By Dick Jordan
Hanford, CA……..Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. made history Saturday night, leading all 30 laps to win “The Finals,” USAC’s AMSOIL National and USAC/CRA Sprint Car finale at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway. Taking the lead at the start from his outside front row starting spot in the Tony Stewart Racing GM Performance Parts Eagle/Chevy, he never looked back as he sped to victory over Keith Bloom Jr., Ryan Bernal, Jon Stanbrough and Tracy Hines. Jones becomes the first driver to win multiple USAC National Championships in successive years, claiming the Traxxas Silver Crown and AMSOIL Sprint titles the last two years. He is the first five-time AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Champion and only the fourth to own seven total USAC National titles. Mel Kenyon and Rich Vogler also won seven and A.J. Foyt won nine. Mike Spencer, who finished 10th, becomes the first to win four AMSOIL USAC/CRA titles, winning four in a row! Car Owner championships went to Tony Stewart Racing (National) and Ron Chaffin Motorsports (USAC/CRA). Bryan Clauson, with a 32-point lead over Chris Windom, has also mathematically locked up the 2011 USAC National Drivers Championship with only one race remaining. Championship contenders Chris Windom and Nic Faas both got upside down during the evening. Windom, chasing Jones for the National title, flipped during the third heat and was scratched for the night. Faas, chasing Spencer for the USAC/CRA title, flipped on the opening lap of the feature. Bud Kaeding, the night’s fastest qualifier with a new track record, was one of three drivers to flip during feature. The others were Cody Williams and Faas. Cory Kruseman also flipped during the first heat.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL & USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE RESULTS: November 12, 2011 – Hanford, California – Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway – “The Finals”
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Bud Kaeding, 29, Buster & Ziggy-14.793; 2. Ryan Bernal, 11D, Olmstead-15.065; 3. Keith Bloom Jr., 27, Abreu-15.126; 4. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-15.173; 5. Jon Stanbrough, 69, Dynamics-15.250; 6. Danny Faria Jr., 2B, Bowman-15.325; 7. Chris Windom, 5x, Baldwin-15.326; 8. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-15.377; 9. Levi Jones, 20, Stewart-15.408; 10. Bryan Clauson, 7, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-15.492; 11. Nic Faas, 4x, Alexander-15.565; 12. Kyle Larson, 1L, Buster & Ziggy-15.585 ;13. Troy Rutherford, 11, Rutherford-15.588; 14. Richard VanderWeerd, 10, VanderWeerd-15.626; 15. Peter Murphy, 21, Tarlton-15.635; 16. Robert Ballou, 73, Ford-15.647; 17. Danny Sheridan, 18, Kittle-15.681; 18. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-15.681; 19. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-15.716; 20. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-15.786; 21. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-15.791; 22. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-15.812; 23. Bobby East, 5, Klatt-16.015; 24. Marty Hawkins, 3m, Hawkins-16.127; 25. Cory Kruseman, 7H, Priestley-16.177; 26. Greg Bragg, 92, Sertich-16.190; 27. Daniel Hood, 33, Hood-16.198; 28. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-16.202; 29. Corey Ballard, 20x, Ballard-16.593; 30. Cal Smith, 39, CalSun-16.611; 31. Rodney Argo, 19, Argo-16.822; 32. Jerry Welton, 62jr, Welton-18.130; 33. Jace VanderWeerd, 88, VanderWeerd-NT.
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Sheridan, 2. R.Williams, 3. Jones, 4. Stanbrough, 5. Rutherford, 6. Kruseman, 7. Kaeding, 8. Ballard. NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Spencer, 2. Roa, 3. Bernal, 4. Clauson, 5. Faria, 6. R.VanderWeerd, 7. Bragg, 8. Smith. NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Ensign, 2. East, 3. Faas, 4. Bloom, 5. Murphy, 6. Hood, 7. Argo, 8. Windom. NT
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Larson, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Ballou, 4. Hines, 5. C.Williams, 6. Hawkins, 7. Gardner, 8. Welton. NT
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Kaeding, 2. Gardner, 3. Faria, 4. Murphy, 5. Rutherford, 6. Bragg, 7. Hood, 8. R.VanderWeerd, 9. C.Williams, 10. Ballard, 11. Welton, 12. Smith. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Levi Jones, 2. Keith Bloom Jr., 3. Ryan Bernal, 4. Jon Stanbrough, 5. Tracy Hines, 6. Bryan Clauson, 7. Damion Gardner, 8. Peter Murphy, 9. Danny Sheridan, 10. Mike Spencer, 11. Danny Faria Jr., 12. Rip Williams, 13. Bobby East, 14. Robert Ballou, 15. Hunter Schuerenberg, 16. Brody Roa, 17. Greg Bragg, 18. Geoff Ensign, 19. Bud Kaeding, 20. Richard VanderWeerd, 21. Kyle Larson, 22. Nic Faas, 23. Troy Rutherford, 24. Cody Williams. NT
**Kruseman flipped during the first heat. Windom flipped during the third heat. C.Williams flipped at the start of the feature. Faas flipped on lap 1 of the feature. Kaeding flipped on lap 15 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Jones.
NEW USAC NATIONAL DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Clauson-1,056, 2-Windom-1,024; 3-Jones-1,022; 4-Larson-1,016; 5-Hines-991; 6-East-942; 7-Jerry Coons Jr.-921; 8-Schuerenberg-864; 9-Stanbrough-854; 10-Darren Hagen-824.
FINAL AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Jones-1,668; 2-Windom-1,569; 3-Stanbrough-1,434; 4-Schuerenberg-1,408; 5-Hines-1,303; 6-Gardner-1,296; 7-Ballou-1,269; 8-Clauson-1,237; 9-Dave Darland-1,119; 10-East-1,028.
FINAL AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-Spencer-1,253; 2-Faas-1,178; 3-Matt Mitchell-1,073; 4-Austin Williams-741; 5-Bragg-651; 6-C.Williams-646; 7-Sheridan-614; 8-R.Williams-588; 9-Rickie Gaunt-520; 10-D.Gardner-507.