By Lonnie Wheatley, Tim Aylwin photo
TUCSON, Ariz. (November 18, 2011) – A pair of drivers seeking first Western World titles reached victory lane Friday night, as Brad Sweet and Tracy Hines posted victories in the 44th Annual Kronik Energy Drink Western World Championships Kronik Energy Qualifying event atop the 3/8-mile clay oval.
Sweet assumed the point eight laps into the winged Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters main event and then held off Danny Lasoski over the latter stages of the 25-lapper to earn a front row outside starting position in Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win Western World Championships main event.
In the wingless Sunoco Fuel ASCS Canyon Region portion, Hines gunned into the lead at the outset and dominated throughout to earn a front row starting berth in Saturday night’s $5,000-to-win finale. Two-time and defending wingless WWC champ Brady Bacon rallied from 13th to post runner-up honors.
A total of 104 competitors tackled the USA Raceway oval over the course of the two qualifying nights, including 61 winged Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars and 43 wingless ASCS Canyon Region campaigners.
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters (Winged)
Grass Valley, CA, native Brad Sweet became the 18th different Lucas Oil Sprint Car winner of the year by pacing the final 18 rounds of Friday night’s 25-lap winged Sprint Car feature at the 44th Annual Kronik Energy Drink Western World Championships at USA Raceway.
While Sweet started the feature outside the second row, it was front row starter Joey Saldana gunning into the lead at the outset and leading Sweet and pole starter Danny Lasoski in the early rounds.
Saldana reached traffic in just five rounds, with a caution flying after seven laps when Mason Moore came to a stop in turn two.
On the ensuing restart, tenth-running Jack Dover biked it entering turn one and flipped to bring out the red flag. Entering turn three as the red flag appeared, Saldana went over another full half lap at speed as the rest of the field shut down, just checking up in time to narrowly miss Dover’s mount, that was on its side.
As the field was being realigned, Saldana failed to respond to three separate radio checks over the Raceceiver and was black flagged to prevent any further potential incident putting the safety of any driver at unnecessary peril.
Sweet assumed the point on the restart and kept Lasoski at bay, working through traffic much of the way until one final caution flew when Wayne Johnson came to a stop in turn four just five laps shy of the checkered flag .
Sweet kept Harold Main’s H.A.M. Construction No. 35a entry out front over the final handful of circuits and took the checkered flag with a 0.624-second advantage over Lasoski in Mark Burch’s Engler Machine No. 1m Wolfweld.
Behind the lead duo, Jeff Swindell and Zach Chappell diced for the show position throughout with Swindell taking the spot at the line in his Roush/Yates Ford-powered No. 28 Maxim. Chappell turned in his strongest run of the season in Randy Washburn’s No. 0 J&J by crossing the stripe fourth, with Jason Johnson rounding out the top five and putting the clamps on the car owner’s portion of the Lucas Oil Sprint Car title chase in the JJR Don Ott-powered Haynes No. 41 Maxim.
Kyle Larson raced from 15th to sixth, with 12th-starter Austen Wheatley and 14th-starter Brian Brown finishing seventh and eighth, respectively, to lock into Saturday night’s WWC finale.
J.T. Imperial missed a lock-in by one position in ninth, with ASCS Northwest champion Roger Crocket completing the top ten.
Saldana, Crockett, Wayne Johnson and Imperial topped Friday night’s heat race action, with Tony Bruce, Jr., winning the “B” Main.
ASCS Canyon Region (Wingless)
Tracy Hines picked off his first win under the ASCS banner by wiring the field in Friday night’s 25-lap wingless Sunoco Fuel ASCS Canyon Region main event at the 44th Annual Kronik Energy Western World Championships atop the 3/8-mile USA Raceway clay oval.
After a convincing heat race win to open the night, Hines raced into the lead from his fourth starting position on the opening lap and throughout without challenge.
Hines led front row outside starter Casey Shuman and pole starter Mike Spencer in the early rounds before the race’s only interruption occurred after five laps when Koby Barksdale flipped on the frontstretch.
Hines checked out again on the restart, with Levi Jones working past both Josh Pelkey and then Spencer to take third by the tenth round.
