Lonnie Wheatley, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 23, 2012) – I-30 Speedway’s week of STN festivities kicked off in rousing fashion with Dover, Missouri native Danny Lasoski besting a field of 95 competitors in Wednesday night’s Inaugural Short Track Nationals Open 25-lap feature event.
After taking the lead away from Johnny Herrera on the 15th circuit, Lasoski went on to not only pick up the $2,500 winner’s share but also assured himself a provisional starting position in Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win, $2,500-to-start STN Championship feature event should he not race his way in. Lasoski can also pick up a $2,500 bonus courtesy of Dixon Road U-Pull-It in the event of a win in the finale.
Lasoski was chased to the line by the battling trio of Herrera, Christopher Bell and Tim Crawley, who are also eligible for the STN Open provisional that goes to the highest finisher among Wednesday night’s top four that fails to race into Saturday’s championship finale.
“It’s fun to drive when the car is working that good,” Lasoski commented of Mark Burch’s No. 1m Wolfweld.
While Lasoski took top honors in the Inaugural STN Open, Cody Gardner took care of some unfinished business earlier in the night by winning the Sixth Annual Ralph Henson Memorial that was postponed from September 28.
While Lasoski started the night’s STN Open main event from inside row three, Crawley and Tony Bruce, Jr., led the way to the green flag after accumulating the most passing points in heat race action.
Crawley, the 1998 STN champion, gunned into the lead at the outset with Albuquerque’s Herrera quickly moving from the third position into second before the red flag flew after one lap for Brandon Hahn’s flip off of turn two.
Back under way, Herrera made quick work of Crawley by racing into the lead on the third circuit with fourth-starter Bell and Lasoski moving past two-time STN winner Bruce, Jr., for third and fourth, respectively by the fifth round.
Lasoski closed in on Herrera quickly, offering a brief challenge on lap 12 before rallying by on the 15th round for keeps.
“I knew right away we were good,” Lasoski explained. “I could see those guys spinning their tires, I knew I just had to be smooth and we’d be faster as the race went on.”
Racing through traffic adeptly, Lasoski opened up nearly a straightaway lead by the time the race’s second and final interruption occurred for a David Gravel spin in turn two with 19 laps in the books. Gravel, who had been running eighth, rejoined the field at the tail.
With Herrera, Crawley and Bell back on his tailtank for the six-lap dash to the stripe, Lasoski slipped away to comfortably win his 11th overall feature of the year and assure himself of a fourth career STN championship feature start after finishing sixth last year and fourth the previous year when he won a preliminary feature event.
In Lasoski’s wake, the battle for runner-up honors was a furious one among Herrera, Bell and Crawley, with Herrera bringing the Print Place No. 45x across the stripe second. Bell snared the show position in Brandon Berryman’s No. 31b machine with Crawley fourth in Mike Ward’s No. 88.
Kevin Swindell climbed from 11th to claim sixth, with Bruce, Jr., seventh at the stripe. Sammy Swindell turned in the top passing performance by racing from 20th to eighth with Greg Wilson and Sam Hafertepe, Jr., completing the top ten.
Derek Hagar, Sammy Swindell, Jerod Roller, Bruce, Jr., Kevin Swindell, Seth Bergman, Ray Allen Kulhanek, Wilson and Hafertepe, Jr., topped heat race action.
Texas shoes Kolt Walker and Aaron Reutzel as well as New York’s Jason Barney topped “C” Main action with Wayne Johnson, Sammy Swindell and Terry McCarl scoring “B” Main wins.
In the Sixth Annual Ralph Henson Memorial feature postponed from September 28 that kicked off the night, Cody Gardner battled past Terry Gray on the third round and led the rest of the way in the 20-lapper for his fourth I-30 Speedway score of the year.
Gardner survived a late caution that set up a three-lap dash to the stripe, taking the checkered flag ahead of Terry Gray. Gray held off Anthony Nicholson’s challenges for second with pole starter Tyler Smith and 11th-starter Charlie Louden rounding out the top five.
The 26th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals gets under way on Thursday night with approximately half of the 100-plus field of entries taking to the ¼-mile clay oval for a full card of heat races, qualifying races, “B” Mains and “A” Main with the top three finishers locked into Saturday’s finale. Thursday’s action gets under way with hot laps at 7:00 p.m.
