By Lonnie Wheatley
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 19, 2021) – With entries continuing to roll into the I-30 Speedway track office by the hour, the current count is at 57 pre-entries for this weekend’s 34th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.
With the count expected to climb to approximately 70 by the time the first official green flag flies on Friday, a handful of past STN champions are among the current crop of entries for the prestigious event that draws fans and competitors from throughout the nation to the heart of Arkansas.
This weekend’s $10,041-to-win event kicks off with a Thursday night Test ‘N Tune before moving into a Friday preliminary that culminates with a pair of $1,500-to-win “Twin 20” lap feature events. It all sets the stage for Saturday’s championship card that wraps up with the 41-lap STN Championship feature that offers up $800 just to make the starting grid in pursuit of the lucrative winner’s share.
Along with defending race winner Sam Hafertepe, Jr., of Sunnyvale, TX, a pair of two-time STN winners are on the entry list as well along with another duo taking a shot at a second win as well.
Sapulpa, Oklahoma’s Blake Hahn, the current Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour points leader, tries for a third STN win after going back-to-back 2018 and 2019.
Liberal, KS, native Tony Bruce, Jr., makes a return to the Short Track Nationals and eyes a third win as well after racing to victory lane in both 2008 and 2009.
Another pair of entries have past STN glory on the record as well including Tim Crawley and Pete Butler. Crawley tops the charts with 23 career STN championship feature starts including a 1998 win that is the best of 11 career top-tens. Butler was an early rendition winner as well in 1996.
Advance tickets are available on-line at https://i-30speedway.com/short-track-nationals/, just click the Tickets tab. Two-day advance tickets are $45, a savings of $5 compared to day-of prices.
Current entries are as follows:
0b-Eric Baldaccini (Spring, TX)
0c-Tim Crawley (Benton, AR)
0v-Michael Vaculik (Hot Springs, AR)
0z-Landon Crawley (Benton, AR)
1z-Justin Zimmerman (Athens, TX)
3-Howard Moore (Memphis, TN)
3b-Chris Banja (Beebe, AR)
3g-Paxton Gregory (Poplar Grove, AR)
5L-Eric Lutz (Sioux Falls, SD)
5R-Richard Reynolds (Doyline, LA)
6-Dustin Gates (Haughton, LA)
G6-Cody Gardner (Camden, AR)
9-Chase Randall (Waco, TX)
9jr-Derek Hagar (Marion, AR)
11-Roger Crockett (Medford, OR)
12-Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS)
12m-Greg Merritt (Nesbit, MS)
13-Chase Howard (Nesbit, MS)
14-Jordon Mallett (Greenbrier, AR)
15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX)
15J-Jeremy Middleton (N. Little Rock, AR)
16-Koty Adams (Doyline, LA)
17b-Ryan Bickett (Sioux Falls, SD)
19-Jason Long (Benton, AR)
21b-Brandon Hinkle (Pangburn, AR)
21k-Kevin Hinkle (Cabot, AR)
21m-Spencer Meredith (Olive Branch, MS)
21r-Gunner Ramey (Sedalia, MO)
23b-Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA)
23J-Junior Jenkins (Greenville, TX)
23p-Hunter Poe (Heber Springs, AR)
24-Jeffrey West, Jr. (Memphis, TN)
26-Marshall Skinner (W. Memphis, AR)
27J-Joseph Poe (Scott, AR)
27w-Austin Wood (Memphis, TN)
28-Keith Ainsworth (Munford, TN)
29-Pete Butler (Mabelvale, AR)
30-Joseph Miller (Cove, AR)
38-Rick Pringle (Benton, AR)
42p-Preston Perlmutter (San Antonio, TX)
44h-Ronny Howard (Nesbit, MS)
44m-Chris Martin (Ankeny, IA)
46-Jan Howard (Byhalia, MS)
47-Dale Howard (Byhalia, MS)
47x-Dylan Westbrook (Scotland, ONT)
52-Blake Hahn (Sapulpa, OK)
63-J.J. Hickle (Quilcene, WA)
67-Hayden Martin (Olive Branch, MS)
69-Jamey Mooney (Heber Springs, AR)
87-Jason Barney (Brewerton, NY)
91a-Ernie Ainsworth (Memphis, TN)
91x-Michael Day (Farmersville, TX)
92-Cody Hays (Wynne, AR)
94-Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN)
95-Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK)
95s-Asa Swindell (Bartlett, TN)
X-Charlie Louden (Camden, AR)
The Pertinent Info:
The What: 34th 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: October 21-23, 2021. (Test ‘N Tune on Thursday, October 21, followed by two full cards of racing action on October 22-23).
