Leary Lands $10K Win in Richard Griffin Classic
Lonnie Wheatley, LAS CRUCES, N.M. (November 7, 2015) – C.J. Leary saved the best of the weekend for last by wiring the field to take the $10,000 winner’s share in Saturday night’s Inaugural Richard Griffin Classic atop the 5/16-mile Southern New Mexico Speedway clay oval.
The Greenfield, IN, native fought off a host of early challengers and then survived a bid from Brady Bacon just seven laps shy of the checkered flag in the 40-lapper to secure the lucrative triumph aboard the Leary Construction No. 30 non-wing Sprint Car.
“I saw Brady at the end and used the lapped car as a pick,” Leary explained of Bacon’s near pass for the lead at the stripe on the 33rd lap. “It was good timing for us.”
Among the most pivotal moves of the night for Leary was his last lap pass of Kevin Thomas, Jr., for second in the Casa Nissan Pole Dash that awarded $500 to winner Ryan Bernal.
That pass of the Friday night preliminary winner moved Leary to the front row outside for the finale and he took full advantage of it, gunning into the lead ahead of Bernal at the outset.
Reigning USAC Southwest champion R.J. Johnson race past Thursday night winner Bernal for second in the early going and challenged for the lead until Bernal stepped up the pace and recaptured second after eight laps.
Bernal slipped over the turn four banking on the 13th round though and fell back to tenth with Johnson’s challenges cut short as well when he went up in smoke at the midway point.
Bacon was on the move from fifth in the Josh Ford Motorsports No. 73 and gave chase from second at the midway point. Closing in on a lapped car in the final ten rounds, Bacon nearly took advantage only to ultimately get trapped behind the lapped car himself.
“I thought I was gonna set him up and use the lapped car to my advantage, but I ended up getting messed up instead,” Bacon said afterward.
The lapped car brought Kevin Thomas, Jr., back into the mix, with Thomas, Jr., and Bacon battling it out for second over the final half-dozen laps as Leary slipped away to take the big payday.
Bacon outlasted Thomas, Jr., over the final rounds for runner-up honors with Thomas, Jr., settling for third in the RW Motorsports No. 17rw.
“Third isn’t where I wanted to be, I made some mistakes early that cost me and had to race my way back up there,” Thomas, Jr., said afterward.
Shon Deskins stayed among the lead group throughout before finishing fourth with Dave Darland rounding out the top five. Charles Davis, Jr., was sixth with Bernal, 15th-starter Casey Shuman, Mike Martin and Chris Windom completing the top ten.
A Feature (40 Laps): 1. C.J. Leary, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 4. Shon Deskins, 5. Dave Darland, 6. Charles Davis, Jr., 7. Ryan Bernal, 8. Casey Shuman, 9. Mike Martin, 10. Chris Windom), 11. Harli White, 12. Tye Mihocko, 13. John Carney II, 14. Jesse Baker, 15. Robert Herrera, 16. Randy Smith, 17. R.J. Johnson, 18. Brian Hosford, 19. Spencer Hill, 20. Aaron Reutzel.
Lap Leaders: C.J. Leary 1-40.
KT Triumphs in Friday Richard Griffin Classic Prelim
Lonnie Wheatley, LAS CRUCES, N.M. (November 6, 2015) – Kevin Thomas, Jr., broke a victory drought in impressive fashion by racing to victory lane in a wild 25-lapper that put the wraps on Friday night’s Inaugural Richard Griffin Classic preliminary action at Southern New Mexico Speedway.
“KT” took advantage of an Aaron Reutzel miscue on the second lap and led the rest of the way aboard the RW Motorsports No. 17rw to post the victory atop the 5/16-mile clay oval.
“It’s been a while, I don’t think we have won anything since July so it definitely feels good to get this one and get locked into the big money show tomorrow night,” Thomas, Jr., commented.
After Reutzel led the opening lap from the front row outside, fourth-starter Thomas, Jr., took advantage of a lap two restart when Reutzel slipped off the edge of turn two.
