From Lonnie Wheatley
WHEATLAND, Mo. (June 18, 2011) – But that’s exactly what the Grain Valley, MO, shoe did, rallying from 18th to take the lead away from current series point leader Brad Loyet on the 23rd circuit to win the hotly-contested 25-lapper atop the 3/8-mile “Diamond of Dirt Tracks” in the FVP No. 21 Maxim.
“After the heat race, we weren’t too sure about it but we had to give it a try,” Brown explained of his third ASCS Regional triumph of the year and 26th career overall ASCS win. “Wow, what a race!”
After charging from 12th to second in the “B” Main just to make the feature cut, Brown gridded the 20-car feature field nine rows deep.
Meanwhile, Kyle Bellm and Brad Loyet led the feature field to the green flag and set the tone for the race with several slide jobs in just the first lap and a half before the red flag flew when Bryan Grimes got upside down in turn two after being collected along with ninth-starter Jack Dover in an incident with Justyn Cox. Dover returned sans nose wing after hasty repairs, while Cox was unable to refire.
With Bellm holding the lead on the restart, Loyet challenged only to have fifth-starter Randy Martin race by on the high side for second. Bellm, Martin and Loyet held down the top three positions over the ensuing laps just ahead of Cody Baker and Jonathan Cornell, with Brown up to sixth by the eighth round.
Brown slipped by Cornell for fifth on the tenth circuit, with action reaching a boiling point as traffic came into play at the midway point.
Martin briefly slipped by Bellm for the point on the backstretch on the 13th circuit, only to have Bellm slide back into the lead exiting turn four. With the top six cars of Bellm, Martin, Loyet, Baker, Brown and Cornell separated by mere car-lengths as they raced in two and three-wide formation over the next several rounds, Loyet played his cards right in traffic and raced into the lead on the 16th lap.
The multi-time Midget champion broke away from the frothing lead pack and set a blistering pace as he looked to be en route to his first career Sprint Car win until the first of three late cautions flew after 20 laps for Brad Graham’s spin in turn two.
With one lapped car separating Loyet from Bellm and Brown on the restart, Loyet slipped away as Bellm and Brown made quick work of the lapper before the caution flew a lap later when Dover stopped in turn two with steering woes.
No lapped cars were among the top runners on the ensuing restart, with Brown sliding past Bellm for second before a final caution flew after the 22nd lap when Graham smacked the turn one wall.
With the charging Brown now on Loyet’s tailtank, the inevitable slide job was successfully executed for the lead in turns one and two with Brown then dipping down low to block the counter slide in the next set of corners.
Loyet made one last bid in turns one and two on the white flag lap, but Brown dipped back under exiting turn two and then held the point over the final lap and a half to secure the hard-fought win.
Loyet settled for runner-up honors, with Martin in the show position. Cornell crossed the stripe fourth, with Evan Martin rounding out the top five to post a career-best ASCS Regional finish.
Baker was sixth, with 17th-starter Dustin Barks, 20th-starter Tyler Blank, Austin Alumbaugh and Ty Williams completing the top ten.
After leading much of the way, Bellm ran short of fuel in the closing circuits and was credited with 14th in the final rundown.
Grimes, Cornell, Randy Martin and Cox won heat races for the 33-car field, with Barks winning the 12-lap “B” Main.
Steven Cross’ night ended before it began when he slid high and tagged the turn two wall violently in hot laps. Mark Shirshekan, who entered the weekend tied for the ASCS Warrior points lead, flipped one lap into the night’s opening heat race and was done for the night. Chad Corken climbed a Justyn Cox right rear while dicing for the lead in the fourth heat race and was done for the night as well. There were no injuries.
Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior Results from Lucas Oil Speedway:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 6-Bryan Grimes, 2. 53-Jack Dover, 3. 4-Evan Martin, 4. 1-Ty Williams, 5. 1x-Brad Ryun, 6. 5m-Miranda Arnold, 7. 75-Tyler Blank, 8. 9c-Tony Crank, 9. 3-Mark Shirshekan.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 2. 33-Austin Alumbaugh, 3. 04-Brad Graham, 4. 9m-Cody Baker, 5. 22-Dustin Barks, 6. 17-Kyle Carpenter, 7. 11c-Dakota Carroll, 8. 21-Brian Brown.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 14-Randy Martin, 2. 7j-J.D. Black, 3. 09-Josh Stephens, 4. 29-Rusty Quick, 5. 3v-Tyler Utz, 6. 65L-Nick Lucito. DNS: 10-Mike Trent, 19s-Steven Cross.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 21c-Justyn Cox, 2. 05-Brad Loyet, 3. 86-Kyle Bellm, 4. 165-Haley Arnold, 5. 92j-J.R. Topper, 6. 23F-Matt Fox, 7. 65-T.J. Muths, 8. 11-Chad Corken.
“B” Main (12 Laps): 1. 22-Dustin Barks, 2. 21-Brian Brown, 3. 1x-Brad Ryun, 4. 75-Tyler Blank, 5. 17-Kyle Carpenter, 6. 23F-Matt Fox, 7. 65L-Nick Lucito, 8. 3v-Tyler Utz, 9. 92j-J.R. Topper, 10. 11c-Dakota Carroll, 11. 9c-Tony Crank, 12. 5m-Miranda Arnold. DNS: 65-T.J. Muths, 3-Mark Shirshekan, 11-Chad Corken, 10-Mike Trent, 19s-Steven Cross.
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 21-Brian Brown, 2. 05-Brad Loyet, 3. 14-Randy Martin, 4. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 5. 4-Evan Martin, 6. 9m-Cody Baker, 7. 22-Dustin Barks, 8. 75-Tyler Blank, 9. 33-Austin Alumbaugh, 10. 1-Ty Williams, 11. 1x-Brad Ryun, 12. 29-Rusty Quick, 13. 7j-J.D. Black, 14. 86-Kyle Bellm, 15. 04-Brad Graham, 16. 53-Jack Dover, 17. 09-Josh Stephens, 18. 165-Haley Arnold, 19. 21c-Justyn Cox, 20. 6-Bryan Grimes.
Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Brad Loyet 561, 2. Randy Martin 510, 3 Jonathan Cornell 474, 4. Kyle Bellm 457, 5. Mark Shirshekan 450, 6. Austin Alumbaugh 447, 7. Cody Baker 441, 8. Josh Stephens 416, 9. Tyler Blank 371, 10. Evan Martin 333.