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IRWINDALE

Kanke Outlasts Raudman to Win Featured Race

April 22, 2001|TONY SOLORZANO

M.K. Kanke held off a late challenge to win the Food 4 Less 150-lap main event before a crowd of 5,320 as the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series made the first of three annual appearances at Irwindale Speedway.

Kanke, the points leader in the series, won his second consecutive event. He and Craig Raudman battled for the lead throughout the final 50 laps after Raudman, the pole sitter, led the first 101 laps. Kanke and Raudman exchanged the lead for the next five laps before Kanke took over for good on Lap 106.

"We were both pushing really hard before the opportunity came for me to take the lead," said Kanke. "It was a very interesting track tonight. The line kept changing on us all night, but we managed to find it and hold on at the end."

Scott Lynch finished third, followed by Darryl LaMoure, who vaulted into second place in the points standings.

Mark Reed, who ran in his first Southwest Series race this season, finished fifth. The top five finishers were the only ones on the lead lap.

Todd Burns won the 30-lap Auto Club Late Model race. Burns took his second checkered flag of the season, beating out Arleta's Brian Kelley by a half-second. The race, scheduled for 50 laps, was marred by an opening-lap accident that sent all but three of the 31 cars back to the pits.

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