Once out front, Thomas, Jr., waded through a red flag after five laps for a wild Blake Hahn tumble off of turn two and then several more cautions along the way atop a slick surface that was conducive to mega-slidejobs.
“It was so slick, you had to really be careful and not blast the cushion,” Thomas, Jr., explained. “I felt like the cautions really fell about right for me, it kept me out of traffic and I could keep a rhythm out front.”
In his wake, Thursday night winner Ryan Bernal moved into second and stayed there throughout aboard the Phulps No. 56 to lock into Saturday’s $10,000-to-win finale as well.
While the lead duo were safely out front, the action behind them was wild throughout the pack in battles for position.
John Carney II ultimately rounded out the podium in third after charging from the 18th starting position.
Reutzel crossed the stripe fourth but was disqualified for not meeting minimum weight with Brady Bacon assuming the fourth position with C.J. Leary rounding out the top five after a mid-race scruffle with Reutzel.
Dave Darland, Mike Martin and Thomas, Jr., won Friday night’s heat races with R.J. Johnson, Tye Mihocko and Harli White winning the Qualifiers.
Along with Thomas, Jr., and Bernal, others locking into Saturday’s Richard Griffin Classic finale include R.J. Johnson, C.J. Leary, Shon Deskins and Brady Bacon.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2. Ryan Bernal, 3. John Carney II, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. C.J. Leary, 6. Chris Windom, 7. R.J. Johnson, 8. Harli White, 9. Casey Shuman, 10. Tye Mihocko, 11. Charles Davis, Jr., 12. Shon Deskins, 13. Dave Darland, 14. Brian Hosford, 15. Mike Martin, 16. Spencer Hill, 17. Jesse Baker, 18. Randy Smith, 19. David Dykes, 20. Robert Herrera, 21. Blake Hahn, 22. Aaron Reutzel (DQ). DNS: Dennis Gile, Stevie Sussex.
Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel 1, Kevin Thomas, Jr. 2-25.
Total Points after Thursday & Friday preliminaries (Top Six in Thursday & Friday Preliminary Events lock into Saturday Feature, balance lined straight up according to points in Saturday night heat races):
1. Ryan Bernal 236
2. Kevin Thomas, Jr. 225
3. R.J. Johnson 209
4. C.J. Leary 205
5. Shon Deskins 204
6. Brady Bacon 198
7. Mike Martin 195
8. John Carney II 192
9. Charles Davis, Jr. 191
10. Dave Darland 182
11. Harli White 178
12. Casey Shuman 176
13. Chris Windom 174
14. Tye Mihocko 165
15. Brian Hosford 155
16. Jesse Baker 148
17. Randy Smith 147
18. Spencer Hill 146
19. David Dykes 141
20. Blake Hahn 137
21. Aaron Reutzel 134
22. Dennis Gile 119
23. Stevie Sussex 106
24. Robert Herrera 62
25. Nick Rael 57
Bernal Gets the “W” in Richard Griffin Classic Opener
Lonnie Wheatley, LAS CRUCES, N.M. (November 5, 2015) – Ryan Bernal pounced on a late-race opportunity to take the $1,500 winner’s share in Thursday night’s Richard Griffin Classic opener atop the 5/16-mile Southern New Mexico Speedway.
The Hollister, CA, racer took advantage of lapped traffic to race around race-long leader Shon Deskins on the highside with just a handful of laps remaining to put himself in the driver’s seat for Saturday night’s $10,000-to-win share.
“Traffic definitely came into play there, I don’t that I would have had the opportunity to get by him (Deskins) otherwise,” Bernal said after picking off his tenth overall Sprint Car win of the season in the Phulps-owned Tri-L Mandarin Ranch No. 56 machine.
While Bernal worked forward from the sixth position in short order, pole starter Deskins gunned into the early lead ahead of R.J. Johnson. Bernal was third by the third round but spent much of the race dicing with Mike Martin for the position before capturing it and moving into second by the 15th round.
With lapped traffic in play, the battle for the lead intensified among the frontrunners with Bernal ultimately finding a break in traffic as Deskins got boxed in.
