By Lonnie Wheatley
LA MONTE, Mo. (July 30, 2010) – It was all too fitting that a Rock Star reach victory lane in the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National debut at LA Raceway, as reigning series champion Shane Stewart snared his second win of the season by topping Friday night’s 30-lap main event.
The Bixby, OK, native took the lead away from fellow Sooner State shoe Zach Chappell on the 24th circuit and paced the final rounds aboard Paul Silva’s Wesmar-powered Rock Star Energy Drink No. 57 A.R.T. for the $6,000 victory.
It proved to be a case of being in the right place at the right time for Stewart, as Chappell suffered wing damage after a tangle in traffic on the 23rd lap.
“I feel sorry for Zach Chappell, I’m not sure what that lapped car was thinking,” Stewart commented in victory lane.
While Stewart originally started the feature event inside the third row, he slid forward one row when pole starter Josh Fisher looped it in the opening pair of corners, somehow escaping further mayhem as the balance of the 25-car feature starting field dodged him without incident.
Brodix Rookie of the Year contenders Matt Covington and Dustin Morgan led the way to the green flag on the second start and battled in wheel-to-wheel fashion for the opening two rounds before Morgan finally edged into the lead.
Stewart moved in to challenge Covington for second and nearly slipped off the top of turn four on the seventh round, allowing seventh-starter Chappell to race by into third. Chappell charged past Covington for second one lap later, with Stewart battling past Covington as well the next time around.
Just as Chappell was moving in on Morgan to challenge for the point, sixth-runner Brian Brown flipped in turn four when a left front torsion stop came off. As Brown climbed from the wreckage uninjured, fifth-running Gary Wright retired pitside with a cut tire.
As action resumed, Chappell slid past Morgan for the lead and paced the field over the ensuing rounds aboard David Chappell’s Wesmar-powered Legend’s Bar-B-Que No. 50z Maxim with Stewart moving past Morgan for second on the 14th lap.
Holding a five car-length advantage over Stewart in his bid for a second series win in as many Missouri appearances thus far in 2010, Chappell’s luck soured on the 23rd lap when Danny Wood slipped off turn two and came back onto the track and into Chappell’s car. Wood spun to a stop to bring out the caution, while Chappell limped away with enough damage to slow him over the final rounds.
“It was a bad deal,” Chappell commented afterward. “We got together with Danny Wood over there and it bent the sideboard in on the wing. It killed all our side bite.”
With eight rounds remaining, the wing-crippled Chappell was no match for Stewart, who motored by on the 24th circuit en route to his 20th career ASCS National triumph.
“It just worked out for us,” Stewart explained. “Zach missed the bottom a little bit in three and four, I’m sure his top wing wasn’t helping that situation.”
After starting 15th, current series points leader Jason Johnson was up to seventh after Brown’s lap ten flip and then third by the time of the Chappell-Wood encounter.
Johnson blasted around Chappell in the final circuits and chased Stewart to the line. “We had a great car, just started too far back,” Johnson commented of a runner-up finish aboard the JJR Don Ott-powered Haynes No. 41 Maxim. ”I wouldn’t have minded one last restart to make a run at it.”
Chappell limped home third, commenting that, “We salvaged a third, we can’t complain.”
After pacing the initial nine circuits, Morgan drove the Wesmar-powered Ark Wrecking Co. of Oklahoma No. 93 entry to an ASCS National career-best finish of fourth.
Transferring from “B” Main action, 20-year-old Nebraska shoe Jack Dover charged through the field from 17th to round out the top five, with Tony Bruce, Jr., hot on his heels with a run from 19th to sixth.
Darren Long posted his best career series finish by rallying from 18th to seventh, with Covington crossing the stripe in eighth. Mark Shirshekan recorded his first career Lucas Oil ASCS National top-ten run by taking the checkered flag in ninth, with leading Rookie contender Kyle Hirst completing the top ten.