Ralph Henson Memorial “A” Main (From September 28):
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 17g-Cody Gardner, 2. 10-Terry Gray, 3. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 4. 5s-Tyler Smith, 5. X-Charlie Louden, 6. 1j-Nic Jenkins, 7. 14z-Zach Pringle, 8. 2j-Jacob Blurton, 9. 32x-Robert Richardson, 10. 99-Blake Jenkins, 11. 21k-Kevin Hinkle, 12. 31w-Justin Webb, 13. 26-Marshall Skinner, 14. 55b-Brandon Echols, 15. 3w-Wade Oliver, 16. 3a-A.G. Rains, 17. 44-Ronny Howard, 18. 38-Rick Pringle, 19. 31g-Johnny Gardner, 20. 12T-Joe Young.
Inaugural Short Track Nationals Open:
Heat Races (10 Heat Race Winners Plus Top 8 in Passing Points to “A” Main, lined up according to Passing Points; 19-54 in Passing Points to Three “B” Mains; 55 on Back to Three “C” Mains:
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. 9jr-Derek Hagar, 2. 91-Justin Henderson, 3. 36-Jonathan Beason, 4. 1h-Kyle Hirst, 5. 14z-Zach Pringle, 6. 3g-Shane Stewart, 7. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 8. 94-Jeff Swindell, 9. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 10. 111-Kaley Engstrom.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. 1-Sean McClelland, 2. 82-David Gravel, 3. 01-Roger Crockett, 4. 95-Matt Covington, 5. 21b-Brian Brown, 6. 12s-Adam Schmidt, 7. 12T-Joe Young, 8. 13TT-Triston Tidmore, 9. 27x-Andy Shouse, 10. 17wx-Cole Wood.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. 5r-Jerod Roller, 2. 9p-Parker Price-Miller, 3. 39c-Travis Rilat, 4. O5-Brad Loyet, 5. 17g-Cody Gardner, 6. 6-Tim Shaffer, 7. 12d-Dalton Davis, 8. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 9. 12r-Nick Robert, 10. 21k-Kevin Hinkle.
Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 1s-Sammy Swindell, 3. 7s-Jason Sides, 4. 6T-Terry McCarl, 5. 8-Alex Sewell, 6. 12m-Kolt Walker, 7. 4pm-Whit Gastineau, 8. 93-Chris Sweeney, 9. 3n-Nate Van Haaften, 10. 21tx-Brandon Schure.
Fifth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 1j-Nic Jenkins, 3. 1m-Danny Lasoski, 4. 88m-Scottie McDonald, 5. 3-A.G. Rains, 6. 13T-Taylor Tidmore, 7. 99-Blake Jenkins, 8. 5x-Tyson Hall. DSN: 38-Rick Pringle, 55-Ty Young.
Sixth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 71x-Kevin Swindell, 2. 31b-Christopher Bell, 3. 44-Ronny Howard, 4. 19-Klint Angelette, 5. 22h-Randy Hannagan, 6. 59-Kraig Kinser, 7. 26-Marshall Skinner, 8. 87b-Jason Barney, 9. X-Charlie Louden.
Seventh Heat (10 Laps): 1. 23x-Seth Bergman, 2. 74e-Claud Estes, 3. 40dd-Caleb Griffith, 4. 6b-Ryan Beechler, 5. 27-Beau Stewart, 6. 3h-Brandon Hanks, 7. 17w-Harli White, 8. 31g-Johnny Gardner. DNS: 31w-Justin Webb.
Eighth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 2. 29-Brandon Hahn, 3. 17h-Blake Hahn, 4. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 5. 87T-Tyler Thomas, 6. 6s-Chad Kemenah, 7. 0-Channin Tankersley, 8. 5s-Tyler Smith, 9. 4x-Shawn Petersen.
Ninth Heat (10 Laps): 1. W20-Greg Wilson, 2. 93m-Dustin Morgan, 3. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 4. 21x-Joey Moughan, 5. 51-Matt Ward, 6. 13-Todd Fayard, 7. 17x-Josh Baughman, 8. 4am-Mike Goodman, 9. 10-Terry Gray.
Tenth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 2. 88-Tim Crawley, 3. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 4. 49-Shawn Dancer, 5. 23-Howard Moore, 6. 32x-Robert Richardson, 7. 57-Kyle Chady, 8. 42-Henry Gustavus, 9. 17m-Austin Brown.
“C” Features – Top 2 from Each Advance to “B” Features
First “C” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 12m-Kolt Walker, 2. 0-Channin Tankersley, 3. 87T-Tyler Thomas, 4. 42-Henry Gustavus, 5. 57-Kyle Chady, 6. 3h-Brandon Hanks, 7. 17m-Austin Brown, 8. 4pm-Whit Gastineau, 9. 17wx-Cole Wood, 10. 12r-Nick Roberts, 11. 5x-Tyson Hall. DNS: 26-Marshall Skinner, 10-Terry Gray, 55-Ty Young.