Following a red flag with four laps to go for a wild Spencer Hill flyer off turn four, Bernal checked out in the closing laps to secure the win with Deskins in second. Martin rounded out the podium in third with Johnson and Charles Davis, Jr., rounding out the top five.
A pair of cautions slowed the proceedings in the opening ten rounds with Dennis Gile biking it off the top of turns three and four in big fashion with Brian Hosford and Blake Hahn getting together as that caution flew. With eight laps in the books, Dave Darland came to a stop at the top of turn two. Darland rallied back to finish eighth.
Martin, Hosford and Hahn topped heat race action with Chris Windom, C.J. Leary and Deskins victorious in the qualifying races. Nick Rael’s night ended after a heat race flip in turn one while Brady Bacon rebounded from a last-lap qualifying race flip in turn three to race from 19th to ninth in the feature.
Action at Southern New Mexico Speedway’s Inaugural Richard Griffin Classic resumes on Friday night with another full card of Heat Races, Qualifying Races and Features. The top six in combined points from the two nights are locked into Saturday’s $10,000-to-win finale with the balance lined up in heat races according to points. Friday’s racing action goes green at 7:45 p.m.
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. Ryan Bernal, 2. Shon Deskins, 3. Mike Martin, 4. R.J. Johnson, 5. Charles Davis, Jr., 6. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 7. C.J. Leary, 8. Dave Darland, 9. Brady Bacon, 10. John Carney II, 11. Harli White, 12. Jesse Baker, 13. Randy Smith, 14. Casey Shuman, 15. David Dykes, 16. Spencer Hill, 17. Tye Mihocko, 18. Aaron Reutzel, 19. Chris Windom, 20. Brian Hosford, 21. Blake Hahn, 22. Dennis Gile. DNS: Nick Rael, Stevie Sussex.
Lap Leaders: Shon Deskins 1-19, Ryan Bernal 20-25.
Points Through Thursday Night (Top Six in Thursday & Friday Preliminary Events lock into Saturday Feature):
1. 56-Ryan Bernal 121
2. 20-Shon Deskins 119
3. 16-Mike Martin 114
4. 77m-R.J. Johnson 110
5. 50-Charles Davis, Jr. 103
6. 17rw-Kevin Thomas, Jr. 102
7. 30-C.J. Leary 99
8. 16d-Dave Darland 96
9. 73x-Brady Bacon 89
10. 74b-John Carney II 88
11. 38-Casey Shuman 84
12. 17w-Harli White 82
13. 26-Randy Smith 81
14. 7-Jesse Baker 79
15. 56w-Spencer Hill 75
16. 55-David Dykes 74
17. 32-Brian Hosford 73
18. 22-Chris Windom 73
19. 5-Tye Mihocko 73
20. 52-Blake Hahn 70
21. 87-Aaron Reutzel 65
22. 13-Dennis Gile 61
23. 73-Nick Rael 57
24. 21az-Stevie Sussex 53
A Guide to the 2015 Western World Championships
Kevin Montgomery PEORIA, Ariz. (October 30th, 2015) - The 2015 Western World Championships will feature The Amsoil USAC National 410 Sprint Cars vs. USAC CRA 410 Sprint Cars along with USAC Southwest Sprint Cars vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars. An open practice session will take place on Wednesday evening, November 18, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m with racing action kicking off on Thursday, November 19, at 7pm. Both divisions will compete in full programs Thursday, Friday and Saturday with pit gates opening at 3pm, Front Gate will open at 5pm Thursday and Friday and 4pm Saturday, Qualifying at 6pm and racing starting at 7pm each night.
The official hotel for the Western World Championships is the Courtyard by Marriott at the Tucson Airport. This is a great place to stay and in close proximity to USA Raceway and offers a $64 per night room rate. Please call (520) 573-0000 to make your reservation for the upcoming events or visit http://raceusaraceway.com/fan-info/lodging/
Three-day General Admission tickets for this historical event can be purchased for just $65, with VIP All Access Suite tickets (includes pit pass) for all three days available for $150. Single day tickets are $25 with reserved seating available for an additional $5 per night.
