Blaine Perkins Surprises the Celebrity Race Night Crowd at Irwindale

Photo - Blaine Perkins Facebook page

Photo – Blaine Perkins Facebook page

Blaine Perkins is our next guest on Fan4Racing Fan2Fan NASCAR & Race Talk on Monday, September 29, 2014 at 9:30 pm ET.  Call 347-996-5176 during the LIVE broadcast with any questions or comments. 

In the second Late-Model event of the Celebrity Race Night at Irwindale Speedway, on September 27th, Blaine Perkins raced the HPR No. 55 Chevy that he took over on July 5 when driver Cole Custer became one of 12 NASCAR Next–2014 drivers on a fast-track to national series stardom.

Creating a showcase of youthful stars of the sport, the starting lineup for the second Late-Model race of the night put fast-timer Zane Smith outside row four, with leading Late-Model rookie Christian McGhee, 16, and Blaine Perkins, 14, occupying the front row. Series track championship contenders McCray and Partridge were in row two.

Bandolero, legends and S2 cars graduate Perkins raced into the lead and paced the opening laps over McCray, Partridge and McGhee. Partridge and McCray traded the second spot on laps 5, 10 and 12. Smith took fourth on lap 6 and the top-four ran in a tight pack. By lap 12 Perkins had opened a 30-yard lead over McCray. Smith took the third spot from Partridge on lap 11. A spin by Curtis Burns in turn three caused a yellow and potentially wiping out the teenage leader’s green to checkered victory.

A two-by-two restart had McCray and Perkins in row one. McCray and Partridge dropped Perkins to third on lap 12. The two veterans vied for the top spot lap-after-lap with McCray outside and Partridge inside.

Perkins, determined to regain the lead, closed in and made it a three-way duel. Partridge led lap 22 with an inside moved leaving turn four. McCray regained the point a lap later with her outside pass from turn four to the starting line. On lap 25 Perkins took second from Partridge with an outside pass from the fourth corner to start/finish.

The teen then shocked the appreciative crowd by taking the lead from McCray on lap 27 as the top four cars raced in close formation. They ran the last four laps in the same order—Perkins, McCray (-0.516), Partridge (-0.582), and Smith (-1.115). Porter finished fifth.