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IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY

Knill Clinches Series Title

October 01, 2006|Steven Herbert

A third-place finish in the first of Saturday night's twin 50 races was good enough for Van Knill to wrap up Irwindale Speedway's super late model championship.

Knill entered the season's final night of racing in the division with a 36-point lead over David Beat, who earlier said it would be "really hard" to catch Knill.

It became even harder when Beat qualified 15th and Knill qualified third.

Knill averted a potential problem on the 41st lap when he avoided Doug McComb's Dodge Charger, which spun after being struck by the Ford Taurus driven by Mike Price.

Pole sitter Rip Michels was the wire-to-wire winner of the 50-lap race on the half-mile track, finishing 0.615 of a second ahead of Jim McGill to increase his record Irwindale Speedway victory total to 44.

Beat maneuvered through the field to finish seventh, but his deficit behind Knill grew to 44 points. The winner of each race receives 50 points, the second-place finisher 48, with two points less awarded for each subsequent place. Knill just needed to start the second race to win the championship.

Knill passed McGill, the pole-sitter, on the opening lap and led for 39 laps until developing transmission problems.

Stephen Peace, who had been in second behind Knill throughout the race, took the lead on the 40th lap and kept it for the remainder of the race for his first victory at Irwindale Speedway. Beat finished second, 2.434 seconds behind, and Knill was 10th.

Tom Landreth, who needed a 23rd-place finish to assure himself of the championship in the legend cars division, won the final race of the season, finishing 0.474 of a second ahead of Austin Grabowski.

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-- Steven Herbert

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