Lonnie Wheatley, TUCSON, Ariz. (November 20, 2010) – Donny Schatz and Brady Bacon both bagged second career Western World titles with victories in Saturday night’s 43rd Annual Kronik Energy Drink Western World Championships at USA Raceway.
Schatz wired the field in the 30-lap Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National feature event for his first Western World title since 1999, while Bacon rallied from six rows deep to top the wingless ASCS Canyon Region portion of the event for the second year in a row.
North Dakota’s Schatz pocketed $15,000 for his second Lucas Oil ASCS National win of the weekend after topping Thursday’s preliminary feature, while Oklahoma’s Bacon earned $5,000 for his eighth career win under the ASCS banner.
A total of 119 competitors took part in the 43rd Annual Western World Championships, including 64 in the winged Lucas Oil ASCS National ranks and 55 wingless ASCS Canyon Region contenders.
Three drivers, including Bacon, Johnny Herrera and Kyle Larson, made the cut for both the winged and wingless feature events. Herrera, second in the winged feature and sixth in the wingless main event, was awarded the Rocket Hard Charger Memorial Award in memory of Jesse Hockett for best combined finish in both feature events.
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters (Winged)
Fargo, North Dakota’s Donny Schatz laid the groundwork for Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win Western World finale by earning the pole position with a convincing triumph in Thursday night’s preliminary feature event.
Schatz finished it off in strong form, gunning into the lead at the outset and pacing all 30 rounds atop the 3/8-mile USA Raceway clay oval aboard Tony Stewart’s Bass Pro Shops No. 20 machine for his second career Western World triumph.
“The nice thing about racecars is some days they’re awesome and some days you can’t find your ass, I guess that was one of those good nights tonight,” Schatz commented.
While Schatz led throughout, until a late caution gave him open track, he had company most of the way as Friday night winner Johnny Herrera and Danny Lasoski kept the heat on as they sought any opportunity to pounce for the lead as traffic played a factor.
Schatz, who reached the tail of the field by the tenth circuit, found open track once again when the race’s only caution flew after 21 laps for Michael Dupuy’s stalled mount. Schatz checked out on the restart and raced to the checkered flag with a substantial 1.726-second advantage over Herrera’s JHR No. 45x Maxim.
“After that restart he was a lot better than me, he got away there and I couldn’t get going as good as I was before that restart,” Herrera explained.
Lasoski settled for the show position in the Kistler-powered Michael Ross Foundation No. 33 Eagle, while current Lucas Oil ASCS National points leader Jason Johnson battled his way to a fourth-place finish in the JJR Don Ott-powered Haynes/Pope Transportation No. 41 Maxim.
After dicing with Johnson much of the way, Joey Saldana rounded out the top five in the Kasey Kahne Racing Budweiser No. 9, with Cody Darrah, Jack Dover, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., Shane Stewart and Brady Bacon completing the top ten.
After Dalten Gabbard and Kyle Hirst kicked off Saturday night’s racing festivities with “C” Main wins, Lucas Wolfe and Brian Brown topped the “B” Mains.
ASCS Canyon Region (Wingless)
When Brady Bacon broke an engine in Thursday night’s winged qualifying action and the Tel-Star crew had to pull the engine from the wingless car to put in the winged car, the chances of defending his wingless Western World title seemed slim with no spare engine at his disposal.
But, Louisiana car owner Joe Zierolf stepped up and offered a Shark powerplant that ultimately led the 20-year-old Broken Arrow, OK, shoe to USA Raceway victory lane once again.
“I have to think Joe (Zierolf) and Michael (Dupuy) with the JazTek No. 3x car, if it wasn’t for them letting me use a motor we’d have just been watching this race,” Bacon commented.
After finishing sixth in Friday night’s preliminary main event to earn a sixth row starting berth for Saturday’s $5,000-to-win wingless finale, Bacon charged to the front and took the lead away from Levi Jones on the 18th lap en route to another Arizona win.
“I didn’t think we were gonna make it there about halfway,” Bacon explained afterwards. “There’s a lot of good guys out here and I was just fortunate enough to find the racetrack before anyone else did.”
While Bacon started six rows deep, it was Thursday winner R.J. Johnson gunning into the early lead with Chris Windom and Charles Davis, Jr., moving past Johnny Herrera for second and third, respectively, by the time the caution flew after five laps for Kyle Larson’s disabled mount.
While “Chargin’” Charles Davis, Jr., put the clamps on a second consecutive ASCS Canyon Region title, his Western World hopes ended when he flipped in turn one on the restart after getting together with Windom.
