By Lonnie Wheatley
TULSA, Okla. (October 24, 2011) – It’s about that time in Little Rock, AR, as approximately 100 Sprint Car teams from throughout the country will converge upon the high-banked, ¼-mile I-30 Speedway clay oval for this week’s 24th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.
The engines fire to life for Wednesday night’s Test ‘N Tune session, with two full preliminary nights of action on Thursday and Friday preceding Saturday’s slate of STN championship feature events that culminates with the $15,000-to-win, $2,400-to-start STN finale.
As of midday Monday, a total of 92 entries from 19 different states have been filed for the prestigious Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters event, with more expected before the first official green flag flies on Thursday night.
While seven past winners including defending STN king Brad Sweet had entered prior to the unveiling of the entry list last week, another two past champions have entered over the past few days including Sammy Swindell and Jason Sides.
Swindell topped the third edition of the event in 1990, while Sides scored STN glory in 2001. While Swindell pilots his familiar No. 1 entry, Sides teams with car owner Bobby Sparks, who earned back-to-back STN titles with Wayne Johnson and Tim Crawley in 1997 and 1998.
Johnson and Crawley are among the nine past winners entered for this year’s event, with others including four-time winner Gary Wright, two-time winner Tony Bruce, Jr., Jason Johnson and Paul McMahan.
Tossing in the likes of Lucas Oil Sprint Car points leader Shane Stewart, Johnny Herrera, Jeff Swindell, Joey Saldana, Stevie Smith, Brady Bacon, Danny Lasoski and more results in perhaps the stoutest field to ever congregate at the I-30 Speedway oval.
Lasoski comes into the weekend off the momentum of a $10,000 Lucas Oil ASCS triumph at the Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals, while Connecticut’s David Gravel, who made the feature cut as an STN rookie last year, enters the weekend fresh off his first Outlaw victory.
A Wednesday night Test ‘N Tune Session from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. precedes the Thursday and Friday preliminary events, both of which include a full card of heat races, qualifiers “B” Mains and “A” Main, with the top three from each night locking into Saturday night’s finale.
The rest of the field will battle through Saturday night’s championship slate of feature events that will include Twin “F” Mains (if necessary), Twin “E” Mains, Twin “D” Mains, Twin “C” Mains and Twin “B” Mains. With Saturday night’s features lined up based upon qualifying night point totals, the top seven from each Saturday “B” Main will fill out the 20-car, $77,700 STN championship main event.
Fans can still save $10 by purchasing tickets in advance by calling 501-455-4567. Advance tickets, available through Wednesday, are just $45 for all three nights of wild racing action. Tickets at the gate are $15 on both Thursday and Friday and then just $25 on Saturday.
The Pertinent Info:
The What: 24th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.
The Where: I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR). I-30 Speedway is located seven miles southwest of Little Rock off I-30 Exit 126 (Alexander Road).
The When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 27-29, 2011. $15,000 to win the STN finale on October 29 with $2,400 to start the STN championship feature. Race time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Rain date is November 3-5. Test ‘N Tune session on Wednesday night, October 26.
The Past Winners: Brad Sweet (2010), Tony Bruce, Jr. (2009 and 2008), Jason Meyers (2007), Jason Johnson (2006), Tim Montgomery (2005), Gary Wright (2004, 2003, 1999 and 1995), Paul McMahan (2002), Jason Sides (2001), Mike Ward (2000), Tim Crawley (1998), Wayne Johnson (1997), Pete Butler (1996), Terry Gray (1994), John Gerloff (1993), Steve Kinser (1991, ’89 and ‘88) and Sammy Swindell (1990). 1992 finale was rained out.
The Entries: While the pre-entry discount deadline of October 17 has come and gone, post-entries for the 24th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires may still be filed for $250 by calling the track at 501-455-4567 or at http://www.i-30speedway.com/flyers/stn_2011.pdf.