Second “C” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 87r-Aaron Reutzel, 2. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 3. 17x-Josh Baughman, 4. 12T-Joe Young, 5. 12d-Dalton Davis, 6. 111-Kaley Engstrom, 7. X-Charlie Louden, 8. 13T-Taylor Tidmore, 9. 13TT-Triston Tidmore. DNS: 5s-Tyler Smith, 4am-Mike Goodman, 27x-Andy Shouse, 31w-Justin Webb.
Third “C” Feature (10 Laps): 1. 87b-Jason Barney, 2. 59-Kraig Kinser, 3. 94-Jeff Swindell, 4. 17w-Harli White, 5. 8-Alex Sewell, 6. 21tx-Brandon Schure, 7. 4x-Shawn Petersen, 8. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 9. 3n-Nate Van Haaften, 10. 99-Blake Jenkins. DNS: 93-Chris Sweeney, 21k-Kevin Hinkle, 38-Rick Pringle.
“B” Features – Top 2 from Each Advance to “A” Feature
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 2. 39c-Travis Rilat, 3. 6s-Chad Kemenah, 4. 36-Jonathan Beason, 5. 21-Brian Brown, 6. 1h-Kyle Hirst, 7. 6-Tim Shaffer, 8. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 9. 0-Channin Tankersley, 10. 9p-Parker Price-Miller, 11. 51-Matt Ward, 12. 23-Howard Moore, 13. 44-Ronny Howard, 14. 12m-Kolt Walker.
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 1s-Sammy Swindell, 2. 95-Matt Covington, 3. 87r-Aaron Reutzel, 4. 3g-Shane Stewart, 5. O5-Brad Loyet, 6. 21x-Joey Moughan, 7. 3-A.G. Rains, 8. 13-Todd Fayard, 9. 88m-Scottie McDonald, 10. 16-Anthony Nicholson, 11. 74e-Claud Estes, 12. 6b-Ryan Beechler, 13. 1j-Nic Jenkins, 14. 40dd-Caleb Griffith.
Third “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 6T-Terry McCarl, 2. 17g-Cody Gardner, 3. 7s-Jason Sides, 4. 22h-Randy Hannagan, 5. 29-Brandon Hahn, 6. 91-Justin Henderson, 7. 49-Shawn Dancer, 8. 87b-Jason Barney, 9. 27-Beau Stewart, 10. 19-Klint Angelette, 11. 12s-Adam Schmidt, 12. 14z-Zach Pringle, 13. 32x-Robert Richardson, 14. 59-Kraig Kinser.
A Feature (25 Laps – Starting position in parentheses): 1. 1m-Danny Lasoski (5), 2. 45x-Johnny Herrera (3), 3. 31b-Christopher Bell (4), 4. 88-Tim Crawley (1), 5. 71x-Kevin Swindell (11), 6. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr. (2), 7. 1s-Sammy Swindell (20), 8. W20-Greg Wilson (6), 9. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (7), 10. 9jr-Derek Hagar (14), 11. 77x-Wayne Johnson (19), 12. 41-Jason Johnson (17), 13. 82-David Gravel (8), 14. 23x-Seth Bergman (12), 15. 1-Sean McClelland (15), 16. 01-Roger Crockett (13), 17. 95-Matt Covington (23), 18. 5r-Jerod Roller (16), 19. 39c-Travis Rilat (22), 20. 17g-Cody Gardner (24), 21. 93m-Dustin Morgan (9), 22. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek (18), 23. 17h-Blake Hahn (10), 24. 6T-Terry McCarl (21) (DQ).
Lap Leader(s): Tim Crawley 1-2, Johnny Herrera 3-14, Danny Lasoski 15-25.
PitstopUSA.com Hard Charger: Sammy Swindell+13
Hawk Performance Products Fastest Lap of the Night: N/A
2013 “A” Feature Winners: Jason Johnson-8, Jeff Swindell-5, Johnny Herrera-4, Roger Crockett-3, Brian Brown-4, Danny Lasoski-3, Logan Forler-2, Brad Loyet-2, Tony Bruce, Jr.-2, Kyle Bellm, Jack Dover, Seth Bergman, Jonathan Cornell, Travis Rilat, Justin Henderson, Shane Stewart, Tim Crawley
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Photo Credit: Tim Aylwin