Bill W’s Race Report: Night #2 of the 2009 Short Track Nationals

From Bill W


I-30 Speedway
Little Rock, AR

Short Track Nationals Night #2

49 cars

Passing points were used in the heats to form the qualifiers, which were inverted by eight. The top twenty drivers in the heats and qualifiers combined locked themselves into the A. The top three finishers lock themselves into Saturday’s finale.

Heat one (started): 1. Ray Allen Kulhanek 17c (1) 2. Cody Gardner 1G (5) 3. Jerrod Hull 12H (6) 4. AG Rains 3 (4) 5. Aaron Reutzel 87R (9) 6. Ryan Bickett 17B (2) 7. Donovan Peterson 11xs (3) 8. Chad Pitts 1x (8) 9. Koty Adams 16A (7)

Kulhanek took the early lead in the 10-lapper. Peterson spun on lap three. Kulhanek led Rains, Bickett, Hull and Gardner back to green. Rains was sent to the back for jumping on the restart. Bickett was into second on lap six, when he went over the turn four berm and brought caution. Kulhanek led Gardner, Hull, Reutzel and Rains back to green and held off Gardner for the win. Hull worked on second in the late stages, but didn’t quite get there.

Heat two (started): 1. Jason Johnson 41 (4) 2. Lewis Jenkins Jr. 7H (1) 3. Joe Wood Jr. 03 (6) 4. Lee Sowell 51 (2) 5. Jack Dover 53 (3) 6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 40R (7) 7. Mike Wells 8m (5) DNS – Paul Sides 7s

Sowell got sideways and kept going at the start, but he collected Dover and Wells in the process. Dover changed a left rear tire and rejoined the field at the tail. Jenkins took the early lead, using the low side. Wood Jr. was on the move and into second by lap two, when Wells spun. Jenkins led Wood, Sowell, J. Johnson and Stenhouse back to green flag racing. J. Johnson picked his way forward and after a good battle, shot by Jenkins with two to go. Stenhouse spun out of third on the last lap.

Heat three (started): 1. Jeff Swindell 12 (1) 2. Zach Pringle 8z (4) 3. Danny Wood 94 (6) 4. Darren Long 7 (3) 5. Kaley Gharst 6s (7) 6. Wade Oliver 58 (8) 7. Derek Hagar 9JR (5) 8. Bruce Griffith Jr. 17 (2) Swindell was gone, and was only slowed by a single caution. Gharst spun on lap three, restarted at the tail and had to work back to grab fifth on the final lap.

Heat four (started): 1. Kenneth Walker 2w (1) 2. Gary Wright 9x (2) 3. Donnie Ray Crawford 55 (5) 4. Tim Crawley 88 (7) 5. Greg Wilson w20 (8) 6. Steve Short 8s (6) 7. Andrew Marshala 87A (4) 8. Jay Adams 19 (3)

Walker led early before Adams spun into the infield tires with two in the books. Walker led Wright, Crawford, Crawley and Short on the restart. Wright worked over Walker, but fell just short at the checkers.

Heat five (started): 1. Jonathan Allard 91 (3) 2. Jim Moughan Jr. 1m (1) 3. Danny Smith D12 (4) 4. Mike Boston 88B (7) 5. Kyle Bellm 14K (2) 6. Don Grable 8 (5) 7. Josh Higday 10H (8) 8. Sherman Davis 72 (6)

Moughan used the low side to hold off D. Smith for much of the distance. The battle of veterans who began their careers in the ’70’s continued until a lap eight caution for a stopped Davis on the backstretch. Lining up third on the restart, Allard shot around D. Smith and then shot around Moughan in the final lap for an exciting win.

Heat six (started): 1. Mark Shirshekan 3x (2) 2. Jan Howard 4x (1) 3. Kyle Larson 77 (6) 4. Seth Bergman 23 (8) 5. Don Young 75 (5) 6. Brad Bowden 39
(7) 7. Andy Shouse 27 (3) 8. Brandon Schure 21TX (4)

Howard led early before a lap three for Shouse, who spun after rear-ending the leader in turn four. Howard led Shirshekan, Larson, young and a surging Bergman on the restart. A three car battle for the lead ensued with Howard leading Shirshekan and Larson. Shirshekan was true to a high side that really wasn’t there in three and four. In the final corner, Howard slipped just enough to allow Shirshekan to shoot into a position to win.