Advanced tickets may be purchased online at: http://raceusaraceway.com/events/western-world-championship-4/ and ticket pricing/purchasing information can be found online at: http://raceusaraceway.com/tickets/ or by calling the USA Raceway office at 520-664-2074.
Tickets purchased on or before October 31st will be mailed, anything after will be placed in will call and available for pick up at the gate.
Complete purse and entry information can be found at: http://raceusaraceway.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Entry-Form-2015-Western-World.pdf Western World Championships pre-entry deadline is October 31st.
Wednesday , November 18th - Open Practice Session (6pm-9pm)
Thursday , November 19th - USAC National 410 Sprint Cars vs. USAC CRA 410 Sprint Cars and USAC Southwest Sprint Cars vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars
Friday , November 20th - USAC National 410 Sprint Cars vs. USAC CRA 410 Sprint Cars and USAC Southwest Sprint Cars vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars
Saturday , November 21st - USAC National 410 Sprint Cars vs. USAC CRA 410 Sprint Cars and USAC Southwest Sprint Cars vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars
All entries in the Amsoil USAC National 410 Sprint Cars vs. USAC CRA 410 Sprint Cars will race each night with Thursday and Friday preliminary events following standard USAC format including qualifying, heat races and features, the USAC Southwest Sprint Cars vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will do similar with a full card of heat races and features on both Thursday and Friday using a passing points format. Single car qualifying (410 Sprint Cars only), heat and feature points will be tabulated from each night to determine Saturday night Western World Championship lineups.
The winner from each preliminary night along with the top six in combined points from Thursday and Friday action will be locked into Saturday's main event. Those eight will engage in a Revenge Draw during Saturday's opening ceremonies to determine the Dash lineups. The Dash finish will determine the alignment of the front four rows of the main event.
The balance of the field will be aligned in Qualifying races straight up by points, with finishes determining the balance of the night's "A" and "B" Main lineups.
Camping will be FREE at this year's Western World with RV Parking open on Monday November 16th. There are no hookups available.
USA Raceway is located east of Tucson, Arizona off I-10 exit 268, then 1.6 miles south on Craycroft Road, which turns into Los Reales. For more information please, contact the track at 520-664-2074 or additional information regarding USA Raceway can be found at www.raceusaraceway.com
For any questions, please log on to www.RaceUSARaceway.com or call (520) 664-2074 for information.
Top USAC drivers from around America will congregate in the west at Tucson, Arizona's USA Raceway for three nights of USAC National 410 Sprint Cars vs. USAC CRA 410 Sprint Cars and USAC Southwest Sprint Cars vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars. The Western World will mark the end of the 2015 Sprint Car campaign and will crown all four USAC Sprint Car Series Champions for the first time in history.
Arizona's Matt Rossi reigned supreme over the Sprint Car Portion of the 2014 Western World while Darren Hagen held off 2013 champion, Bryan Clauson, at the line to earn his first Western World Championship.
Steve Kinser has claimed the most Western World titles with seven triumphs including wingless wins in 1982 and 1983 followed by winged wins in 1985, 1987, 1990, 1992 and 1996.
Ron Shuman is next on the list with five Western World triumphs, all of the wingless variety, with other drivers posting multiple Western World wins including Donnie Schatz (3), Lealand McSpadden (3), Sammy Swindell (3), Bryan Clauson (3), Brady Bacon (2), Bud Kaeding (2), Mark Kinser (2) and Jan Opperman (2).
