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Sedgwick Comes Back for Seconds

August 20, 2000|DARIN ESPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

IRWINDALE — When the checkered flag flew at the finish of the Home Depot 250 NASCAR Winston West series race at Irwindale Speedway, there were only two cars on the lead lap, and Bill Sedgwick of Acton was driving one of them.

Sedgwick finished three-quarters of a lap behind Joe Bean of San Diego, marking the second time Sedgwick has finished second at Irwindale in four Winston West races held at the one-half mile oval in its two seasons of existence.

"This is probably one of the toughest short tracks we run on," said Sedgwick, who ran an unheard of 170 laps on the same set of right side tires. The decision not to change tires was made out of necessity because the field ran the final 98 laps without a caution flag.

"You certainly don't want to pit on the green here, because you will lose a lap," said Sedgwick, who backed off with 50 laps remaining in an attempt to save the tires.

Bean came from one lap behind to dominate the final 98 laps on his way to his first Winston West victory since 1996. He lost the lap after he cut a tire on lap 85 when Sammy Potashnick of Sikeston, Mo., spun in front of him, but got the lap back during the sixth caution period on lap 147 and started picking off the leaders one at a time. He took the lead from Brendan Gaughan of Las Vegas on lap 202.

Troy Cline of Santa Clarita, who finished ninth at Irwindale June 24, ran in second place from lap 122 to lap 160, but wore out his tires before running out of gas and ended up 10th.

"We had marked our fuel for 125 laps, but ended up going 140 on the gas," Cline said.

"We gambled on the pits, and it caught us."

Sedgwick, who started ninth, never fell lower than 10th during the race. He remains sixth in the points standings.

Cline started 19th but moved to 16th by the first caution period on lap 12. He had worked his way up to 10th by lap 43 and kept charging.

When the leaders pitted during the third caution flag on lap 74, Cline entered the pits in seventh and came out 14th, but he immediately started charging to the front again.

Cline had worked his way up to eighth when Potashnick spun on lap 85, and he drove through the smoke to move into third.

Cline needed two laps to get around Austin Cameron for second place, finally making the pass on lap 124 between turns one and two.

Mark Reed of Bakersfield, Bean's teammate who finished ninth, passed Cline for second on lap 160, and Sedgwick took third from Cline two laps later.

Bean passed Cline at the finish line on lap 166, and Cameron passed Cline on lap 190.

Scott Gaylord of Lakewood, Colo., who finished third, passed Cline for sixth place on lap 210, and Bean put Cline one lap down on lap 216.

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