Irving Ends Irwindale Drought


IRWINDALE, Calif. — Travis Irving won his first feature since 2011 and Ryan Partridge took his third of the season in the Lucas Oil Late Model Twins at Irwindale Speedway on Saturday night before 3,823 spectators.

Irving broke Partridge’s three-race winning streak in the Lucas Oil Late Models in the second feature. The 28-year-old led all 30 laps on the half-mile track to finish 1.390 seconds in front of runner-up Cole Custer. Partridge finished third.

In the Twins opener, Partridge passed Andrew Porter by going inside exiting turn four on the 22nd lap and went on to win by 1.449 seconds over Porter. Toni McCray was third.

Irving received a phone call from car owner Joe Nava on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. to invite him to drive the car and tested for three hours Thursday at Irwindale, running 35 laps. Irving replaced Andrew Myers, who had non-racing obligations to fulfill and couldn’t race Saturday

“It was just a fantastic feeling to come out here and sit in his (Myers’) seat and race for Joe, who we know through Andrew and has become a really good friend of ours,” Irving said. “As it stands now, Joe has given me a great opportunity and promised me a seat if we can come up with something (sponsorship). Because of what we’ve done tonight, his first win in a long time, he wants to come out here and do it again. I’d be more than honored not to race a race car, but to drive for Joe.

“I haven’t done amazing results out here because I’ve been on my own. It (win) just shows that with a little bit of support from other people around what can really be done. The car was a testament to the crew. If you trust the guys around you, they will get you to the line and that’s what I had to do. I had to take my hands off the wrenches and trust in the guys Joe put in place.”

Custer was fourth in the Twins opener and raced side-by-side with Partridge for most of the second feature. The 16-year-old passed Partridge to take second on the eighth lap, dropped to third by a few feet to Partridge on the 26th lap and regained second for the final four.

“We’re going in the right direction, but we’re not there yet,” Custer said. “Second is not bad.”

Partridge had a door-to-door battle with Porter in the first Lucas Oil Twins.

“That was a real close race, too,” Partridge said. “Our car was a little better through the center and exit than Andrew. We just kind of had to bide our time. This was the best race I’ve seen Andrew drive so far. I think he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with later on in the season. He made a mistake, which is how we got by him.”

Partridge started third in the second Twins and dived to the inside of Turn One on the opening lap. He passed outside front-row starter Mike Johnson and took a shot at overtaking Irving on the outside exiting Turn Two.

“We got into a position where we were about to overtake Travis in Turns One and Two and my spotter called me when we were sliding up the racetrack and then, last minute, ‘He’s there,’ so I backed off and it really ruined my rhythm. I actually backed up so far that Cole was able to get a fender on me. Once Cole got a fender on me, we were side by side for about five laps and he was able to get ahead of us.”

In other races, Zach Green won the 30-lap truck and 30-lap Super Stock features, Trevor Huddleston took the 30-lap Spears S2 stock car touring series feature, Brent Scheidedemantle was the victor in the 35-lap Legend feature and Ryan Vargas took the 20-lap Bandolero feature.