Past Western World Championship Winners (Wing /Non-Wing/Midget)
2014 - Matt Rossi (nw) Darren Hagen (midget)
2013 - Bryan Clauson (nw/midget)
2012 - Wayne Johnson (w) Bryan Clauson (nw)
2011 - Donny Schatz(w) Tracy Hines (nw)
2010 - Donny Schatz(w) Brady Bacon (nw)
2009 - Sammy Swindell(w) Brady Bacon (nw)
2008 - Kevin Swindell (nw)
2007 - Jerry Coons, Jr. (nw)
2006 - Josh Wise (nw)
2005 - Dave Darland (nw)
2004 - Bud Kaeding (nw)
2003 - Tony Elliott (nw)
2002 - Bud Kaeding (nw)
2001 - Jeremy Sherman (nw)
2000 - Jay Drake (nw)
1999 - Donny Schatz (w)
1998 - Tyler Walker (w)
1997 - Mark Kinser (w)
1996 - Steve Kinser (w)
1995 - Lealand McSpadden (nw)
1994 - Ron Shuman (nw)
1993 - Lealand McSpadden (nw)
1992 - Steve Kinser (w)
1991 - Danny Lasoski (w)
1990 - Steve Kinser (w)
1989 - Sammy Swindell (w)
1988 - Mark Kinser (w)
1987 - Steve Kinser (w)
1986 - Bobby Davis, Jr. (w)
1985 - Steve Kinser (w)
1984 - Ron Shuman (nw)
1983 - Steve Kinser (nw)
1982 - Steve Kinser (nw)
1981 - Ron Shuman (nw)
1980 - Sammy Swindell (nw)
1979 - Tim Green (nw)
1978 - Lealand McSpadden (nw)
1977 - Ron Shuman (nw)
1976 - Bubby Jones (nw)
1975 - Ron Shuman (nw)
1974 - Rick Ferkel (nw)
1973 - Earl Wagner (nw)
1972 - Jan Opperman (nw)
1971 - Jan Opperman (nw)
1970 - Jerry McClung (nw)
1969 - Bob Huebner (nw)
1968 - Bob Cleberg (nw)
2015 SEASON WRAP-UP AND AWARDS PRESENTATIONS FOR THE HOOSIER TIRE MIDWEST SPRINT CAR SERIES
Haubstadt, IN - November 4, 2015. Additional 2015 Hoosier Tire Midwest Sprint Car Series Season Awards have been distributed to drivers. The week of October 26th thru October 31st served as the annual MSCS Awards Week for this year. Post season awards included point fund checks to the top 10 drivers, recognition plaques for second to fifth in points, and all the available contingency prizes.
Brady Short of Mitchell, IN, won his second MSCS Championship. Short earned the most points of any MSCS Champion since the 2002 season with a total of 1,194. His lead as the season ended was 82 points. In route to the championship he won a record ten MSCS features to become the series All Time Feature Wins leader. A five race winning streak developed as the Bedford Blaster won every MSCS race held in August!
Brady Short received the driver championship trophy in a ceremony prior to the Harvest Cup at Tri-State Speedway which closed out the 2015 season. Cam Potorff was also present to receive the Championship Car Owner’s trophy. The Crew Chief was Don Short. Embroidered award jackets from Point Fund Sponsor Hoosier Tire Midwest were presented to the Champions and Rookie of the Year.
Brandon Morin of Jasonville, IN, was awarded the MSCS Rookie of the Year trophy. Morin also managed to earn a tenth place finish in overall series points. Morin received two checks. Besides the point fund check he received a check for $750 as the Rookie of the Year. In addition to the monetary awards he also received a valuable certificate towards the purchase of a racing uniform from series sponsor Hinchman Indy Racing Uniforms. Each year Hinchman Indy Racing Uniforms provides an award designated to be given in support of the MSCS Rookie Driver Program.
Hoosier Tire MSCS Point Fund Checks were issued to the top 10 drivers that met the 60% participation requirement. The Champion’s portion was $2,500. The total of the point fund that was paid out totaled over $7,500.
Carson Short finished as the runner-up in season points. The nineteen year old Marion, IL, driver led the MSCS standings four different times during the season and it was only his third year to drive a sprint car. Carson Short, James Lyerla, Donny Brackett, and Brandon Mattox received beautiful rosewood plaques for finishing in positions two through five.
The remainder of the top ten drivers included Robert Ballou, Kyle Cummins, Jeff Bland Jr., Jon Stanbrough, and Brandon Morin. Robert Ballou received the plaque from MSCS for being the 2015 Hard Charger of the Year. The special plaque is awarded each year to the driver who is the Hard Charger of the Race the most times.
