IRWINDALE - 8/13/11 - When they say "by a hair" - or in this case "by a fender" - they mean it.
In one of the closest finishes you'll ever see, Ryan Partridge of Rancho Cucamonga, one of the top drivers in all of Southern California, finished in second place in the NASCAR King Taco Truck Series race, 0.042 seconds behind points leader Connor Cantrell of Valencia.
Partridge trailed Cantrell in second place through the first 38 of the 40-lap race. However, a restart at that point gave Partridge new life as he is one of the best in the business with restarts.
Partridge pulled just a few feet into first place following lap 39, but could not hold it and took second place.
"That was the guy we really could not afford to lose to, but there are enough races left in the season to come back," Partridge said about losing to Cantrell. "I have confidence in our consistency to win."
He added he just didn't have enough left in his truck to hold on to a victory.
"If I pushed it a little harder, it would have been messy," he said. "I'm never happy with second place, especially when we lose by a fender."
In addition, Partridge praised Cantrell's performance.
"He had the better truck all race long," Partridge said. "We were playing bridesmaids. Then when the restart came with the green, white, checkered, I knew it was our chance, but we couldn't get it done."
(Shel Segal can be reached at