Short Track Nationals Opener Interrupted by Rain

From Lonnie Wheatley, Tim Aylwin Photo

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 27, 2011) – Mother Nature wreaked havoc with the opening night of I-30 Speedway’s 24th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, ultimately bringing a halt to the proceedings after the second of five qualifying races.

The balance of Thursday night’s Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters STN qualifier will be completed prior to Friday’s event, with hot laps at 6:00 p.m. followed immediately by the remaining three qualifying races, “B” Mains and 25-lap “A” Main. The complete Friday card will immediately follow the conclusion of the Thursday feature event.

Fans must present Thursday tickets to take in the rest of the Thursday qualifier. Upon the completion of the feature, the stands will be cleared and then Friday ticket holders will be admitted. Those not holding Thursday tickets that wish to witness the balance of the Thursday qualifier may do so for just $10.

Thursday’s racing action got off to a wild start when Miranda Arnold got out of shape entering turn three after contact and got upside down, collecting Tommy Snellgrove in the process with both flipping wildly.

A passing shower three laps into the third heat race after a Mark Huddleston flip in turn two created a rain delay in excess of 90 minutes. The balance of the six heat races were completed after working the track back in, with persistent rain then redeveloping as the third of five qualifying races hit the high-banked, ¼-mile clay oval.

Former STN winner Paul McMahan, Seth Bergman, Mason Moore, Shane Stewart, Ray Allen Kulhanek and Matt Covington topped heat race action, with Oklahoma shoes Stewart and Covington doubling up with wins in the first two qualifiers before Mother Nature intervened.

While Stewart and Covington won both their heats and qualifiers, Travis Rilat ranks as the top point earner thus far after a fortuitous run from seventh to second in his heat and then a sixth to third effort in his qualifier. Rilat was running fourth entering the final corner of the fifth heat race when race leader Jimmy Hurley blew a radiator hose and collected second-runner Scotty Thiel, handing the win to Kulhanek with Rilat in position to take second.

A total of 51 cars checked in for Thursday night’s preliminary action, with the second half of the field set to hit the track upon the completion of Thursday’s finale. The top three from the two preliminary features will be locked into Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win, $2,400-to-start STN finale, with the rest of the field lined up in Saturday’s slate of championship feature events according to accumulated points.

24th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires Thursday Night Results:

Heat Races:

First Heat (10 Laps): 1. 01x-Paul McMahan, 2. 99-Brady Bacon, 3. 39-Brad Bowden, 4. 1g-Cody Gardner, 5. X1-Tim Shaffer, 6. 01n-Jeremy Newkirk, 7. 87m-Brian McClelland, 8. 5m-Miranda Arnold, 9. 4-Tommy Snellgrove.

Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. 23b-Seth Bergman, 2. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 3. 0m-Andy McElhannon, 4. 27-Andy Shouse, 5. 89g-David Gravel, 6. 51h-Mike Hess, 7. 33a-Austin Alumbaugh, 8. 93-Chris Sweeney. DNS: 19-Jay Snellgrove.

Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. 5h-Mason Moore, 2. 71-Channin Tankersley, 3. 87a-Aaron Reutzel, 4. 6b-Ryan Beechler, 5. 9k-Kyle Sager, 6. 31b-Brandon Berryman, 7. 32-Charles Tankersley, 8. 51s-Lee Sowell, 9. 33h-Mark Huddleston.

Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 94-Derek Hagar, 3. 18b-Tony Bruce, Jr., 4. 74e-Claud Estes, 5. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 36b-Jonathan Beason, 7. 14T-Tyler Brown, 8. 38m-Ryan Moore.

Fifth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 2. 29-Travis Rilat, 3. 21k-Ryan Kitchen, 4. 21x-Jimmy Hurley, 5. 64-Scotty Thiel, 6. 5k-Jerry Kamer, 7. 76-John Ricketts, 8. 28c-Jonathan Cornell.

Sixth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 11c-Matt Covington, 2. 36m-Jason Martin, 3. 66-Tommy Worley, 4. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 5. 14m-Jordon Mallett, 6. 4b-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 4j-John James, 8. 52-Frank Sudduth.

Qualifying Races – Winner from Each Qualifier Locked into “A” Main; Balance of 20-car Feature Field comprised of Top 15 Overall Points Accumulated Through Heats & Qualifiers (Feature Lined up according to total points)

First Qualifier (10 Laps): 1. 57-Shane Stewart, 2. 99-Brady Bacon, 3. 21x-Jimmy Hurley, 4. 1g-Cody Gardner, 5. 39-Brad Bowden, 6. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 7. 4b-Eric Baldaccini, 8. 28c-Jonathan Cornell, 9. 9k-Jerry Kamer, 10. 4j-John James. DNS: 19-Jay Snellgrove.

Second Qualifier (10 Laps): 1. 11c-Matt Covington, 2. 23b-Seth Bergman, 3. 29-Travis Rilat, 4. 1x-Gary Taylor, 5. 93-Chris Sweeney, 6. 52-Frank Sudduth, 7. 01n-Jeremy Newkirk, 8. 64-Scotty Thiel, 9. 0m-Andy McElhannon, 10. 14T-Tyler Brown.

Third Qualifier Lineup:
6b Ryan Beechler – 14m Jordon Mallett
18b Tony Bruce, Jr. – 16 Anthony Nicholson
5h Mason Moore – 36m Jason Martin
31b Brandon Berryman – 33a Austin Alumbaugh
32 Charles Tankersley – 5m Miranda Arnold

Fourth Qualifier Lineup:
89g David Gravel – 74e Claud Estes
21k Ryan Kitchen – 94 Derek Hagar
77x Wayne Johnson – 87a Aaron Reutzel
5k Jerry Kamer – 87m Brian McClelland
38m Ryan Moore – 4T Tommy Snellgrove

Fifth Qualifier Lineup:
51h Mike Hess – 27 Andy Shouse
66 Tommy Worley – m1 Tim Shaffer
71 Channin Tankersley – 01x Paul McMahan
36b Jonathan Beason – 76 John Ricketts
51s Lee Sowell – 33h Mark Huddleston