By Lonnie Wheatley
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (July 2, 2011) – In the first event pitting the ASCS Sooner and ASCS Warrior forces against one another, it was Tulsa’s Brian McClelland taking the winner’s loot back to the Sooner State by winning Saturday night’s 25-lap feature event atop the ¼-mile Springfield Raceway clay oval.
The two-time American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region champion, a Springfield winner in 2009, gunned into the lead at the outset and weathered three cautions over the last half of the race to beat Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior rep Jonathan Cornell to the checkered flag.
“I didn’t really mind the cautions, they at least kept me out of traffic,” McClelland explained after his seventh career ASCS Sooner triumph. “I wasn’t sure how close behind me they were though, I figured with those cautions the lapped cars I had in there earlier were probably getting picked off.”
Which, in fact, they were. While four lapped cars separated McClelland from his chasers when the race’s first caution flew after 11 laps, three cautions and seven laps later found Cornell on McClelland’s tailtank for the final seven-lap dash to the stripe.
McClelland proved too strong though aboard the Wesmar-powered Maxwell Oil No. 87, crossing the stripe ahead of Cornell with current Sooner points leader Joe Wood, Jr., current Warrior points leader Brad Loyet and Oklahoma shoe Jonathan Beason rounding out the top five.
McClelland and Loyet led the feature field to the green flag with McClelland gunning into the lead. Third-starter Wood, Jr., surged past Loyet as well on the opening circuit, with Loyet countering back on the top side by the third round with fourth-starter Cornell making his way past Wood, Jr., as well for third by the fifth round.
The leader was in lapped traffic by the seventh round and picked off a handful of lapped cars by the time Cody Whitworth sailed off the top of turn three and into the weeds. Cornell worked past Loyet for second by the time the caution flew again five laps later when Mark Shirshekan spun off the top of turn one and then had finished off the lapped traffic by the time the final caution flew for a Cameron Hagin stop on the backstretch after 18 laps.
While on McClelland’s tail on the final restart, Cornell was unable to mount a serious challenge and settled for runner-up honors.
“I was trying to save my tires, so I wasn’t pushing quite as hard as I could have,” Cornell explained. “Turns out I had plenty left, I could almost kick myself. Still, we’re happy with second tonight.”
Wood, Jr., made his way past Loyet on the 19th lap to claim the show position, with Loyet and fellow Midget ace gone Sprint shoe Beason filling out the top five.
Kyle Bellm raced from tenth to sixth, with four-time Warrior champion Randy Martin climbing from 15th to seventh. Cody Baker was eighth, with Michelle Decker and 19th-starter Matt Covington completing the top ten.
Loyet, Whitworth, Josh Stephens and Cornell topped heat race action for the 34-car field, with Cameron Hagin winning the 15-lap “B” Main.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner vs. Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior Results from Springfield Raceway:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 05-Brad Loyet, 2. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 3. 9m-Cody Baker, 4. 36-Jonathan Beason, 5. 04-Brad Graham, 6. 11c-Matt Covington, 7. 775-Andy Korte, 8. 75-Tyler Blank. DNS: 17-Kyle Carpenter.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 50-Cody Whitworth, 2. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 3. 92j-J.R. Topper, 4. 7-Michelle Decker, 5. 29-Rusty Quick, 6. 110-Cameron Hagin, 7. 165-Haley Arnold, 8. 31L-Lee Little, 9. 55-Greg Clemons.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 09-Josh Stephens, 2. 87-Brian McClelland, 3. 14-Randy Martin, 4. 86-Kyle Bellm, 5. 21-Mike Trent, 6. 5m-Miranda Arnold, 7. 010-Brian Roberts, 8. 2a-Randy Hibbs.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 2. 00-Kacee Frazier, 3. 3p-Rusty Potter, 4. 85-Forrest Sutherland, 5. 11-Chad Corken, 6. 51-Terry Lindsey, 7. 35-Rick Wright, Jr., 8. 65L-Nick Lucito.
“B” Main (15 Laps): 1. 110-Cameron Hagin, 2. 29-Rusty Quick, 3. 11c-Matt Covington, 4. 21-Eric Todd, 5. 2a-Randy Hibbs, 6. 010-Brian Roberts, 7. 04-Brad Graham, 8. 11-Chad Corken, 9. 775-Andy Korte, 10. 35-Rick Wright, Jr., 11. 51-Terry Lindsey, 12. 165-Haley Arnold, 13. 31L-Lee Little, 14. 5m-Miranda Arnold, 15. 65L-Nick Lucito, 16. 55-Greg Clemons. DNS: 75-Tyler Blank, 17-Kyle Carpenter.
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 87-Brian McClelland, 2. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 3. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 4. 05-Brad Loyet, 5. 36-Jonathan Beason, 6. 86-Kyle Bellm, 7. 14-Randy Martin, 8. 9m-Cody Baker, 9. 7-Michelle Decker, 10. 11c-Matt Covington, 11. 00-Kacee Frazier, 12. 09-Josh Stephens, 13. 110-Cameron Hagin, 14. 21-Eric Todd, 15. 85-Forrest Sutherland, 16. 29-Rusty Quick, 17. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 18. 3p-Rusty Potter, 19. 50-Cody Whitworth, 20. 92j-J.R. Topper.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Joe Wood, Jr. 1,060, 2. Michelle Decker 974, 3. Matt Covington 960, 4. Andy Shouse 842, 5. Cameron Hagin 671, 6. Rick Wright, Jr. 655, 7. Claud Estes 617, 8. Lee Little 591, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. 566, 10. Brady Bacon 556.
Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Brad Loyet 853, 2. Randy Martin 782, 3. Kyle Bellm 722, 4. Jonathan Cornell 689, 5. Cody Baker 682, 6. Mark Shirshekan 654, 7. Josh Stephens 651, 8. Tyler Blank 571, 9. Austin Alumbaugh 512, 10. Miranda Arnold 463.