IRWINDALE, Calif. – Bobby Santos III set the fastest qualifying time, won his heat and the 40-lap King of the Wing sprint car feature Saturday on the Irwindale Speedway half-mile in front of more than 3,000 spectators.
It was the fourth appearance of the traveling winged 410 sprint car circuit in Irwindale. Santos won $3,000 from the $22,000 purse. He also won the 2008 Turkey Night Grand Prix at the track.
Santos, driving the No. 22a 2016 Beast he drove to second place at Irwindale last year, started eighth in an 18-car field and was the third race leader. Pole starter Audra Sasselli led six laps in her Beast chassis. Second fastest qualifier Davey Hamilton Jr. started seventh and challenged early, but exited on lap three with a mechanical problem.
Fifth starter Eric Humphries, the 2017 King of the Wing Irwindale feature winner, took the lead on lap seven and dueled closely with Santos and Canadian Ron Larson from laps 11-18. Larson’s top wing broke and tilted upward, causing him to exit.
Santos tried to pass Humphries for 10 laps and trailed by 30-yards with ten laps remaining. Then Humphries slowed a bit with tire wear. Santos closed quickly and swept past him on lap 36. Santos won by 2.221 seconds over Humprhies. Canadian Aaron Willson finished third, 6.219 seconds back. Robert Beck, the final lead lap driver, trailed by 15-seconds. Ten of 18 starters finished.
The 20-car field for time trials came from seven states and three from Canada. The final stop of the series southwest tour was Sunday evening at the half-mile Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, Calif.
In other action, the first 100-lap Enduro National at Irwindale offered a $15,000 purse for four-cylinder sedan drivers. A new seven-turn course used the half and third-miles and infield. A record $15,000 purse attracted 27 entrants.
Fastest qualifier and race winner Daniel Hudson drove an Acura Integra to the $2,500 victory. He started 15th and led the final 93 laps. He lapped the field before slowing a bit on lap 95 and still won by 31 seconds Twenty-one of the 27 starters finished the all-green light race in 64 minutes.
Bobby Santos III, Eric Humprhries, Aaron Willson, Robert Beck, Jason Conn, Audra Sasselli, Kyle Bergener, Austin Carter, Jimmy Waters, Alan Beck, Justin Kawabata, Anthony Quintana, Ron Larson, Aaron McPeak, Monty Bergener, Mel Andrus, Davey Hamilton Jr., Jeff Bergener.