For the second race, McCray asked her Rip Michaels-led crew to further loosen up the back.
“They actually freed it up a little bit more for me because I was still tight on entry and right in the middle of the corner,” McCray said. “Rip (Michaels) did a little adjustment for me. The car was really good. We were on rails. The car has been good every week. We’ve had some bad starting positions, but I’m getting better at racing. I want the championship and I’m going to fight Ryan (Partridge) hard for it.”
Partridge started on the outside of the front row next to McGhee and took the lead on the first lap. McCray was up to second by the second lap and she and Partridge raced side-by-side for much of the next 17 laps. Partridge’s car was better than it had been in the first race when he finished fourth, but he couldn’t hold off McCray.
McCray went inside in turn four to beat Partridge to the lead by a nose on the 17th lap. She was able to pull up to the outside in front of Partridge exiting turn two on the 19th and was in control to the checkered flag.
“The first race, we tried some different stuff on the car,” Partridge said. “It’s a very competitive series and you’ve always got to be chasing and trying to find something new, something better. We changed our stuff back for the second race.”
Partridge understands he’ll be in a tough championship battle with McCray a perhaps others, in the final five Lucas Oil Twins events.
“Absolutely,” Partridge said. “I think one of the advantages we have with my team is consistency and being able to get our stuff tuned up real fast. This is the point in the season when that has a little less value because people are starting to figure their stuff out. People are getting comfortable with their cars, finding out what it needs, so I think we’re seeing a whole different way of racing. I feel the more and more races everybody gets under their belt, the less of an advantage we have.”
Huddleston’s second place was his best in the series and third tied his previous best.
“We had a great night,” the 18-year-old said. “We qualified on pole and that put us in a good starting position (pole) for the first race. We had a little trouble with the 71 car (McGhee), but we were able to bounce back and still finish second. In the second race, the start got us and we dropped back a little and worked our way back to third. All in all, the greatest night I’ve had so far.”
Joey Licata Jr. drove to his first victory of 2014 in the Irwindale Race Trucks 40-lap feature and Zack Green took his fifth victory of the season in six starts in the 30-lap Super Stocks. Brent Scheidemantle won the 35-lap Legend Cars feature on the one-third mile inner track.