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SOUTHLAND MOTOR RACING

Gilliland Wins Southwest Series

August 31, 2003|Tony Solorzano;Dan Arritt | From Staff Reports

David Gilliland swept the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series at Irwindale Speedway as he won the Advantage Ford 150-lap feature Saturday night in front of 5,784.

On the restart on lap 86, Gilliland started to pull away and easily held off Kevin Vernon and Eric Holmes for his second consecutive win and fourth of the season.

In the 75-lap Jani-King Super Late Model series feature, Rip Michels got his ninth win of the season. Tony Bruncati and Rod Johnson finished in second and third.

The Ultra Wheels Super Truck series closed out its season series with a shortened 40-lap feature, and Dave Blankenship earned his first championship of his career with a fifth-place finish behind Greg Adler.

Last year's champion, Carson Woods, who was in second place in the standings going into the race, blew his left rear tire on lap 21, which sent him to the back of the pack, assuring the title for Blankenship

-- Tony Solorzano

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Cory Kruseman of Ventura won the third Jeff Bagley Classic at the Ventura Raceway.

Kruseman retook the lead on the 16th lap of the 40-lap final and survived five restarts to win the first Sprint Car Racing Assn. event at the Ventura Fairgrounds this year.

Richard Griffin of Silver City, N.M. finished second on the 1/5mile, high-banked clay oval and Rip Williams of Yorba Linda was third.

The race, originally rained out in May, was named after Jeff Bagley, a 29-year-old sprint car driver killed in a race at Ascot Park in 1989.

Saturday's event was originally organized by Bagley's parents, Paul and Helen, who were struck and killed by a sprint car four months ago while watching a race from the infield at Perris Auto Speedway.

-- Dan Arritt

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