The Entries: Entry forms are available at https://i-30speedway.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/2021STN.pdf. Early entry by October 18 is just $100 with a two-day pit pass for the driver. Entries after October 18 are $100 with no pit pass.
Pill draw establishes Hot Lap/Heat Race groups.
The field will be split into Programs “A” and “B” based upon pill draw. The lower half of numbers drawn will comprise Program “A” with the higher half of numbers comprising Program “B”. Both Programs will be contested concurrently, i.e., Program “A” hot laps will be followed by Program “B” hot laps, Program “A” Qualifying will be followed by Program “B” Qualifying and so on.
Each Program will be contested as follows:
Group qualifying (3-4 cars per group) will determine heat race lineups. Qualify only against cars that will be in your hot lap group and subsequent heat race.
Heat races will feature an invert of four with the fastest qualifier among that heat race group starting fourth. Top four (or five if three heat races) from each Heat Race will transfer to corresponding Program main event.
Heat Race winner and fastest qualifier among transfers in that Heat go to the redraw. If the heat race winner is also that heat’s fastest qualifier, only one car will go to the redraw from that heat.
Fastest two overall qualifiers will line up behind the redraw cars. Balance of Main event lineup set by heat race finish and then qualifying time (i.e., 2nd place finishers not in redraw lined up by qualifying time, 3rd place finishers not in redraw lined by qualifying time, 4th place finishers not in redraw lined by qualifying time).
Balance to “B” Mains(s), top two fastest non-transfers awarded first two positions with balance of “B” Main lineups determined according to heat race finishes. If two “B” Mains, two transfer from each. If one “B” Main, four transfer.
Two 20-lap “A” Mains will conclude the night (one for Program “A” and one for Program “B”). The top two finishers in each “A” Main will lock into Saturday’s Pack Building Materials “Dash for Cash”.
Event points will be awarded on Friday night as follows:
Qualifying per Group – 1st – 20, 2nd – 18, 3rd – 16, 4th – 14, etc. (two points per position)
Heat Race Finish – 1st – 30, 2nd – 27, 3rd – 24, 4th – 21, etc. (three points per position)
A Feature Points: 1st – 100, 2nd – 95, 3rd – 91, 4th – 88, 5th – 85, 6th – 82, 7th – 79, 8th – 76, 9th – 73, 10th – 70, 11th – 68, 12th – 66, 13th – 64, 14th – 62, 15th -60, 16th – 58th, 17th – 56, 18th – 54, 19th – 52, 20th – 50.
B Main Non-Transfers – 1st – 48, 2nd -46, 3rd – 44, etc.
Event points will carry over to Saturday night for all with the exception of four lock-ins. Event points will be combined into one Program for Saturday night.
Draw for heat race starting position (minus the four lock-ins). Passing/finishing points in effect. (100 for 1st, 93 for 2nd, 86 for 3rd and so on at seven points per position. Additionally, 5 points per position gained and minus 1.5 points per position lost).
Saturday Heat Passing/Finishing points are added to Friday night event point totals. Top two in combined points from Friday night and Saturday heat races join the four lock-ins in the Pack Building Materials “Dash for Cash”. The next eight in combined points earn “A” Main starting positions 7-14.
The balance of field is split into “B” Mains and “C” Mains as necessary, with three transferring from each “B” Main to complete the 20-car “A” Main event.
21st starting position reserved for I-30 Speedway track champion (Howard Moore) if needed.
The Pack Building Materials “Dash for Cash” lineup will be determined by draw. The finish will set the first three rows of the STN championship finale.
34th Annual STN Championship feature is scheduled for 41 laps.
* – Format details tentative and subject to change in best interest of the program.
The Past Winners:
2020 – Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
2009-Tony Bruce, Jr.
2008-Tony Bruce, Jr.
The Tickets: Advance two-day tickets are $45.
Day of show prices are $20 on Friday and $30 on Saturday.
Children under 12 are admitted free on both nights courtesy of Dairy Queen.
To order tickets or for more information, check online at https://i-30speedway.com/short-track-nationals/ or call the track at 501-455-4567.
Pit passes are $35 on both Friday and Saturday. Driver pit pass for Friday and Saturday is included in the $100 entry fee if submitted by the deadline.
The Broadcast: If you can’t make it to the STN to catch all the breathtaking action in person, no need to fret as you can catch it all live online at www.floracing.com.
For more information regarding I-30 Speedway’s Short Track Nationals, check at www.i-30speedway.com or call the track at 501-455-4567.