Lonnie Wheatley, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 22, 2012) – “With three wheels it was still better than anybody else, those guys better go back to work,” Sammy Swindell quipped after winning last year’s Short Track Nationals with a flat left front tire.
Race fans throughout the country and beyond will find out if those guys went back to work enough later this week as I-30 Speedway’s 25th Annual Short Track Nationals takes place this Thursday through Saturday following a Wednesday night Test ‘N Tune Session atop the high-banked, ¼-mile clay oval.
With a hefty winner’s share of $15,000 up for grabs and $2,500 to start the Saturday night STN championship main event and more than $100,000 in purse money distributed over the weekend, 86 different drivers from 19 different states as well as Canada have already entered the prestigious event with several more this week expected to push the total near the century mark or beyond.
Swindell is one of eight past STN winners among the current entries along with four-time victor Gary Wright, two-time winner Tony Bruce, Jr., and single-time winners Jason Johnson, Paul McMahan, Jason Sides, Wayne Johnson and Terry Gray. Wright, who ranks as the only driver to capture the top STN spot on more than two occasions, will be taking in his final STN this weekend before retirement at the conclusion of the season.
Swindell battled past perennial STN contender Shane Stewart 13 laps into last year’s STN finale and then beat Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Brady Bacon to the line for his first event win since 1990. Bacon settled for runner-up honors in front of Stewart, Danny Lasoski and Jason Sides. All five are among those entered for this week’s action.
While Sammy Swindell tries to defend his STN title, it’s Jeff Swindell that carries momentum into the weekend after a sweep of this past weekend’s Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals aboard the Hammers No. 94 entry. Jeff Swindell has made it into five STN finales with seventh-place showings in 2008 and 2010 his best recent runs after a fifth-place outing in 1991.
Reigning NASCAR Nationwide champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., enters with some momentum as well after an improbable Nationwide victory at Kansas Speedway on Saturday in which he came from two laps down to take the checkered flag. Stenhouse teams with Stenhouse / JJR stablemate Jason Johnson for the weekend.
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, $79,175 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.
While the grandstands will be packed each night at the high-banked, ¼-mile clay oval, the event will also be available at home worldwide via Pay-Per-View at www.shorttracknationals.com. Check the site for details and ordering info.
The Pertinent Info:
The What: 25th 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 25-27, 2012. $15,000 to win the STN finale on October 27 with $2,500 to start the STN championship feature. Race time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Rain date is November 1-3. Test ‘N Tune session on Wednesday night, October 24.
The Past Winners: Sammy Swindell (2011 and 1990), 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). 1992 finale was rained out.
The Entries: While the pre-entry discount deadline of October 17 has come and gone, post-entries for the 25th 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.
0m Andy McElhannon (Hernando, MS)
0s Glenn Styres (Ohsweken, ONT)
01 Paul McMahan (Elk Grove, CA)
1h Nic Jenkins (Bryant, AR)
1m Danny Lasoski (Higginsville, MO)
1p Curtis Evans (Norborne, MO)
1s Sammy Swindell (Germantown, TN)
2 Dustin Morgan (Tulsa, OK)
2x Patrick Moore (Moline, IL)
3g Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK)
3h Brandon Hanks (Burlison, TN)
3n Nate Van Haaften (Otley, IA)
3r AG Rains (West Memphis, AR)
4j John James (Iowa Park, TX)
4s Tommy Snellgrove (Little Rock, AR)
05 Brad Loyet (Sunset Hills, MO)
5 Joe Bob Lee (Cache, OK)
5k Jerry Kamer (Jacksonville, AR)
6b Ryan Beechler (McKinney, TX)
6s Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (Olive Branch, MS)
6t Tim Shaffer (Aliquippa, PA)
7 Darren Long (Elida, OH)
7s Jason Sides (Bartlett, TN)
09 Timmy Thrash (Gulfport, MS)
9jr Derek Hagar (Marion, AR)
9k Kyle Sager (Alto, NM)
9w Gary Wright (Hooks, TX)
10 Terry Gray (Bartlett, TN)
11c Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK)
11m Justin Melton (Flower Mound, TX)
11p Preston Peebles II (Lubbock, TX)
11s Joe Wood, Jr. (Oklahoma City, OK)
12h Jerrod Hull (Sikeston, MO)
12m Kyle McCutcheon (Alamogordo, NM)
13 Triston Tidmore (Hernando, MS)
14k Kyle Bellm (Nixa, MO)
14m Jordon Mallett (Greenbrier, AR)
15h Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX)
17b Ryan Bickett (Ramona, SD)
17g Cody Gardner (Benton, AR)
17j Josh Baughman (Odessa, TX)
17w Cole Wood (Auburn, CA)
