Brad Sweet in the Right Spot for STN Glory Worth $15,000!
Lonnie Wheatley, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 30, 2010) – I-30 Speedway’s Short Track Nationals is never short on drama.
Saturday night’s 23rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires championship finale certainly was no exception, as Brad Sweet added yet another prestigious feather to his cap by taking the $15,000 winner’s share in the 30-lap finale at I-30 Speedway.
And, the Grass Valley, CA, native led little more than the final lap for his second Lucas Oil ASCS presented by K&N Filters National victory in as many nights after race-long leader Greg Wilson and Sam Hafertepe, Jr., ran afoul of each other on the white flag lap to open the door for an opportunistic Sweet.
“They were battling hard for a $15,000 win and got together just enough, I was just barely able to shoot through the gap,” Sweet explained after becoming the 16th different winner in the storied history of STN lore.
While Sweet and the Kasey Kahne Racing Ollie’s Bargain Outlets/Auto Value No. 49 team enjoyed the thrill of what seemed much of the way like an unlikely victory, Ohio’s Greg Wilson endured the pure agony of defeat after pacing the initial 28 circuits around the ¼-mile clay oval.
After winning the Pole Dash to start from the first position, Wilson led until the 29th circuit when Thursday night preliminary feature winner Sam Hafertepe, Jr., tried to squeeze underneath entering turn three. The pair made contact, both slid up the track and Sweet shot by on the bottom to steal the win in front of Hafertepe and Wilson, who recovered to salvage podium finishes that neither found easy to stomach.
“That was a bullshit move!” an irate Wilson exclaimed in a frontstretch interview after the incident with Hafertepe. “If he thinks this is how you have to win races, then he probably ought to quit because that’s not how you win races!”
Hafertepe responded to the raucous crowd, “You all can boo all you want, but we put on a hell of a show for ya.” The Sunnyvale, TX, racer added, “You’re coming out here to win, we had the position on the last lap. We’d have come out smelling like roses if it woulda stuck.”
As it was, Sweet, who had taken third from Brandon Wimmer on the 18th circuit, stole the spotlight in the $78,400 STN championship feature event after the Wilson-Hafertepe scrape to add an STN win to a lengthy list of previous wins in both the winged and wingless Sprint Car ranks as well as Midgets.
While Sweet started the feature outside the second row, Wilson paced the early rounds in front of Brandon Wimmer and Sammy Swindell (a pair that would find conflict by midway) as fifth-starter Hafertepe moved past Sweet for fourth. And, the top five runners chased in that order until Swindell decided to up the tempo as the midway mark approached.
Vying for a second Short Track Nationals win and first since 1990, Swindell tried to root STN event rookie Wimmer out of the way for second entering turn one on the 15th lap, only to loop himself instead. Swindell kept his machine going after losing several positions and then compounded the problem by executing another 360-degree spin in turns three and four that forced Ricky Logan and Jan Howard into each other.
With Swindell directed pitside after extracurricular activities under the caution and then a Cody Gardner flip in turn one on the ensuing restart, Wilson continued to lead the way in front of Wimmer, Hafertepe and Sweet. Hafertepe and Sweet both slipped by Wimmer in the next three circuits and began to close the gap on Wilson, who was beginning to struggle with a slowly-deflating right rear tire that forbade the ill fortune to come.
Hafertepe closed in several times over the final ten circuits and finally got a big run coming off of turn two on the 29th lap and tried to muscle past Wilson into the lead entering turn three. The duo skittered up the track after contact and then more contact, leaving the door wide open for Sweet, who was perched closely in third.
“I was just trying to be patient and stay close enough, I figured that something might happen up there,” Sweet explained afterward.
While Sweet took the win, Hafertepe posted a career-best STN finish of second in the Plumb Fast Racing/Lone Star Speedway No. 15 with Wilson settling for a career-best event finish as well with the show position aboard Verl Warnimont’s No. w20.
Jason Sides, the 2001 STN champion, slipped past Wimmer on the 20th round en route to a fourth-place finish aboard the Sides No. 7s.
Wimmer ranked as the top finishing STN rookie contender in fifth, just ahead of fellow event rookie Justin Carver in sixth. Jeff Swindell was seventh, with a trio of Tim’s, including Shaffer, Crawley and Kaeding, completing the top ten.
After missing a transfer by just one position, Zach Pringle made the most of his I-30 Speedway track champion provisional by racing from 21st to eleventh, one position ahead of the third event rookie in the feature field, Connecticut’s David Gravel.
The initial attempt to start the feature was waved off when Chad Kemenah looped it in turn two, collecting Brian Brown, Brady Bacon and Marshall Skinner. Kemenah and Skinner, who turned over in the incident, were done for the race. Brown called it quits after the Swindell-Wimmer mixer, with Bacon gutting out his second STN feature start to a 13th-place finish.
Gardner, Danny Lasoski, Jason Johnson, Kyle Larson, Brown, Brooke Tatnell, Carver, Zach Chappell, Jeff Swindell, Wayne Johnson, Randy Hannagan and Jack Dover won Saturday night’s heat race action as 117 drivers vied for the remaining 14 STN championship feature starting berths.
Crawley, Brown, Sides, Bacon, Shaffer, J. Swindell and Carver won the seven qualifying races to earn STN starting slots with Jan Howard, Marshall Skinner, Dustin Morgan, Gardner, Kaeding, Gravel and Logan advancing from the qualifiers as well.
