From Lonnie Wheatley, HARTFORD, S.D. (July 10, 2010) – Reigning Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National Champion Shane Stewart of Bixby, OK, was just fast enough on Saturday night to capture his first series win of the year atop I-90 Speedway’s high-banked, 3/8-mile dirt oval.
Stewart bested not only a rugged field of 51 competitors, but also got the nod over Mother Nature even though the scheduled 30-lapper was declared complete after eleven rounds when the skies opened up with severe thunderstorm activity and drenched the Hartford clay in short order.
After starting sixth, Stewart took the point away from early pacesetter Austen Wheatley on the seventh round as lightning flashed and strong winds blew across the track.
When Wheatley flipped in turn two on the twelfth lap, collecting fourth and ninth runners Brady Bacon and Tim Crawley in the melee, Stewart was in the right position for the $6,000 victory aboard Paul Silva’s Wesmar-powered Rock Star Energy Drink No. 57 A.R.T. as the skies opened up to bring an early end to the night at just 9:20 p.m. after a 7:45 p.m. heat race start.
With inclement weather fast approaching through the night, the Lucas Oil Sprint Car portion of the card was moved up in the order of events with heat races run first, followed by stock car heats, Lucas Oil ASCS “B” Mains, modified heats and then the Lucas Oil ASCS “A” Main.
After escaping an early heat race skirmish, 17-year-old Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Austen Wheatley of Lake Stevens, WA, ranked eighth in passing points and drew the pole position for the main event in the redraw.
Wheatley outgunned fellow front row starter Ricky Logan, who ranked first in passing points after heat race action, for the lead at the drop of the green with third-starter Jack Dover and Stewart quickly moving in to apply pressure.
Stewart worked past Dover for second on the fifth round and then slipped around Wheatley for the lead in turns one and two on the seventh circuit for the lead.
As the leaders worked traffic soon after, Dover raced past Wheatley entering turn one on the tenth lap and pulled alongside Stewart to challenge for the lead only to have the move negated for a Lee Grosz spin in turn two.
Stewart led the way on the restart and when Wheatley flipped out of second place just three laps later, Stewart’s 19th career ASCS National triumph became official when the inevitable storms finally let loose.
Dover settled for runner-up honors for the third time in a row aboard the Shaver-powered 3D Auto Transport No. 53 Eagle, with leading Brodix Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Hirst claiming the show position in Gary Perkins’ Shark-powered GP Development No. 6 A.R.T.
Ricky Logan claimed fourth in the Lucas Oil No. 10a, with Jason Johnson taking over the Lucas Oil ASCS National points lead with a fifth place finish in the Jason Johnson Racing Don Ott-powered Haynes/Pope Transportation No. 41 Maxim.
Easily the biggest mover in the shortened feature event was 2001 series champion Zach Chappell, who rallied from 22nd to sixth in just eleven circuits. Dusty Ballenger was seventh, with Jody Rosenboom, 24th-starter Travis Rilat and 18th-starter Darren Long completing the top ten.
Johnson, Bacon, Jake Ossenfort, Stewart, Logan and Rosenboom topped heat race action, with Tony Bruce, Jr., Long and Jake Peters winning the “B” Mains.
After entering the night ten points ahead of Johnson in the series $60,000 championship points race, Bacon ran fourth until being collected in the Wheatley incident along with Crawley. Bacon was credited with 23rd on the night and now trails Johnson by 28 markers with Stewart just another two points back in third.
The Lucas Oil ASCS National series moves on to Elma, Washington’s Grays Harbor Raceway for next weekend’s $10,092-to-win Fourth Annual Fred Brownfield Memorial.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters
I-90 Speedway Results:
Heat Races (Top 16 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 3 “B” Mains):
Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 71-Channin Tankersley, 3. 88-Tim Crawley, 4. 21-D.J. Brink, 5. 11x-Gregg Bakker, 6. 23w-Scott Winters, 7. 0x-Jess Beckett, 8. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 9. 12-Tyler Drueke.
Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 95-Matt Covington, 3. 12s-Brock Dump, 4. 29-Travis Rilat, 5. 57x-Jake Peters, 6. 93-Dustin Morgan, 7. 5-Eric Lutz, 8. 24-Randy Droescher, 9. 63-Terry Chester.
Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 99j-Jake Ossenfort, 2. 2d-Dusty Ballenger, 3. 53-Jack Dover, 4. 0-Ned Powers, 5. 17v-Casey Abbas, 6. 75-Tommy Barber, 7. 17d-Gage Dorr, 8. 7-Daryl Reverts, 9. 25-Dylan Peterson.
Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 6-Kyle Hirst, 3. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 4. 1w-Chad Meyer, 5. 8-Lane Brenden, 6. 2k-Kevin Ingle, 7. 87a-Andrew Marshala. DNS: 5h-Justyn Cox.
Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 10a-Ricky Logan, 2. 3g-Darren Long, 3. 28-Mitch Runge, 4. 3-Donovan Peterson, 5. 5x-Dave Glennon, 6. 1-Justin Glaser, 7. 19-John Lambertz, 8. 50z-Zach Chappell.
Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 27-Jody Rosenboom, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 4j-Lee Grosz, 4. 22-Matt Heinzerling, 5. 44-Doug Lovegrove, 6. 9m-Marlon Jones, 7. 94-Danny Wood. DNS: 85-Justin Saathoff.
“B” Mains (Top 2 From Each Advance to “A” Main):
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 5h-Justyn Cox, 3. 94-Danny Wood, 4. 21-D.J. Brink, 5. 17v-Casey Abbas, 6. 5x-Dave Glennon, 7. 12-Tyler Drueke, 8. 2k-Kevin Ingle, 9. 9m-Marlon Jones, 10. 24-Randy Droescher, 11. 12s-Brock Dump, 12. 44-Doug Lovegrove.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 3g-Darren Long, 2. 1w-Chad Meyer, 3. 23w-Scott Winters, 4. 11x-Gregg Bakker, 5. 19-John Lambertz, 6. 75-Tommy Barber, 7. 7-Daryl Reverts, 8. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 9. 63-Terry Chester, 10. 29-Travis Rilat, 11. 0x-Jess Beckett. DNS: 85-Justin Saathoff.
Third “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 57x-Jake Peters, 2. 50z-Zach Chappell, 3. 93-Dustin Morgan, 4. 22-Matt Heinzerling, 5. 8-Lane Brenden, 6. 1-Justin Glaser, 7. 17-Bruce Griffith, Jr., 8. 5-Eric Lutz, 9. 17d-Gage Dorr. DNS: 28-Mitch Runge, 25-Dylan Peterson.
I-90 Speedway “A” Main Event:
“A” Feature (30 Laps – Shortened to 11 Laps due to Severe Thunderstorms): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 53-Jack Dover, 3. 6-Kyle Hirst, 4. 10a-Ricky Logan, 5. 41-Jason Johnson, 6. 50z-Zach Chappell, 7. 2d-Dusty Ballenger, 8. 27-Jody Rosenboom, 9. 29-Travis Rilat, 10. 3g-Darren Long, 11. 95-Matt Covington, 12. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 13. 3-Donovan Peterson, 14. 71-Channin Tankersley, 15. 99j-Jake Ossenfort, 16. 57x-Jake Peters, 17. 0-Ned Powers, 18. 5h-Justyn Cox, 19. 4j-Lee Grosz, 20. 94-Danny Wood, 21. 1w-Chad Meyer, 22. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 23. 99-Brady Bacon, 24. 88-Tim Crawley.
Lap Leaders: Austen Wheatley 1-6, Shane Stewart 7-11.
Note: Danny Wood utilized his second provisional and Travis Rilat utilized his third provisional of the year to start the main event.
Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters Points (Top 20): 1. Jason Johnson 1,253, 2. Brady Bacon 1,225, 3. Shane Stewart 1,223, 4. Jack Dover 1,184, 5. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,159, 6. Zach Chappell 1,158, 7. Tim Crawley 1,122, 8. Danny Wood 1,107, 9. Kyle Hirst 1,105, 10. Matt Covington 1,042, 11. Travis Rilat 998, 12. Ricky Logan 994, 13. Darren Long 916, 14. Gary Wright 911, 15. Dustin Morgan 841, 16. Austen Wheatley 834, 17. Justyn Cox 826, 18. Channin Tankersley 821, 19. Andrew Marshala 693, 20. Johnny Herrera 501.
ASCS Midwest Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Jack Dover 1,452, 2. Eric Lutz 1,295, 3. Doug Lovegrove 1,120, 4. Jason Danley 871, 5. Tyler Drueke 831, 6. Lee Grosz 830, 7. Brian Brown 764, 8. Chad Humston 757, 9. Billy Alley 750, 10. Gage Dorr 729.