17r Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX)
18 Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS)
19 Klint Angelette (Thibodaux, LA)
w20 Greg Wilson (Benton Ridge, OH)
21b Brian Brown (Grain Valley, MO)
21k Ryan Kitchen (Weston, NE)
21t Ray Allen Kulhanek (Conroe, TX)
21tx Brandon Schure (El Paso, TX)
22h Randy Hannagan (San Jose, CA)
23b Brian Bell (Somerville, TN)
23s Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA)
26m Marshall Skinner (West Memphis, AR)
26s Jon Stinson (Walls, MS)
27 Andy Shouse (Oklahoma City, OK)
28 Jonathan Cornell (Sedalia, MO)
29 Brandon Hahn (Tulsa, OK)
36b Jonathan Beason (Broken Arrow, OK)
36 Robert Sellers (Mustang, OK)
39 Brad Bowden (Hernando, MS)
39c Travis Rilat (Forney, TX)
39s Kevin Swindell (Germantown, TN)
40b Christopher Bell (Norman, OK)
41 Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA)
45x Johnny Herrera (Albuquerque, NM)
46 Jan Howard (Byhalia, MS)
47 Dale Howard (Byhalia, MS)
48 Jake Martens (Fairview, OK)
49 Shawn Dancer (Delphos, OH)
52 Blake Hahn (Sapulpa, OK)
57c Kyle Chady (Benton, IL)
58f Gary Floyd (San Angelo, TX)
58w Wade Oliver (Southaven, MS)
64 Scotty Thiel (Sheboygan, WI)
66 Geoff Dodge (Colorado Springs, CO)
74e Claud Estes (Godley, TX)
76 John Ricketts (Burleson, TX)
77x Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK)
81 Danny Wood (Norman, OK)
82 Justin Henderson (Sioux Falls, SD)
92h Richie Harris (Ward, AR)
93 Chris Sweeney (Channelview, TX)
94 Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN)
99 Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK)
X Charlie Louden (Camden, AR)
Past STN Feature Starts: Gary Wright 17, Terry Gray 15, Wayne Johnson 14, Sammy Swindell 9, Travis Rilat 8, Jason Sides 8, Shane Stewart 8, Dale Howard 7, Jan Howard 7, Jason Johnson 6, Brian Brown 5, A.G. Rains 5, Marshall Skinner 5, Jeff Swindell 5, Danny Wood 5, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 4, Jerrod Hull 4, Tim Shaffer 4, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 4, Brady Bacon 3, Paul McMahan 3, Tony Bruce, Jr. 2, Cody Gardner 2, Danny Lasoski 2, Dustin Morgan 2, Wade Oliver 2, Kevin Swindell 2, Greg Wilson 2, Seth Bergman 1, Matt Covington 1, Claud Estes 1, Derek Hagar 1, Johnny Herrera 1, Ray Allen Kulhanek 1, Aaron Reutzel 1, Joe Wood, Jr. 1.
STN Rookie Contenders: Josh Baughman, Christopher Bell, Kyle Chady, Shawn Dancer, Geoff Dodge, Blake Hahn, Brandon Hahn, Brandon Hanks, Richie Harris, Justin Henderson, Joe Bob Lee, Jake Martens, Kyle McCutcheon, Patrick Moore, Glenn Styres, Triston Tidmore, Timmy Thrash, Cole Wood.
The States: Oklahoma 15, Texas 15, Arkansas 10, Mississippi 9, Missouri 7, Tennessee 7, California 3, New Mexico 3, Ohio 3, Illinois 2, Louisiana 2, South Dakota 2, Colorado 1, Iowa 1, Kansas 1, Nebraska 1, Ontario (CAN) 1, Pennsylvania 1, Washington 1, Wisconsin 1.
The Format: The format introduced last year will once again be in effect. Approximately half the field will take to the track in the Thursday night qualifying event, with the other half in Friday’s qualifying event. The top three from each night will be locked into Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win, $2,500-to-start STN Championship Finale. Those six drivers will battle it out in Saturday’s Dash for Cash to determine the alignment of the front three rows of the championship main event.
Beyond that, drivers will be lined up on Saturday night in twin “B” Mains, twin “C” Mains, twin “D” Mains, twin “E” Mains and “F” Mains if necessary. Four drivers will transfer from each “F” to “E”, “E” to “D”, “D” to “C” and “C” to “B”, with seven advancing from each “B” Main to form the 20-car STN championship main event field.
The popular format of heats and qualifying races will once again be in place on qualifying nights. The top 14 in cumulative points from heats and qualifiers will be locked into that night’s main event, with two or three “B” Mains depending upon car count contested to fill out the qualifying night feature field.
Points earned in qualifying night heat races, qualifiers and features will set Saturday night’s feature lineups.
The Tickets: Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday, October 24, 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.
The PPV: Can’t make your way to Little Rock, AR, for this prestigious event? For the first time ever, this year you can still catch every lap of the action on your computer via live Pay-Per-View. Just check out www.shorttracknationals.com for pricing and ordering information. Orders are being taken now.
The Trade Show & Midway: This year’s rendition of the Short Track Nationals will also include the Eighth 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 22. Inquiries regarding vendor space should be directed to email@example.com.
For more information regarding the 25th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, contact I-30 Speedway at 501-455-4567.