Joanides Wins Second Consecutive Twin Races

By Keith Lair, Tribune Staff Writer

Posted: 06/20/2009 10:28:53 PM PDT

IRWINDALE - It's hard enough to win back-to-back races. It's even harder when the races are on the same night.

Saturday, in front of approximately 3,500 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, Nick Joanides won his second consecutive ACDelco Super Late Model series Twin 40 races. The sweep tied the Woodland Hills resident with Rip Michels of San Fernando for most Twin sweeps.

Michels finished second in both races on Saturday.

"It's tough to win any race," Joanides said. "Rip was obviously there. It was a good battle. Rip didn't win 57 (races) out here for nothing."

Only eight drivers have scored Super Late Model sweeps and three have two or more. The track has held 34 Twins in 11 seasons. It is the third time a driver has won back-to-back Twins.

Greg Pursley did it in 2004 and Joanides also did it in 2008.

Both races were extremely close, with Michels unsuccessfully trying a bump-and-run in the first race. He did not hit Joanides in the second race, but he said he did not have enough to get by him, either. Luis Martinez Jr. of Long Beach finished third in both races.

"They don't call Rip the king of Irwindale for nothing," said Joanides, whose worst finish is second this season. "He was all over me."

It was Joanides' 8th victory in the eleven races this season and 27th victory in less than three years, which puts him ninth on the all time win list at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. 

"When things are going your way, you make good luck” Michels said.

"Right now things are just clicking for Nick."

Michels got the lead from Joanides once because the leader checked up when a yellow flag was about to come out. Michels then tried the bump-and-run out of Turn 4 with a lap to go in the first race.

"Nine out of 10 would have spun out in that situation," Joanides said of the hit. "It was definitely dirt tracking. It was the most mad I've been after winning a race in a long time."

Michels apologized to Joanides during the on-the-track interviews, but he told his spotter after the race, "I should have hit him a littler harder."