“Windom’s an idiot and always has been,” an irritated Davis shared moments later.
Back under way, Johnson led the way on the top side with Windom challenging down low. The pair battled side-by-side for most of the next ten laps, with Windom edging ahead on the 10th circuit. Windom, the recently crowned Oval Nationals champ, surrendered the point however when he clipped an infield tire entering turn one on the 16th lap and spun to a stop with front end woes.
With Johnson back up front, he now had tenth-starter Levi Jones on his tailtank with Jerry Coons, Jr., and Bacon next in line. Jones pounced on the lead immediately, with Bacon past both Coons and Johnson for second by the 17th lap.
The next time around, Bacon powered around the topside of turns one and two to take the lead away from Jones. Bacon ducked back down to the lowside and slipped away to an impressive 4.087-second victory aboard Mike and Megan Eubanks’ Tel-Star Communications No. 99 Triple-X with Jones settling for runner-up honors in the Tony Stewart Racing STP No 20 machine.
“We just missed it a little bit tonight, usually we lose races because we’re too tight but tonight we didn’t go far enough,” Jones explained. “The 99 and Brady, they were really good.”
Filling out the podium was Bud Kaeding, who bounced back in strong fashion from a wild Thursday night crash to claim the show position. After racing from 12th to third in “B” Main ation earlier in the night, Kaeding continued his crowd-pleasing march in the feature event with a dazzling drive from 17th to third.
“I just needed you guys to throw a hotdog wrapper on the track or something, we needed a NASCAR yellow to get up there and maybe challenge that 99 car,” Kaeding commented after Mike Martin, Mickey Meyer and company thrashed to piece together a car that the California shoe guided to the podium.
Johnson crossed the stripe fourth, with Shane Cottle rounding out the top five. Herrera was sixth at the line, with Friday night winner Robert Ballou, Coons, Jr., 16th-starter Dustin Morgan and Stevie Sussex completing the top ten.
Rick Ziehl and Morgan claimed “B” Main wins earlier in the evening.
43rd Annual Kronik Energy Drink Western World Championships
Saturday Night Championship Finale Results
USA Raceway – Tucson, AZ
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters (Winged Cars):
“C” Mains (Top 4 from Each Advance to “B” Mains):
First “C” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 2. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 3. 90-Lance Norick, 4. 98mn-Mitch Olson, 5. 15-Bud Goodwin, 6. 57x-Steve Stone, 7. 11x-Chad Corken, 8. 78-Jody Williams, 9. 45-Martin Edwards. DNS: 77T-Colt Treharn.
Second “C” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 6-Kyle Hirst, 2. 53x-Andy Gregg, 3. 10a-Ricky Logan, 4. 31-Brandon Berryman, 5. 1s-Sean McClelland, 6. 1p-Curtis Evans, 7. 20az-George Suprick, 8. 44k-Koty McGullam, 9. 41w-Joshua Williams.
“B” Mains (Top 3 from Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 57w-Lucas Wolfe, 2. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 3. 79-Calvin Landis, 4. 3s-John Carney II, 5. 95-Matt Covington, 6. 21c-Justyn Cox, 7. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 8. 50z-Zach Chappell, 9. 98m-Mitch Olson, 10. 35g-Shane Golobic, 11. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 12. 90-Lance Norick, 13. 1x-J.T. Imperial, 14. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 15. 20z-Rick Ziehl, 16. 94T-Steven Tiner,
Second “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 21-Brian Brown, 2. 35-Paul McMahan, 3. 2L-Logan Forler, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 2b-Logan Forler, 6. 5h-Justyn Cox, 7. 3g-Darren Long, 8. 93-Dustin Morgan, 9. 97b-Aaron Berryhill, 10. 53x-Andy Gregg, 11. 55-Trey Starks, 12. 10a-Ricky Logan, 13. 6-Kyle Hirst, 14. 31-Brandon Berryman, 15. 22j-John Gaston, 16. 71-Channin Tankersley.
Lucas Oil ASCS Western World Championship Finale:
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 20-Donny Schatz, 2. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 3. 33-Danny Lasoski, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 9-Joey Saldana, 6. 89-Cody Darrah, 7. 53-Jack Dover, 8. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 9. 57-Shane Stewart, 10. 99-Brady Bacon, 11. 83-Tim Kaeding, 12. 1-Sammy Swindell, 13. 9x-Gary Wright, 14. 75-Kyle Larson, 15. 21-Brian Brown, 16. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 17. 57w-Lucas Wolfe, 18. 35-Paul McMahan, 19. 2L-Logan Forler, 20. 88-Tim Crawley, 21. 11-Roger Crockett, 22. 79-Calvin Landis, 23. 3x-Michael Dupuy, 24. 6-Kyle Hirst.
