On Monday night, Irwindale Speedway hosted an NEO Racing News double header event as both the Legends League and the SK Shootout Series would hit the track for their Week #3 events. The Legends would run the first event of the evening on the inner configuration before the SK Modifieds competed on the outer configuration of the track.
First up, the Legends would run their 60-lap event, and in qualifying it was Ty Majeski who picked up his 26th career pole. At the start of the feature, Majeski would jump out into the lead, while Cody Kelley who also started on the front row would get shuffled back on the outside. Kevin Myers, Bill Martin, and Parker Traves would all move up the inside, sliding Kelley back to the 5th spot before he was able to get back in line, before the first caution of the race would come out just a couple laps into the race.
Out front Majeski looked to have things in control, while the rest of the top five would shuffle around all race long. After a second caution on lap 10, Majeski brought the field around for a lap 16 restart and quickly began to pull away out front. Once again, the outside lane on the restart make it tough for the cars out front, as Martin would fall back to the 6th position after starting in 2nd. Myers and Traves would move up into the top three, until lap 23 where Kelley would pick off both cars on the same lap to move back up into the second spot. Matt Rolfe had also joined the mix on the previous restart, and just a couple laps later, he would follow Kelley up the inside to get by both drivers as well and moved up to take the third spot away. Traves would fall back to the 4th spot, while Myers would continue to drop back outside the top five as Martin would also get back by him.
After another caution on lap 30, the field would set off on another 10-lap green flag run where the running order would remain about the same near the front of the pack. This time Majeski wasn’t able to pull away like he had on the restart before as the top five were all separated by just a couple of car length in between them, but Kelley wasn’t able to make a move on the leader as the run went on. The final caution of the race would come out on lap 45, setting the race up for a final restart on lap 50 and a 10 lap dash to the finish.
On the restart, Majeski quickly jumped into the lead once more, but Kelley was right there on his bumper for a couple of laps before Majeski was finally able to separate himself into the lead. As Kelley started to drop back from the leader, the battle was on for the 2nd spot as Traves was right there in his tire tracks, looking for a way by. As the laps began to wind down, Traves would use his front bumper on Kelley with just three laps to go to move up out of the groove, allowing Traves to look inside for the position. Kelley would fight back on the outside and held the advantage until the final lap, where Traves was able to get by for the position as checkered flag flew.
Out front, Majeski pulled out to a 1-second lead, and would bring the field around to pick up the victory in the first part of the double header. The win would be Majeski’s 26th career SARA victory. Traves would edge out Kelley at the line as both drivers would finish on podium. Just behind those two drivers, Myers would move up to finish 4th on the final lap, getting by Rolfe who got loose in the final corners and would end up dropping back to a 5th place finish.
After four races in the Legends division, Kevin Myers moves up into the points lead and holds a 3-point lead over second place.
In the SK Shootout race, Ty Majeski picked right back up where he left off and would put his car at the top of the speed charts to take his 27th career pole.
Majeski would lead the field to the green flag, but a pair of cautions within the first 10 laps would slow the pace of the race early on. When the field got back to racing for the lap 15 restart, Majeski jumped back into the lead while the top five sorted things out behind him. Cody Kelley moved up into the second spot off the restart just ahead of Parker Traves, Bill Martin and Kevin myers.
As the run continued, the front half of the field would fall in line single file, while the back half of the pack were battling for positions trying to move up. Out front though, Majeski began to pull away, but the battle was on for the second spot. Traves closed in on the rear bumper of Kelley by lap 25, and began to look for a way by. A couple laps later, Traves decided it was time to make a move and peeked his nose to the inside, but the two driver’s lines would meet in the middle of the corner, resulting in contact. Kelley would end up getting turned around, and both drivers would fall to the back of the field for the caution.
On the restart, Majeski pulled back into the lead, while Martin and Myers would battle for second after moving up from the previous caution. Myers held the advantage on the restart, but Martin would use the outside groove to his advantage and would pull up alongside him. The two would run side-by-side for a few laps, before Martin finally got by for the spot, shuffling Myers back to the 3rd spot as he moved up in front of James Linkiewicz and Patrick Hahe to get back in line. The run would continue on until lap 42 when the next caution came out for an incident further back in the field.
Over the next portion of the race, things remained relatively the same near the front of the field as a couple of cautions would slow the pace. The final caution of the race would come out on lap 73, which set the field up for a 21 lap run to the finish.
Majeski continued to lead out front and pulled into the lead off of the restart, while Martin and Myers would settle into 2nd and 3rd respectively. Hahe would run in the 4th position on the restart, but he would quickly face pressure from behind as Kelley had worked his way back into the top five after his earlier spin, and would move ahead of Hahe for the spot. A few laps later, Traves would also move back up into the top five, sliding Hahe back to 6th.
Out front, Majeski had pulled out to a couple car length lead, but Martin was able to hold pace in the early laps of the run. But as the laps continued to tick off, the lead slowly began to increase, just as the top five was also able to pull away from the rest of the field behind them.
With the lead growing out front, nobody would have anything for Majeski in the closing laps, and he would lengthen his lead to over a full second and would bring the field around to take the checkers. The win for Majeski would be his 27th career SARA victory. Martin and Myers would round out the podium, with Kelley and Traves rounding out the top five.
After two races, Bill Martin continues to hold onto the points lead by 24 points over second place.
Next week the Legends League will host a double header event at Charlotte, while the SK Shootout Series will have the week on.