More than 120 drivers participated in MSCS races in 2015, They arrived at an average rate of 25 cars per event. High car count honors for the season belonged to Bloomington Speedway where 35 cars at an April race was topped by 39 cars at the Josh Burton Memorial in May.
The Hoosier Tire Midwest Sprint Car Series wishes to thank all the series sponsors, drivers, car owners, track promoters, officials, journalists, photographers, and the enthusiastic race fans for their support and involvement in 2015.
This was the 15th season of racing for MSCS. The schedule of 20 events was 100% completed. This was the most races ever conducted in a season by MSCS. Management is already working with track promoters to create an equally exciting schedule of non-wing sprint car races for 2016.
Hoosier Tire MIDWEST SPRINT CAR SERIES
TOP TWENTY DRIVERS
2015 Points Including the October 10th Race
With all 20 of 20 Races Completed
1) 11p Brady Short 1194
2) 21 Carson Short 1112
3) 11x James Lyerla 910
4) 4b Donny Brackett 857
5) 28 Brandon Mattox 849
6) 12 Robert Ballou 746
7) 3r Kyle Cummins 695
8) 04 Jeff Bland Jr. 674
9) 81 Jon Stanbrough 630
10) 98 Brandon Morin ® 630
11) 32 Chase Stockon 626
12) 17m Max McGhee 509
13) 38w Chet Williams 452
14) 5K Kent Schmidt 447
15) 3 Dakota Jackson 403
16) 35x Chris Babcock 379
17) 71p Dave Darland 378
18) 17rw Kevin Thomas Jr. 373
19) 15f Aaron Farney 373
20) 44 Dickie Gaines 371
Richard Griffin Classic at Southern New Mexico Speedway this Weekend
Lonnie Wheatley, LAS CRUCES, N.M. (November 2, 2015) – The wingless Sprint Car racing world sets its sights on Southern New Mexico Speedway this weekend where the best of the best will battle it out for the $10,000 winner’s share at the Inaugural Richard Griffin Classic.
A loaded field of non-Wing 360-ci Sprint Cars will execute slider upon slider for three nights atop the 5/16-mile clay oval near Las Cruces on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a pair of $1,500-to-win events on Thursday and Friday leading the way into Saturday’s $10,000-to-win, $500-to-start Richard Griffin Classic.
The Thursday and Friday preliminary events will feature a full program of heat races, qualifying races, “B” Mains and “A” Main with cumulative points setting the stage for Saturday’s Richard Griffin Classic championship event.
The top six in combined points from the qualifying events will lock into the Richard Griffin Classic finale with the balance lining up according to points in heat races on Saturday night to fill out the feature field. Those six that are locked in will determine their Saturday feature starting position in the $500-to-win Casa Nissan Pole Dash.
Reigning USAC National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon and “The People’s Champ” Dave Darland are among top wingless aces such as Kevin Thomas, Jr., and Chris Windom along with the dicey Arizona contingent led by multi-time champions R.J. Johnson and Charles Davis, Jr., set to battle it out, while newly-crowned ASCS National Champion Aaron Reutzel will shed his wings to vie for the $10,000 winner’s share as well.
Darland was the wingless Sprint Car winner last November at Southern New Mexico Speedway after Reutzel topped preliminary action.
Racing action starts at 7:45 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday with Saturday’s green flag flying at 6:30 p.m. General admission is $12 on both Thursday and Friday and then $18 on Saturday with children ages 10 and under admitted free. Pit passes are $40 each night with a three-day pit pass available for just $110.
Southern New Mexico Speedway is located west of Las Cruces off I-10 Exit 132, then south to Frontage Road and then 3.1 miles west on Robert Larson Boulevard. For more information, contact the track at 575-524-7913 or check online at http://snmspeedway.com/.
Wingless Series Season Finale Takes To Stockton Dirt Track Friday Night
Aptos, CA)- The stage is set for the Wingless Series presented by Joe Hunt Magnetos season finale Friday night at the Stockton Dirt Track, as Gary Nelson, Jr brings a 27 point lead over Klint Simpson into the series’ final race of the year as both drivers look for their first career series title.
