By Lonnie Wheatley
MESQUITE, Texas (March 19, 2010) – Sammy Swindell kicked off his pursuit of the 2010 Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Sere presented by K&N Filters $60,000 championship by winning Friday night’s 37th Annual Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals 30-lap main event.
The winningest driver in Devil’s Bowl Speedway history, Swindell stormed into the lead on the sixth round aboard the J&D Motorsports/Swindell Motorsports No. 10 Maxim and never looked back en route to the $6,000 triumph.
Originally slated as a two-day event, encroaching foul weather forced the early cancellation of the Saturday portion, ratcheting up Friday’s event to the standard Lucas Oil ASCS National one-day purse.
And when all the final checkered flag flew, the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars opened the 2010 season the same way 2009 finished out; with Tennessee’s Swindell in victory lane.
Swindell, who closed out the 2009 campaign with a Western World Championships score at USA Raceway, gridded Friday’s feature outside the second row as pole starter Sean McClelland outgunned Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Channin Tankersley for the early lead.
Swindell chased the lead duo for several rounds before racing by Tankersley for second on the fifth round and then disposing of McClelland for the lead on the low side of turns one and two on a lap six restart.
“I was searching around and finally found a good spot to get off the bottom of turn two,” Swindell explained after his fifth career ASCS National triumph.
While Swindell paced the field, fifth-starter Brady Bacon surged past both Tankersley and McClelland for second on the eighth round and set his sights on Swindell.
Bacon reeled in the veteran ace a time or two, only to have a caution slow the pace. Swindell proved much too strong on the restarts and raced to Will Hale’s checkered flag virtually unchallenged.
“I’m still learning these ASCS cars, I was actually getting a little too tight toward the end,” Swindell explained. “That might have been a problem if we’d got into a lot of traffic, but with the yellows we didn’t really run into that.”
Picking up a night in Joe Zierolf’s No. c41, Wayne Johnson rallied from the 18th starting position to fifth in the opening seven circuits. After trading some wild sliders with Danny Wood, Johnson ultimately battled past Bacon for the runner-up slot on the 21st lap and held the position to the line.
Bacon matched his career-best Lucas Oil Sprint Car finish by taking the show position aboard the Wesmar-powered Tel-Star Communications No. 99 Triple-X, with Wood fourth in the H&H Enterprises No. 94.
Tony Bruce, Jr., rounded out the top five in the Bruce Racing No. 18 Maxim, with defending series champion Shane Stewart charging from 23rd to sixth after utilizing a provisional to start the main event.
Jesse Hockett was seventh, with Ricky Logan, Zach Chappell and Travis Rilat completing the top ten. Austen Wheatley ran among the top ten most of the way until a right rear vibration that resulted from some frontstretch wall contact dropped him to eleventh.
Debuting with his own race team, 2008 series champion Jason Johnson finished 12th after a lap 12 spin in turn one.
Tankersley held down the third position in the main event until a lost muffler prompted the black flag and a race-ending trip to the pit area after seven laps.
Chappell, Bruce, Tankersley, McClelland, Swindell, Derek Hagar and Danny Jennings topped heat race action for the 62-car field, with Jason Johnson, Wayne Johnson and Jack Dover winning the “B” Mains.
The Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters return to action on Friday night, April 9, at Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, TX, before moving on to Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway the following night, April 10.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
37th Annual Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 3 “B” Mains):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell, 2. 65-Skip Wilson, 3. 14-Michael Lang, 4. 29-Travis Rilat, 5. 45-Martin Edwards, 6. 91x-Taylor Milton, 7. 15-Bud Goodwin, 8. 30-Brandon Corn, 9. 03-Joe Wood, Jr.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 10a-Ricky Logan, 3. 75-Jesse Hockett, 4. C41-Wayne Johnson, 5. 57-Shane Stewart, 6. 95-Matt Covington, 7. 5-Brent Swift, 8. 14e-Todd Evans, 9. 74x-Joshua Hodges.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 71-Channin Tankersley, 2. 21L-Trevor Lewis, 3. 5h-Justyn Cox, 4. 24-Justin Carver, 5. 6-Kyle Hirst, 6. 27-Andy Shouse, 7. 97b-Aaron Berryhill, 8. 6s-Justin Spoerl, 9. 3g-Darren Long.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 1-Sean McClelland, 2. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 3. 00-Michael Dupuy, 4. 75x-Don Young, 5. 35-Matt Sherrell, 6. 72-Sherman Davis, 7. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 8. 86-Josh Fisher. DNS: 5m-Glenn Martin.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 10-Sammy Swindell, 2. 22-Koby Barksdale, 3. 31-Matt Clevenger, 4. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 5. 93-Dustin Morgan, 6. 53-Jack Dover, 7. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 8. 9x-Gary Wright, 9. 88-Tim Crawley.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 9h-Derek Hagar, 2. 2-Kenneth Walker, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 94-Danny Wood, 5. 98-Joe Ramaker, 6. 9-Brian Parker, 7. 8w-Jordan Whitehead, 8. 87x-Billy Melton. DNS: 22k-Kevin Barksdale.
Heat Seven (8 Laps): 1. 1J-Danny Jennings, 2. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 5. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 6. 2w-Whit Gastineau, 7. 21-Brian Brown, 8. 14x-Jody Rosenboom.
“B” Mains (Top 2 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 3. 57-Shane Stewart, 4. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 5. 2-Kenneth Walker, 6. 75x-Don Young, 7. 72-Sherman Davis, 8. 6-Kyle Hirst, 9. 30-Brandon Corn, 10. 74x-Joshua Hodges, 11. 8w-Jordan Whitehead, 12. 27-Andy Shouse, 13. 9-Brian Parker. DNS: 14x-Jody Rosenboom, 14e-Todd Evans, 5m-Glenn Martin.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. C41-Wayne Johnson, 2. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 3. 5h-Justyn Cox, 4. 93-Dustin Morgan, 5. 65-Skip Wilson, 6. 95-Matt Covington, 7. 97b-Aaron Berryhill, 8. 6s-Justin Spoerl, 9. 2k-Whit Gastineau, 10. 35-Matt Sherrell, 11. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 12. 15-Bud Goodwin, 13. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 14. 3g-Darren Long. DNS: 21-Brian Brown.
Third “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 3. 45-Martin Edwards, 4. 91x-Taylor Milton, 5. 98-Joe Ramaker, 6. 88-Tim Crawley, 7. 87x-Billy Melton, 8. 31-Matt Clevenger, 9. 24-Justin Carver, 10. 9x-Gary Wright, 11. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 12. 00-Michael Dupuy, 13. 5-Brent Swift, 14. 22k-Koby Barksdale. DNS: 86-Josh Fisher.
37th Annual Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals “A” Main Event:
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 10-Sammy Swindell, 2. C41-Wayne Johnson, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 94-Danny Wood, 5. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 57-Shane Stewart, 7. 75-Jesse Hockett, 8. 10a-Ricky Logan, 9. 50z-Zach Chappell, 10. 29-Travis Rilat, 11. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 12. 41-Jason Johnson, 13. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 14. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 15. 1-Sean McClelland, 16. 53-Jack Dover, 17. 1J-Danny Jennings, 18. 9x-Gary Wright, 19. 9h-Derek Hagar, 20. 14-Michael Lang, 21. 71-Channin Tankersley, 22. 21L-Trevor Lewis, 23. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 24. 22-Koby Barksdale.
Lap Leaders: Sean McClelland 1-5, Sammy Swindell 6-30.
Note: Shane Stewart and Gary Wright utilized provisionals based on 2009 points to start the “A” Main.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 15): 1. Sammy Swindell 150, 2. Wayne Johnson 142, 3. Brady Bacon 135, 4. Danny Wood 130, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr. 125, 6. Shane Stewart 122, 7. Jesse Hockett 119, 8. Ricky Logan 116, 9. Zach Chappell 113, 10. Travis Rilat 110, 11. Austen Wheatley 108, 12. Jason Johnson 106, 13. Kevin Ramey 104, 14. Johnny Herrera 102, 15. Sean McClelland 100.