#X Charlie Louden (Camden, AR)
#0c Zach Chappell (Talala, OK)
#0m Andy McElhannon (Hernando, MS)
#01n Jeremy Newkirk (Roland, AR)
#01x Paul McMahan (Hendersonville, TN)
#1g Cody Gardner (Benton, AR)
#1m Jim Moughan (Springfield, IL)
#1mx Danny Lasoski (Higginsville, MO)
#1s Sammy Swindell (Bartlett, TN)
#1x Gary Taylor (Snohomish, WA)
#1xx Garry Lee Maier (Dodge City, KS)
#03 Joe Wood, Jr. (Oklahoma City, OK)
#3a A.G. Rains (West Memphis, AR)
#3g Stevie Smith (New Oxford, PA)
#3h Nate Van Haaften (Otley, IA)
#c4 Casey Rowland (Nesbit, MS)
#4b Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX)
#4bx Kevin Baugh (Redfield, AR)
#4j John James (Wichita Falls, TX)
#4s Danny Smith (Danville, IN)
#4t Tommy Snellgrove (Little Rock, AR)
#05 Brad Loyet (Sunset Hills, MO)
#5h Mason Moore (Pleasant Grove, CA)
#5k Jerry Kamer (Jacksonville, AR)
#5m Miranda Arnold (Sedalia, MO)
#6b Ryan Beechler (McKinney, TX)
#6s Justin Spoerl (Mesquite, TX)
#8 John Carney II (El Paso, TX)
#8z Zach Pringle (Little Rock, AR)
#9 Joey Saldana (Brownsburg, IN)
#9k Kyle Sager (Alto, NM)
#9x Gary Wright (Hooks, TX)
#11c Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK)
#11g Mike Goodman (Tulsa, OK)
#14k Kyle Bellm (Nixa, MO)
#14m Jordon Mallett (Greenbrier, AR)
#14t Tyler Brown (Vilonia, AR)
#15b Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK)
#16 Anthony Nicholson (Bartlett, TN)
#17b Ryan Bickett (Ramona, SD)
#18b Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS)
#18h Mike Hess (Springfield, IL)
#19 Klint Angelette (Thibodaux, LA)
#21b Brian Brown (Grain Valley, MO)
#21k Ryan Kitchen (Weston, NE)
#21t Ray Allen Kulhanek (Conroe, TX)
#21x Jimmy Hurley (Springfield, IL)
#22h Randy Hannagan (San Jose, CA)
#23b Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA)
#23j Junior Jenkins (Greenville, TX)
#28c Jonathan Cornell (Sedalia, MO)
#28s Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN)
#29 Travis Rilat (Forney, TX)
#30 Brandon Corn (Hearne, TX)
#31 Justin Webb (Drummonds, TN)
#33a Austin Alumbaugh (Higginsville, MO)
#33h Mark Huddleston (Mesquite, TX)
#36b Jonathan Beason (Broken Arrow, OK)
#36m Jason Martin (Liberal, KS)
#38m Ryan Moore (Moss Point, MS)
#38p Rick Pringle (Benton, AR)
#39 Brad Bowden (Hernando, MS)
#40 Ernie Ainsworth (Southaven, MS)
#41 Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA)
#44 Ronny Howard (Nesbit, MS)
#45x Johnny Herrera (Albuquerque, NM)
#47 Dale Howard (Byhalia, MS)
#49 Brad Sweet (Grass Valley, CA)
#51b Jimmy Brooks (College Station, TX)
#51s Lee Sowell (Lake Cormorant, MS)
#52 Frank Sudduth (Sapulpa, OK)
#57 Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK)
#58 Wade Oliver (Southaven, MS)
#64 Scotty Thiel (Sheboygan, WI)
#66 Tommy Worley (Bismarck, MO)
#71 Channin Tankersley (Highlands, TX)
#74e Claud Estes III (Godley, TX)
#76 John Ricketts (Burleson, TX)
#77x Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK)
#81 Danny Wood (Norman, OK)
#87a Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX)
#87j Justin Carver (Goodlettsville, TN)
#87m Brian McClelland (Broken Arrow, OK)
#88 Tim Crawley (Benton, AR)
#89g David Gravel (Watertown, CT)
#91d Cody Darrah (Red Lion, PA)
#91s Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN)
#93 Chris Sweeney (Channelview, TX)
#94 Derek Hagar (Marion, AR)
#99 Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK)
Past STN Feature Starts: Gary Wright 17, Tim Crawley 16, Wayne Johnson 13, Garry Lee Maier 9, Sammy Swindell 8, Dale Howard 7, Travis Rilat 7, Jason Sides 7, Shane Stewart 7, Brian Brown 5, Jason Johnson 5, Danny Wood 5, A.G. Rains 4, Ernie Ainsworth 3, Zach Chappell 3, Brady Bacon 2, Tony Bruce, Jr. 2, Cody Gardner 2, Paul McMahan 2, Zach Pringle 2, Danny Smith 2, Brad Sweet 2, Tommy Worley 2, Justin Carver 1, Claud Estes 1, David Gravel 1, Derek Hagar 1, Johnny Herrera 1, Danny Lasoski 1, Sean McClelland 1, Joe Wood, Jr. 1.