Friday night the series opens up a monster Tribute to Gary Patterson weekend at the Stockton Dirt Track, as the weekend will mark the close of the Sprint Car season in Northern California, and it will also crown a new Wingless Series presented by Joe Hunt Magnetos Champion.
Nelson and Simpson have both had two polar opposite seasons to date, as Simpson has used the strength of two feature event wins to sit in the second spot, and Nelson has been a model of consistency as he is still in search of his first win of the season though sits atop the championship standings.
The series has been off for nearly two months, as the last event was back in September during the 2015 Gold Cup Race of Champions, a race that was won by Austin Liggett.
Friday night’s season finale at the Stockton Dirt Track will mark the series’ third visit to the high-speed 3/8 mile facility located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. In the first appearance back in June, Austin Liggett put together a strong showing to become the series’ first ever winner at the facility, in August Terry Schank Jr was able to pick up a win.
During the two previous stops at the speedway, our Championship drivers have both have strong runs with each having a podium run, but each have also had a tough night as well, making Friday night’s battle that much more exciting.
Other drivers that are likely to be on hand on Friday night include Terry Schank, Cody Fendley, Angelique Bell, Austin Liggett, Shane Myhre, Jimmy Christian, Nick Larson, John and Bradley Clark, Shayna Sylvia, and many more of the regions top wingless driers.
Friday night the front gate will open at 4pm with General Admission tickets available for $15, Kids 6-12 available for $5, and children five and under will be admitted for free.
WINNERS: Joe Stornetta (Silver Dollar Speedway on March 7th), Colton Slack (Calistoga Speedway on April 12th), Joe Stornetta (Placerville Speedway on May 30th), Austin Liggett (Stockton Dirt Track on June 13th), Terry Schank, (Calistoga Speedway on June 27th), Klint Simpson (Ocean Speedway on July 11th), Terry Schank (Petaluma Speedway on July 18th), Terry Schank (Stockton Dirt Track on August 1st), Terry Schank (Petaluma Speedway on August 8th), Klint Simpson (Ocean Speedway on August 29th) Austin Ligget (Silver Dollar Speedway on September 9th).
Jeremy Kerzman Captures First Traditional Win at Topless Nationals
By: Greg Parent, UMSS Media Director (10-24-15)
About a month before the Topless Nationals at the Ogilvie Raceway was scheduled to run, Jeremy Kerzman called UMSS Media Director Greg Parent and asked if the Traditional sprints could be added to the program. It was only fitting that the driver from Grey Eagle, Minnesota picked up his first career Traditional Sprint Car Series victory at the Big O on Saturday night October 24 during the running of the 5th Annual Topless Nationals. Kerzman came from his fourth starting spot up to second three laps into the race, and then made the winning pass of race leader Mike Mueller coming off turn two down the back stretch on lap 11. Although Mueller stayed closed, Kerzman drove to the win and celebrated his first "topless" sprint car feature win in Rock Auto Victory Lane along with his crew chief Ronnie Wuiff.
The Traditional sprints certainly fit right into the theme of the Topless Nationals, as the event was a late addition to the 2015 schedule. With the points championship already determined back in September at the Richert Memorial, the Topless Nationals race would be a non-point show but a fully sanctioned UMSS event. The series returned to Ogilvie for the first time since its inaugural season in 2011 when they ran twice at the Big O.
Although the Traditional sprints were only scheduled for the final night at the Topless Nationals, rain nixed the scheduled Friday night portion of the event for the other seven divisions on the program. Reduced to a one-day show on Saturday, the sun shown during the afternoon with seasonal temperatures. A huge field of 191 cars descended upon the Big O, as the pit area overflowed into the parking lot with race haulers. It would make for a long afternoon and evening of racing action at the big 3/8ths mile dirt oval, but the large crowd on hand certainly saw plenty of variety amongst the eight classes in action with some good racing taking place.
