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Thirkettle Wins the Race; Huddleston Wins Title

Rookie Travis Thirkettle won his third consecutive NASCAR Auto Club Late Model race Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway, but Tim Huddleston won the season title just by starting the race.

Thirkettle took the lead on the third lap and led for the remainder of the 50-lap race on the half-mile track.

Mike Johnson was second, 2.063 seconds behind. The 46 points for third place gives Huddleston a 698-604 lead over Johnson with one race remaining. The winner of each race receives 50 points.

Huddleston led Johnson, 652-556, before the race. He was assured of the championship when he started and was guaranteed of at least eight points for a last-place finish in the 22-car field. “It’s a dream come true after 17 years of racing,” Huddleston said.

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Steve Stewart won the Pick Your Part Figure 8 race. Jesse James, host of the Discovery Channel’s “Monster Garage” and husband of actress Sandra Bullock, was sixth.

-- Steven Herbert


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