STN Rookie Contenders: Austin Alumbaugh, Kevin Baugh, Ryan Beechler, Cody Darrah, John James, Ryan Kitchen, Charles Louden, Brad Loyet, Andy McElhannon, Mason Moore, Joey Saldana, Stevie Smith, Justin Spoerl, Frank Sudduth, Scotty Thiel, Nate Van Haaften, Justin Webb
The States: Texas 17, Arkansas 13, Oklahoma 12, Mississippi 9, Missouri 8, Tennessee 7, California 3, Illinois 3, Kansas 3, Indiana 2, Louisiana 2, New Mexico 2, Pennsylvania 2, Washington 2, Connecticut 1, Iowa 1, Nebraska 1, South Dakota 1, Wisconsin 1. Two entries are listed as TBA.
The Series: A signature stop on the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National trail, Shane Stewart is trying to finish off a second driver’s championship while Jason Johnson tries to give the JJR No. 41 team the owner’s title for the second year in a row. After Lone Star Speedway’s Lone Star Sprint Nationals on October 13-15, which is show-up points only, Johnny Herrera, Jeff Swindell and company will try to close the gap in the Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals (October 21-22) prior to the STN.
After the STN the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars will finish out the year at Las Cruces’ Southern New Mexico Speedway (November 11-12), and then USA Raceway’s Western World Championships in Tucson (November 17-19).
Current Top 15 Driver Points: 1. Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 2,711, 2. Johnny Herrera (Albuquerque, NM) 2,574 3. Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN) 2,528, 4. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) 2,461, 5. Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) 2,413, 6. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 2,373, 7. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 2,294, 8. Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) 2,217, 9. Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) 2,203, 10. Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX) 2,142, 11. Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) 1,926, 12. Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 1,678, 13. (tie) Dustin Morgan (Tulsa, OK) and Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) 1,371, 15. Danny Wood (Norman, OK) 1,175.
The Trade Show & Midway: This year’s rendition of the Short Track Nationals will also include the Seventh Annual Short Track Nationals Trade Show & Midway. Fans, drivers & crews will have the opportunity to visit vendor displays, which opens at noon on Thursday and then at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The deadline for guaranteed vendor space is Monday, October 24. Inquiries regarding vendor space should be directed to email@example.com.
The Tickets: Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday, October 26, no advance sales after that. Tickets ordered in advance are just $45 for all three nights. Day of show prices are $15 on Thursday and Friday and $25 on Saturday. To order tickets in advance or for more information, call the track at 501-455-4567 or e-mail orders to racing@I-30speedway.com. Children’s tickets will be available at the event for just $2 on both Thursday and Friday and then $5 on Saturday. There is a $1 per ticket surcharge for orders placed via credit/debit cards. Pit passes are $30 on both Thursday and Friday and $35 on Saturday.
For more information regarding the 24th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, contact I-30 Speedway at 501-455-4567.