Wright, Fisher, Jonathan Cornell, Stewart and Wood topped heat race action for the 44-car field, with Dover and Long winning the “B” Mains.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
LA Raceway Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 2 “B” Mains):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 9x-Gary Wright, 2. 14-Randy Martin, 3. 95-Matt Covington, 4. 3g-Darren Long, 5. 99-Brady Bacon, 6. 48-Ryan Schlender, 7. 5-Jason Schroeder, 8. 75-Tyler Blank, 9. 19-Mitchell Moore.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 86x-Josh Fisher, 2. 21-Brian Brown, 3. 5h-Justyn Cox, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 88-Tim Crawley, 7. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 8. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 9. 10-Chris Coleman.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 2. 71-Channin Tankersley, 3. 1-Sean McClelland, 4. 86-Don Droud, Jr., 5. 3p-Rusty Potter, 6. 21T-Eric Todd, 7. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 8. 10x-Mike Trent. DNS: 44-Jon Corbin.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 6-Kyle Hirst, 3. 54-Austin Alumbaugh, 4. 88k-J. Kinder, 5. 15-Jeff Wingate, 6. 72-Curtis Boyer, 7. 19s-Steven Cross, 8. 93w-Taylor Walton, 9. 10a-Ricky Logan.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 94-Danny Wood, 2. 50z-Zach Chappell, 3. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 4. 93-Dustin Morgan, 5. 165-Haley Arnold, 6. 38-Cody Baker, 7. 9c-Tony Crank, 8. 44w-Austen Wheatley.
“B” Mains (Top 3 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 4. 86-Don Droud, Jr., 5. 10a-Ricky Logan, 6. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 7. 72-Curtis Boyer, 8. 165-Haley Arnold, 9. 48-Ryan Schlender, 10. 5-Jason Schroeder, 11. 15-Jeff Wingate, 12. 75-Tyler Blank, 13. 9c-Tony Crank. DNS: 10x-Mike Trent.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 3g-Darren Long, 2. 88-Tim Crawley, 3. 54-Austin Alumbaugh, 4. 3p-Rusty Potter, 5. 94z-Zach Zimmerly, 6. 21T-Eric Todd, 7. 38-Cody Baker, 8. 88-J. Kinder, 9. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 10. 19s-Steven Cross, 11. 10-Chris Coleman, 12. 93w-Taylor Walton. DNS: 19-Mitchell Moore, 44-Jon Corbin.
LA Raceway “A” Main:
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 50z-Zach Chappell, 4. 93-Dustin Morgan, 5. 53-Jack Dover, 6. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 7. 3g-Darren Long, 8. 95-Matt Covington, 9. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 10. 6-Kyle Hirst, 11. 88-Tim Crawley, 12. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 13. 99-Brady Bacon, 14. 14-Randy Martin, 15. 71-Channin Tankersley, 16. 10a-Ricky Logan, 17. 54-Austin Alumbaugh, 18. 5h-Justyn Cox, 19. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 20. 88k-J. Kinder, 21. 94-Danny Wood, 22. 86x-Josh Fisher, 23. 9x-Gary Wright, 24. 21-Brian Brown, 25. 1-Sean McClelland.
Lap Leaders: Dustin Morgan 1-9, Zach Chappell 10-23, Shane Stewart 24-30.
Note: Ricky Logan and Austen Wheatley both utilized mid-season bonus full-point provisionals to start the main event, while J. Kinder utilized a WOW provisional to start the main event.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. Jason Johnson 1,933, 2. Shane Stewart 1,866, 3. Brady Bacon 1,842, 4. Jack Dover 1,781, 5. Zach Chappell 1,695, 6. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,672, 7. Tim Crawley 1,669, 8. Danny Wood 1,622, 9. Kyle Hirst 1,617, 10. Ricky Logan 1,543, 11. Matt Covington 1,506, 12. Darren Long 1,330, 13. Dustin Morgan 1,320, 14. Channin Tankersley 1,317, 15. (tie) Austen Wheatley and Justyn Cox 1,244, 17. Travis Rilat 1,152, 18. Gary Wright 999, 19. Andrew Marshala 823, 20. Sean McClelland 579.