Lap Leaders: Donny Schatz 1-30.
Note: Tim Crawley and Kyle Hirst both utilized provisionals to start the main event. It was Crawley’s third overall and first partial-point provisional; Crawley has one partial-point provisional remaining. It was Hirst’s fourth and final provisional of the year.
ASCS Canyon Region (Non-Wing Cars):
“B” Mains (Top 3 from Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 20z-Rick Ziehl, 2. 16b-Bud Kaeding, 3. 12T-Gary Taylor, 4. 16-Mike Martin, 5. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 6. 20s-Casey Shuman, 7. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 8. 7b-Nathan High, 9. 7k-Bruce St. James, 10. 6c-Rex Calderwood, 11. 11w-Tim West, 12. 6s-Tim Beal, 13. 5x-Jody Wirth, 14. 11-Danny Sheridan, 15. 96-Carson Ditsch. DNS: 21p-Mike Colegove, 8x-Chris Beal.
Second “B” Feature (15 Laps): 1. 93x-Dustin Morgan, 2. 19-Andrew Reinbold, 3. 77mx-Bryan Swinehart, 4. 44-Kevin Swindell, 5. 21az-Jon Stanbrough, 6. 32b-Brian Hosford, 7. 48T-Thomas Ogle, 8. 9-Brandon Lane, 9. 33-Matt Rossi, 10. 0-Jimmy Crawford, 11. 38z-Fritz Croy, 12. 93-Justin Quinn, 13. 8az-Jordan Stetson, 14. 12-Josh Pelkey. DNS: 6-Ronnie Clark, 5-Patrick Krob.
ASCS Canyon Region Western World Championship Finale:
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 20-Levi Jones, 3. 16b-Bud Kaeding, 4. 77m-R.J. Johnson, 5. 8b-Shane Cottle, 6. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 7. 9b-Robert Ballou, 8. 66-Jerry Coons, Jr., 9. 93x-Dustin Morgan, 10. 62-Stevie Sussex, 11. 74-Colby Copeland, 12. 44-Kevin Swindell, 13. 12T-Gary Taylor, 14. 20z-Rick Ziehl, 15. 19-Andrew Reinbold, 16. 16-Mike Martin, 17. 78-Chris Bonneau, 18. 77mx-Bryan Swinehart, 19. 11x-Chris Windom, 20. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 21. 71-Kyle Larson, 22. 17-Chris Morgan.
Lap Leaders: R.J. Johnson 1-9, Chris Windom 10-15, Levi Jones 16-17, Brady Bacon 18-30.
Note: Mike Martin and Kevin Swindell started the main event via promoter’s option, racing for money only and no additional points.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. Jason Johnson 3,509, 2. Brady Bacon 3,375, 3. Shane Stewart 3,335, 4. Jack Dover 3,268, 5. Tim Crawley 3,154, 6. Tony Bruce, Jr. 3,017, 7. Zach Chappell 2,948, 8. Kyle Hirst 2,874, 9. Danny Wood 2,839, 10. Ricky Logan 2,789, 11. Matt Covington 2,739, 12. Darren Long 2,566, 13. Dustin Morgan 2,513, 14. Channin Tankersley 2,481, 15. Gary Wright 2,206, 16. Brian Brown 1,756, 17. Justyn Cox 1,674, 18. Johnny Herrera 1,417, 19. Austen Wheatley 1,344, 20. Travis Rilat 1,152.
ASCS Southwest Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Rick Ziehl 2,093, 2. Calvin Landis 2,067, 3. John Gaston 1,950, 4. Joshua Hodges 1,854, 5. Joshua Williams 1,775, 6. Steve Stone 1,742, 7. Koty McGullam 1,635, 8. Lance Norick 1,434, 9. J.T. Imperial 1,335, 10. Johnny Herrera 1,308.
ASCS Canyon Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Charles Davis, Jr. 2,324, 2. R.J. Johnson 2,184, 3. Mike Martin 2,010, 4. Josh Pelkey 1,999, 5. Andrew Reinbold 1,957, 6. Jeremy Sherman 1,832, 7. Ronnie Clark 1,806, 8. Stevie Sussex 1,678, 9. Dalten Gabbard 1,664, 10. Brian Hosford 1,601.