In the meantime, two-time and defending wingless Western World champ Brady Bacon was on the move from the 13th starting position. Bacon was already seventh by the time Barksdale flipped and then battled past Robert Ballou for sixth by the tenth round.
With Hines working through heavy traffic out front at the midway point, Bacon disposed of Pelkey and Spencer to move to fourth by the 15th round and then took third from Jones on the 19th circuit.
After putting the tenth place car a lap down, Hines found open track with five laps to go and nearly a straightaway lead over Shuman, who ultimately surrendered the runner-up spot to Bacon on the 23rd lap.
Hines reached another group of backmarkers on the final circuit but still took the checkered flag with a 2.669 second advantage over Bacon. Shuman settled for the show position, with Jones and Spencer rounding out the top five.
Ballou was sixth, with Johnny Herrera taking the seventh and final lock-in position to Saturday night’s finale. Pelkey was eighth, with Joshua Hodges and Jimmy Crawford completing the top ten.
Hines, Bryan Swinehart and Spencer won Friday night’s heat races, with Koby Barksdale sliding past Mike Martin in the final corner to win the “B” Main.
44th Annual Kronik Energy Drink Western World Championships
Friday’s Kronik Energy Drink Qualifying Results
USA Raceway – Tucson, AZ
Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters (Winged Cars):
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to “B” Main):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 57s-Joey Saldana, 2. 0-Zach Chappell, 3. 1m-Danny Lasoski, 4. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 5. 05-Brad Loyet, 6. 3c-Cody Lamar, 7. 57x-Steve Stone, 8. 44k-Koty McGullam.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 11-Roger Crockett, 2. 41w-Joshua Williams, 3. 37-Matt Mitchell, 4. 41-Jason Johnson, 5. 77F-Kyle Larson, 6. 90-Lance Norick, 7. 2-Dustin Morgan, 8. 88-Tim Crawley.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 2. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 3. 28-Jeff Swindell, 4. 21-Brian Brown, 5. 11c-Matt Covington, 6. 8-John Carney II, 7. 78-Jody Williams, 8. 15c-Joey Chester.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 1x-J.T. Imperial, 2. 35a-Brad Sweet, 3. 5h-Mason Moore, 4. 53-Jack Dover, 5. 29-Justyn Cox, 6. 77c-Colt Treharn, 7. 20z-Rick Ziehl, 8. 5m-Kyle McCutcheon.
“B” Main (Top 6 Advance to “A” Main): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 05-Brad Loyet, 3. 37-Matt Mitchell, 4. 11c-Matt Covington, 5. 8-John Carney II, 6. 88-Tim Crawley, 7. 2-Dustin Morgan, 8. 90-Lance Norick, 9. 20z-Rick Ziehl, 10. 5m-Kyle McCutcheon, 11. 78-Jody Williams, 12. 15c-Joey Chester, 13. 3c-Cody Lamar, 14. 77c-Colt Treharn, 15. 57x-Steve Stone. DNS: 44k-Koty McGullam.
Lucas Oil ASCS Western World Friday Preliminary Feature (Top 8 Lock into Saturday’s “A” Main):
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 35a-Brad Sweet, 2. 1m-Danny Lasoski, 3. 28-Jeff Swindell, 4. 0-Zach Chappell, 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 6. 77F-Kyle Larson, 7. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 8. 21-Brian Brown, 9. 1x-J.T. Imperial, 10. 11-Roger Crockett, 11. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 12. 88-Tim Crawley, 13. 05-Brad Loyet, 14. 29-Justyn Cox, 15. 8-John Carney II, 16. 5h-Mason Moore, 17. 37-Matt Mitchell, 18. 41w-Joshua Williams, 19. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 20. 11c-Matt Covington, 21. 53-Jack Dover, 22. 57s-Joey Saldana.
Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1-7, Brad Sweet 8-25.
