Patison Dominates At Irwindale
IRWINDALE, Calif. — Jason Patison led all 75 laps en route to his second Pick Your Part Super Late Model victory of the season and Toni McCray drove to her third and fourth straight wins in the Lucas Oil Late Model Twins on Saturday night before a crowd of 5,982 at Irwindale Speedway.
Patison was able to rocket away from runner-up Jack Madrid following a restart with 17 laps remaining on the half-mile track to finish 2.1 seconds in front. Todd Gilliland, 14-year-old son of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Gilliland, finished third in a remarkable debut in a Super Late Model.
The race will also be remembered for having three generations of Gillilands in it. Butch Gilliland, Todd’s grandfather and a former champion of NASCAR’s Winston West, came out of a 10-year retirement from driving to finish fifth. David Gilliland, who grew up in southern California and is a resident of Sherrills Ford, N.C., was running second when contact sent him into retirement after completing 30 laps.
The Super Late Model race was the fourth of the season and the second that Patison’s car ran without mechanical trouble. He started from pole and was never seriously threatened.
“It feels great,” Patison said. “I think we could have had a car that could have won every time out. We’ve had some bad luck, had some mechanical failures and this time the car stayed together and we got a win. It was a real good field. It was an honor to run with Butch and David.
“It was cool a guy like that would fly all the way out here on his off week. We know he doesn’t get that much time off, so for him to fly all the way out here and race was really cool. He ran really good. His car was running fast. It was unfortunate his night ended the way it did.”
Madrid won the Super Late Model season opener and was third in the second race at Irwindale. But his transmission failed on the opening lap of the third race and he finished 12th. Second place revived his championship hopes. Madrid is fourth, but only 10 points behind leader McCray.
“We started fifth and fell back to eighth or ninth and I was a little worried, but the car came to us and we drove up,” Madrid said. “I tried to run Jason down, but he had a great car and did an excellent job. I’m really happy with second place.”
David Gilliland lined up seventh for the start and climbed into third behind Patison and Ryan Partridge on a lap 26 restart. Following a restart five laps later, Gilliland passed Partridge for second on the inside of turn four. The Sprint Cup driver was sent spinning on the front stretch from contact by Partridge and hit the outside wall in turn one.
“We had him cleared and I don’t know, somehow I got turned there at the start-finish line,” David Gilliland said. “Bummer, kind of an unfortunate way to end our night, but the car was real fast and we had a good time coming back here. It’s still my favorite racetrack to race on in the country. It was an honor to be a part of it and watch my son finish third and my dad go out and finish fifth. It’s just a lot of fun and good to be back home.
“We had a good enough car to win, for sure. We worked really hard on it.”