Qualifier one (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Young (1*) 2. Rains (2*) 3. Bergman (5*) 4. J. Johnson (8*) 5. Pringle (7*) 6. Larson (6*) 7. Howard (3) 8. Bellm (9) 9. Sides (13) 10. Bickett (10) 11. Peterson (11) 12. Schure (12) 13. Wright (4)

As the field completed lap one of 12 with Young up front, Rains shot sideways down the front stretch. Wright spun to avoid him. Later he would lose a driveline on lap six, leaving him to try again Saturday. Young led the distance despite the stoppages. The track was really drying out at this point, and turning shiny.

Qualifier two (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Stenhouse (1*) 2. D. Smith (3*) 3. Crawford (5*) 4. Kulhanek (6*) 5. Hull (7*) 6. Allard (8*) 7. Shouse (11) 8. Short (9) 9. Reutzel (4) 10. Long (2) 11. J. Adams (12) 12. Wells (10)

Stenhouse led the distance and Wells spun on lap two. The yellow came out and Long got into Reutzel’s rear accidently. Reutzel suffered a fuel leak and was done, while Long exited shortly with problems with the front end. The race turned into a mostly single file affair.

Qualifier three (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Crawley (5*) 2. Bowden (1) 3. Hagar (10*) 4. Wilson (3) 5. J. Swindell (6*) 6. Wood Jr. (7*) 7. Gardner (8*) 8. Pitts (11) 9. Sowell (2) 10. Grable (9) 11. Jenkins Jr. (4) 12. Griffith Jr. (12)

Bowden grabbed the early lead. Sowell was battling for third when he spun into the infield tires in four. That collected Griffith Jr., who got upside down, but was unhurt. Also collected were Gardner, Pitts and Jenkins Jr. J. Swindell was able to keep his car under power, but was sent back as well. All continued except Griffith. Bowden led Wilson, Crawley, Wood Jr. and a charging Hagar. Crawley worked by Wilson and then passed Bowden for the lead on lap six. Wilson came just short of second, while Hagar completed his charge in third and earned himself a trip to the A.

Qualifier four (started, qualified for feature): 1. Dover (1*) 2. Moughan Jr. (4*) 3. Oliver (2) 4. D. Wood (7*) 5. Gharst (3) 6. Walker (6) 7. Boston (5) 8. Shirshekan (8) 9. S. Davis (11) 10. Higday (9) 11. Marshala (10) 12. K. Adams (12)

Dover led the first half of the race before Shirshekan got over the berm, bringing caution. Dover led Oliver, Moughan, Walker and D. Wood back to green. Marshala spun on lap eight setting up another restart, but the top five hadn’t changed. Gharst came on late to pass Walker, but it wasn’t enough to get him in the A.

A main (started): 1. J. Johnson (1) 2. Crawley (2) 3. D. Wood (4) 4. Crawford (6) 5. Pringle (9) 6. Bergman (3) 7. Moughan (5) 8. Hull (11) 9. Kulhanek (8) 10. D. Smith (7) 11. Hagar (13) 12. Gardner (17) 13. Rains (15) 14. Allard (10) 15. J. Swindell (12) 16. Young (14) 17. Dover (19) 18. Wood Jr. (16) 19. Larson (20) 20. Stenhouse Jr. (18)

The 25-lapper began with Crawley taking the early lead. J. Johnson and D. Wood battled for second, before D. Wood took the spot and put distance between himself and J. Johnson. Bergman challenged J. Johnson for the third and final transfer to Saturday, and the spot was exchanged once. J. Johnson took a different line in three and four and began to gain on D. Wood again, getting by at about the halfway point. He reeled in Crawley and got by him on lap 19. Three laps later, J. Swindell spun, but kept it going on the high side of turn four. The caution was thrown, and J. Johnson led Crawley, D. Wood, Crawford and Bergman back to green. Crawford made a bid or two for third, but the lead trio remained the same.

The top three join Wayne Johnson, who had a TOTALLY AWESOME WIN on Thursday, Sammy Swindell and Tony Bruce Jr. in the Dash on Saturday night.