ASCS Canyon Region (Non-Wing Cars):
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to “B” Main):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 4-Tracy Hines, 2. 1mx-Robert Ballou, 3. 20-Levi Jones, 4. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 5. 99-Brady Bacon, 6. 16-Mike Martin, 7. 20x-Shon Deskins, 8. 7k-Bruce St. James.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 68-Bryan Swinehart, 2. 21x-Casey Shuman, 3. 0-Jimmy Crawford, 4. 19-Andrew Reinbold, 5. 78-Chris Bonneau, 6. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 7. 2-Ryan Bernal, 8. 48T-Thomas Ogle.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 7-Mike Spencer, 2. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 3. 12-Josh Pelkey, 4. 9-Brandon Lane, 5. 99a-James Aragon, 6. 8sk-Tim Beal, 7. 5-Koby Barksdale.
“B” Main (Top 4 Advance to “A” Main):
“B” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 5-Koby Barksdale, 2. 16-Mike Martin, 3. 20x-Shon Deskins, 4. 2-Ryan Bernal, 5. 7k-Bruce St. James, 6. 8sk-Tim Beal. DNS: 48T-Thomas Ogle.
ASCS Canyon Region Western World Friday Preliminary Feature (Top 7 Lock into Saturday’s “A” Main):
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 4-Tracy Hines, 2. 99-Brady Bacon, 3. 21x-Casey Shuman, 4. 20-Levi Jones, 5. 7-Mike Spencer, 6. 1mx-Robert Ballou, 7. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 8. 12-Josh Pelkey, 9. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 10. 0-Jimmy Crawford, 11. 77-Dalten Gabbard, 12. 2-Ryan Bernal, 13. 19-Andrew Reinbold, 14. 78-Chris Bonneau, 15. 68-Bryan Swinehart, 16. 16-Mike Martin, 17. 9-Brandon Lane, 18. 99a-James Aragon, 19. 20x-Shon Deskins, 20. 5-Koby Barksdale.
Lap Leaders: Tracy Hines 1-25.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Driver Points (Top 15): 1. Shane Stewart 3,117, 2. Johnny Herrera 3,096 3. Brady Bacon 2,957, 4. Jeff Swindell 2,922, 5. Gary Wright 2,833, 6. Tim Crawley 2,815, 7. Jason Johnson 2,737, 8. Tony Bruce, Jr. 2,591, 9. Seth Bergman 2,559, 10. Aaron Reutzel 2,494, 11. Zach Chappell 2,325, 12. Wayne Johnson 2,043, 13. Jack Dover 1,801, 14. Dustin Morgan 1,589, 15. Danny Wood 1,456.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Owner Points (Top 15): 1. Jason Johnson Racing #41 – 3,289, 2. Paul Silva #57 – 3,117, 3. Herrera/Main #45x – 3,096, 4. Bacon/Tel-Star #99 – 2,957, 5. Swindell Group #28 – 2,922, 6. Mike Ward #88 – 2,815, 7. Bruce Racing #18 2,591, 8. Petersen Motorsports #23 2,559, 9. Kenny Reutzel #87 – 2,494, 10. Randy Washburn #0 – 2,325, 11. Gary Wright #9 – 2,237, 12. M&M Motorsports #2 – 1,589, 13. Danny Wood #81 – 1,456, 14. Sam Hafertepe #15 – 1,442, 15. Jack Dover #53 – 1,429.
Sunoco Fuel ASCS Southwest Points (Top 10): 1. Rick Ziehl 2,483, 2. Calvin Landis 2,254, 3. Kyle McCutcheon 2,165, 4. Dalten Gabbard 2,123, 5. Lance Norick 2,058, 6. Joshua Williams 2,042, 7. Jordan Stetson 1,811, 8. Joshua Hodges 1,804, 9. Joey Chester 1,776, 10. John Carney II 1,600.
Sunoco Fuel ASCS Canyon Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Jeremy Sherman 2,218, 2. Charles Davis, Jr. 2,164, 3. R.J. Johnson 1,945, 4. Ronnie Clark 1,817, 5. Andrew Reinbold 1,775, 6. Mike Martin 1,681, 7. Josh Pelkey 1,680, 8. Bruce St. James 1,662, 9. Ryan Linder 1,597, 10. Justin Quinn 1,596.