Peoria, Arizona…….Mike Martin of Yuma, Arizona pulled off a popular upset in the “Arizona Hall of Fame Classic” finale on Saturday night at Canyon Speedway Park, leading every lap of the 30-lap Feature aboard the Ultimate Off-Road – Advanced Racing Suspension #16 Maxim/Shaver.
Martin, who qualified 12th, assumed the outside front-row for the start after seven of the top nine qualifiers failed to transfer through their heats. Early on, Martin led as Robert Ballou moved by polesitter R.J. Johnson for second. Just seven laps in, the race and the championship took a major turn when contact turned Dave Darland around on the backstretch, ending in a soft tip-over in turn-three. In an unrelated altercation, Bryan Clauson sustained a flat left-front tire but continued.
Martin led as the race moved past the halfway point while Ballou and Damion Gardner dogged him. Chris Windom, who started 13th, had become the man on the move, though, as he had jumped into the top-five and past Schuerenberg for fourth when a red flag flew with six to go for Charles Davis, Jr., who climbed out unscathed.
Just one lap later, Windom had to check up in turn-one and spun, collecting Darland in the process. Darland was moving into the top-ten at the time. After a restart with five to go, Martin held on for his first-career National Sprint Car win.
“I tell you what, that was no easy chore. We needed every bit of help to get it done tonight. Fortunately, the track was in our favor, and we’ve been running well here. Everything just worked out for us tonight, starting on the front row and all. I was nervous coming up on lapped cars, but everything turned out perfectly,” Martin said.
Ballou completed a strong weekend by finishing second in the Pacific Grass & Turf – BigD R/C #81 Maxim/Ott.
“First off, I gotta congratulate Mike Martin. He’s a good buddy of mine and lets me stay at his place whenever I come out here. That’s the first time he hasn’t made a mistake in thirty laps in his career, so it was a well-deserved win. He covered the bottom and got it done. I have to thank all the people who stepped up at the last minute to help us get out here. It’s still in one piece, so we’ll go on to the next one,” Ballou said.
Gardner ran the Pace Lighting – Honoring Pat Kehoe #71 Eagle/Shaver to the third spot.
“We were really good tonight, but it was just really tough to get those guys up front with as fast as the track was. It was getting crazy there for a little bit, but the bottom was just way too fast. We miss being out west, and it’s great to be here,” Gardner said.
Schuerenberg ended up fourth in the Fatheadz Eyewear – R&B Trucker’s #35 Mach-1/Rider, while Jon Stanbrough completed a hard-charger run after taking a provisional and starting 23rd by coming home fifth in the Leer Motorsports – DND Oil Company #21x DRC/Speedway Chevy.
Clauson, who finished the race in seventh with a flat left-front tire, took the point lead by six over Darland heading into next week’s “Oval Nationals” at Perris Auto Speedway in Perris, California.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: October 27, 2012 – Peoria, AZ – Canyon Speedway Park – “Arizona Hall of Fame Classic”
QUALIFYING: 1. Bryan Clauson, 7, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-13.418; 2. Dave Darland, 11, Walker-13.535; 3. Damion Gardner, 71, DG-13.542; 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 35, Byram-13.595; 5. Brody Roa, 91, BR-13.686; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, Stockon-13.736; 7. Charles Davis, Jr., 4G, Cook-13.778; 8. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-13.808; 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 9K, BlackJack-13.811; 10. Rip Williams, 3, Jory-13.861; 11. Robert Ballou, 81, MPHG-13.896; 12. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-13.914; 13. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-13.960; 14. Chris Windom, 20, Stewart/Curb-Agajanian-13.976; 15. Tracy Hines, 4, Hines-13.978; 16. Thomas Meseraull, 5x, Baldwin-13.995; 17. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-14.029; 18. Wes McIntyre, 5, Baldwin-14.085; 19. Cory Kruseman, 7x, Priestley-14.085; 20. Dalten Gabbard, 77, Gabbard-14.093; 21. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-14.127; 22. Nic Faas, 4x, Alexander-14.208; 23. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-14.223; 24. Jeremy Sherman, 18, Kittle-14.434; 25. Tom Ogle, 48, Ogle-14.447; 26. Ronnie Clark, 6, Clark-14.464; 27. Jon Stanbrough, 21x, Leer-14.503; 28. Bruce St. James, 7K, St. James-14.614; 29. Stevie Sussex, 1, Sussex-14.712; 30. Josh Pelkey, 4JR, Reagles-14.896.
FIRST HEAT:: (8 laps) 1. A. Williams, 2. C. Williams, 3. Clauson, 4. Johnson, 5. Roa, 6. Thomas, 7. Sussex, 8. Ogle. 1:51.72
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. McIntyre, 2. Faas, 3. R. Williams, 4. Windom, 5. Darland, 6. Clark, 7. Stockon, 8. Pelkey. 1:51.65
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Hodges, 2. Hines, 3. Ballou, 4. Gardner, 5. Davis, 6. Stanbrough, 7. Kruseman. 1:51.97
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Gabbard, 2. Sherman, 3. Meseraull, 4. Martin, 5. Schuerenberg, 6. Spencer, 7. St. James. 1:52.97
SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Schuerenberg, 2. Stockon, 3. Thomas, 4. Darland, 5. Davis, 6. Roa, 7. Stanbrough, 8. Clark, 9. Ogle, 10. St. James, 11. Sussex, 12. Spencer, 13. Kruseman, 14. Pelkey. 2:45.35
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Mike Martin, 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Damion Gardner, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 5. Jon Stanbrough, 6. Rip Williams, 7. Bryan Clauson, 8. Thomas Meseraull, 9. Tracy Hines, 10. R.J. Johnson, 11. Nic Faas, 12. Brody Roa, 13. Jeremy Sherman, 14. Wes McIntyre, 15. Josh Hodges, 16. Chris Windom, 17. Dave Darland, 18. Austin Williams, 19. Dalten Gabbard, 20. Cody Williams, 21. Chase Stockon, 22. Charles Davis, Jr., 23. Kevin Thomas, Jr. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Martin.
**Kruseman & Pelkey flipped on the start of the Semi. Darland flipped on lap 8 of the Feature. Davis flipped on lap 25 of the Feature.
NEW AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Clauson-1,973; 2-Darland-1,967; 3-Stanbrough-1,901; 4-Hines-1,778; 5-Gardner-1,732; 6-Ballou-1,663; 7-Stockon-1,646; 8-Levi Jones-1,615; 9-Schuerenberg-1,612; 10-Thomas-1,528.
NEXT AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT RACE: November 2 – Perris, CA – Perris Auto Speedway – “Oval Nationals”