Saturday night's Bombardier 500.
He could have finished higher if not for a late-race collision between Scott Sharp and Felipe Giaffone.
``Our run was good (Saturday),'' said Herta, who is filling in for injured Andretti Green Racing driver Dario Franchitti. ``I was the fifth happiest guy. The side-by-side racing is exciting to drive and I saw one of the best racing I've seen and some of the stupidest moves I've seen. I'm thankful to the Achipelago/Motorola team for the opportunity and I'm glad I was able to get a good finish for them.''
Herta, who was slated to race for Andretti Green Racing in Sunday's IRL 1. (jargon, chat) IRL - In real life. Generally synonymous with f2f.
2. (language, robotics) IRL - Industrial Robot Language. event at Pikes Peak International Raceway Pikes Peak International Raceway was a one mile oval Auto Racing track located in Fountain, Colorado, south of Colorado Springs and north of Pueblo. Capacity: 42,000 Grandstand seats, 20,000 Infield capacity. , will instead drive for PK Racing in the CART Champ Car Series Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca Raceway on Sunday.
Herta won two races and three pole positions at the Monterey road course.
--NASCAR Busch Series: An early incident with driver Brian Vickers knocked Ron Hornaday Jr. out of contention in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway in Tennessee.
Instead of dwelling on last Saturday's misfortunes, Hornaday, a former Saugus Speedway champion from Palmdale, has decided to focus his attention on the next race, today at Kentucky Speedway.
And for good reason.
His No. 2 Richard Childress Racing RCR Enterprises, LLC, doing business as Richard Childress Racing, is a NASCAR team fielding Chevrolets for Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, and Scott Wimmer in the NEXTEL Cup Series as well as the #2 BB&T Chevy for Clint Bowyer, the #21 AutoZone Chevy for Harvick team has had considerable success at Kentucky Speedway. With Kevin Harvick at the wheel, the AC Delco team drove the car to victory in the inaugural race there in 2001.
Hornaday has a good feel for Kentucky as well.
``I really like this track,'' said Hornaday, who is fourth in points in the NASCAR Busch Series. ``But even though it looks similar to some of the other tracks we go to, it is completely different. It is very fast and really smooth. If your car is hooked up, then you can pass just about anywhere. The key is to get the car to handle all the way through the corners, because you are in them for a long time. I really think we have a great shot at winning in the AC Delco Chevrolet.''
(1) THIS WEEKENDS RACES
(2) IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY STANDINGS