On Tuesday night, the Callaway Investments Sportsman Street Stock Series continued Irwindale week when they took on the Inner configuration for a 100 lap feature event.
Time Trials kicked off the night and it was Matt Rolfe that picked up his 40th career pole. However an 8 car invert would send him back, which brought Hunter Combs to the front of the field for the Qualifying Dash and the feature event. In the Qualifying Dash, Combs got the jump into the lead and was able to hold onto it to pick up the Dash win for some extra bonus points.
Combs led the field to the green flag in the feature as well, and again jumped out into the lead. In the early laps, the inside groove was the place to be as the outside got shuffled back, but once the field settled in, it became clear that a green flag run was in store. While Combs was leading out front, Windell Stratton was working his way back towards the front as he was one of the cars that got shuffled back early. Stratton made his way up to 2nd by lap 25, and started hunting down the leader, catching Combs by lap 42 where Stratton made his move to the inside. Some slight contact moved Combs up the track, but it was Stratton that took over the lead and from there he continued to pull away and with the race going caution free. Stratton was able to extend his lead out to over five seconds as he came around to take the checkered flag, picking up his 2nd Street Stock win of the season, and his 3rd career SARA victory.
What may be more impressive than a caution free race at the Irwindale Inner bullring, is that all 19 cars crossed the finish line without a single incident point.
The battle behind Stratton was for the 2nd spot, as Kevin J Myers was able to follow him up into 2nd, sliding Combs back to the 3rd spot. While Combs was able to keep up with Myers and could close in on the rear bumper of him, he was never able to fully close the gap and Myers would end up finishing in the 2nd spot, with Combs in 3rd. Rolfe would end up finishing 4th after running in the spot for most of the race. Ian Layne rounded out the top five, holding off Darrell Hamlin for the second half of the race to round out the top five.
Just outside the top five, Hamlin ended up finishing in the 6th position, after he also got shuffled back in the opening laps on the outside before moving up to compete for the top five. Tom Wetmore missed qualifying and had to start shotgun on the field, and was able to climb his way into the top ten before settling into a 7th place finish. Mike Belanger finally broke his streak of bad luck in his limited starts, picking up his first top ten finish since March, when he ended up finishing in the 8th position. Russell Berry started just outside the top ten, and was able to work his way past Scott Dunlap in the closing laps, but both drivers ended up with solid finishes by taking 9th and 10th respectively.
After a 5th place finish, Ian Layne hangs onto his points lead although it shrinks down from 2 to 1 point in the standings, but he will lead the field into next week’s race at the Lucas Oil Raceway.