The Traditional sprints ran their usual format with Kerzman and Mike Walters winning the heat races. The top four drivers in passing and finishing points redrew for the top four starting spots in the main event. Walters drew the pole with Mueller outside of him. Scott Brandt and Kerzman sat in row 2 for the 20 lap feature. At the drop of the green, Mueller, who was looking for his first win of the season, got the advantage over Walters for the lead. Kerzman moved up to second on lap 3 and began looking for a way around Mueller. Kerzman was running up top on the cushion in turns 1 & 2, but at the opposite end, the bottom line was the quicker way around in turns 3 & 4. Making the winning pass on lap 11 flying off the top side of turn two, Kerzman led the remaining 10 laps for the victory. Mueller stayed close during the last half of the race but was unable to mount a real serious bid to regain the top spot. Mike Walters finished third behind the lead duo with 2015 TSCS Champion Rob Caho, Jr. and Brian VanMeveren rounding out the top five. Brandt, rookie Ty Sampair, Jori Hughes, Doug Taubert and Sid Denzer completed the top ten. The Traditional sprints ran all 36 laps (heats and feature) during the night caution-free.
With the late addition of the Topless Nationals in the books, the 2015 racing season officially concluded for this popular non-winged sprint division. Kerzman, who had previous winged sprint car racing experience, jumped into a Traditional sprint part way through the season when he purchased the car from Jim Goerges. A smiling Kerzman stated after the race that he was going to purchase a new Ron Olson race motor for the 2016 season and looked forward to more trips to victory lane next season.
UMSS Traditional Sprint Race Results, Ogilvie Raceway, October 24, 2015 (Race #25):
5th Annual Topless Nationals
A Feature (20 Laps): 1. Jeremy Kerzman; 2. Mike Mueller; 3. Mike Walters; 4. Rob Caho Jr.; 5. Brian Vanmeveren; 6. Scott Brandt; 7. Ty Sampair; 8. Jori Hughes; 9. Doug Taubert; 10. Sid Denzer. DNF Jon Lewerer.
NOVEMBER’S ALREADY RECORD OVAL NATIONALS PURSE GETS BIGGER!
(Perris, CA, October 15, 2015) On June 3rd, Perris Auto Speedway promoter Don Kazarian announced that the 20th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals Presented by All Coast Construction would carry an event record purse of more than $120,000.00. That record did not stand for long as Tuesday Kazarian announced that more money has been added to the already whopping swag.
The jump in the purse is $10,000.00 dollars and it brings the total to a new record $130,510.00. The extra money will be added to the paychecks of the drivers finishing second and third.
“Mike Grosswendt from All Coast Construction called me on Monday morning and said that he wanted to add more money to the purse,” Kazarian said. “He is adding an extra $5,000.00 for second place and an extra $5,000.00 for third in the Saturday night main event. That means the driver who finishes second on Saturday will now take home $15,000.00 and the third place driver will pocket $10,000.00. Previously second place was to pay $10,000.00 and third place was going to get $5,000.00. With the additions and the winner getting $25,000.00, a total of $50,000.00 will be paid for the first three spots. Mike’s addition to the purse is great news not only for the drivers, but for the fans as well!”
“Mike has a very successful construction business and he had been working on a massive project that has taken up most of his time for the last year,” Kazarian said with a nod. “However, he just finished that project and he is now going full throttle to help make the Oval Nationals bigger and better than ever. In addition to upping the prize money for second and third, he has some other ideas for this year’s Oval Nationals that we are announcing in the upcoming week. He has more passion than anyone I know for sprint car racing and he is a massive asset to the sport and Perris Auto Speedway.”
Grosswendt decided to add the extra dough to the purse at the urging of a good friend.
“I got the idea from Jon Stanbrough,” Grosswendt said. “We are friends and go out to dinner when he is out here to race. I like to talk to him and listen to what he has to say. He has been after me to get the prize money up for second and third. I am taking his advice and we are going to do that this year.”
The 20th edition of America’s most prestigious traditional sprint car race will take place on the famous Riverside County clay oval on November 12th, 13th and 14th. All three nights of intense racing action will be full-points paying races for the USAC National and USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series.’ In addition, there will be a practice session that will be free for fans in the grandstands on Wednesday, November 11th.