With 22 states and Australia represented among this year's record 125-car STN field, more than $111,000 in cash was paid out over the course of the 23rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.
23rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires Championship Finale Results:
Locked in from Preliminary Features:
15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 49-Brad Sweet, 1s-Sammy Swindell, 7tw-Brandon Wimmer, w20-Greg Wilson, 6k-Chad Kemenah.
Heat Races – Double Passing/Finishing Points (Combined Points from Qualifying Night and Saturday Night Heat Race Determine Lineup of Seven Last Chance Qualifying Races):
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. 1g-Cody Gardner, 2. 26m-Marshall Skinner, 3. 12h-Jerrod Hull, 4. 7hx-Chris Morgan, 5. 14z-Jessica Zemken, 6. 4s-Tommy Snellgrove, 7. 40h-Andy Huston, 8. 17w-Brad Welborn, 9. 60-Eric Sandage, 10. 69-Larry Howery.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. 01-Danny Lasoski, 2. 141-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 3. 4b-Eric Baldaccini, 4. 85-Jerry Bell, 5. 20s-Sheldon Barksdale, 6. 3s-John Carney II, 7. 7y-Don Young, 8. 17g-Jimmy Brooks, 9. 11m-Justin Melton. DNS: 21v-Taylor Velasquez.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 87m-Brian McClelland, 3. 57-Shane Stewart, 4. 9h-Derek Hagar, 5. 93m-Dustin Morgan, 6. 94-Danny Wood, 7. 38-Rick Pringle, 8. 5m-Miranda Arnold, 9. 87b-Kent Buckley, 10. 5r-Jerod Roller.
Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 75L-Kyle Larson, 2. 0-Jason Martin, 3. 1x-Gary Taylor, 4. 93s-Chris Sweeney, 5. 75b-Tyler Blank, 6. 40j-Junior Jenkins, 7. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 8. 59-Marty Stanford, 9. 18b-Tony Bruce, Jr., 10. 7w-Wade Human.
Fifth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 21b-Brian Brown, 2. 7s-Jason Sides, 3. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 4. 95-Matt Covington, 5. 88-Tim Crawley, 6. 87r-Aaron Reutzel, 7. 91-Darren Stewart, 8. 8x-Chris Williams, 9. C4-Casey Rowland, 10. 8h-Joey Moughan.
Sixth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 3x-Brooke Tatnell, 2. 27-Andy Shouse, 3. 22s-Robbie Standridge, 4. 97b-Aaron Berryhill, 5. 9w-Lane Whittington, 6. 9s-Justin Sturch, 7. 14m-Jordon Mallett, 8. 58f-Gary Floyd, 9. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 10. 84-Ben Wagoner (Disqualified; failed to report directly to scales after finishing third).
Seventh Heat (10 Laps): 1. 24-Justin Carver, 2. 29-Tim Kaeding, 3. 55s-Jason Solwold, 4. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 5. 55c-Donnie Ray Crawford, 6. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 7 36-Jonathan Beason, 8. 12T-Joe Young, 9. 72-Sherman Davis, 10. 58x-Wade Oliver.
Eighth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 50z-Zach Chappell, 2. 22y-Dennis Yoakam, 3. 99-Brady Bacon, 4. 9x-Gary Wright, 5. 46-Jan Howard, 6. 3m-Mark Shirshekan, 7. 1p-Curtis Evans, 8. 33-Mark Huddleston, 9. 1b-Tim Law, 10. 1h-Nic Jenkins.
Ninth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 90-Jeff Swindell, 2. 18h-Mike Hess, 3. 89g-David Gravel, 4. 1m-Sean McClelland, 5. 16a-Koty Adams, 6. 26s-Jon Stinson, 7. 14e-Tommy Bryant, 8. 30-Brandon Corn, 9. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 10. 7h-Lewis Jenkins, Jr.
Tenth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 2. 10a-Ricky Logan, 3. 8z-Zach Pringle, 4. 17bb-Brad Bowden, 5. 5L-Eric Lutz, 6. 31-Brandon Berryman, 7. 5g-Dave Glennon, 8. 19-Klint Angelette, 9. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek.
Eleventh Heat (10 Laps): 1. 22h-Randy Hannagan, 2. 6h-Kyle Hirst, 3. 74e-Claud Estes, 4. 83-Tim Shaffer, 5. 51s-Lee Sowell, 6. 16n-Anthony Nicholson, 7. 71-Channin Tankersley, 8. 21tx-Brandon Schure, 9. 8tw-Kent Lewis, Jr.
Twelfth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 53d-Jack Dover, 2. 3a-A.G. Rains, 3. 40a-Ernie Ainsworth, 4. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 5. 9g-Jared Georges, 6. 165-Haley Arnold, 7. 76-John Ricketts, 8. 11c-Dakota Carroll, 9. 11xx-Chad Corken.
Pole Dash - Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of “A” Feature:
Pole Dash (6 Laps): 1. W20-Greg Wilson, 2. 7tw-Brandon Wimmer, 3. 1s-Sammy Swindell, 4. 49-Brad Sweet, 5. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 6. 6k-Chad Kemenah.
Qualifying Races – Top Two from Each Last Chance Qualifier Advances to "A" Main, Winners in Positions 7-13 and Second Place in Positions 14-20, Lined Up by Total Points from Qualifying Night and Saturday Night Heat Race:
First Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 88-Tim Crawley, 2. 46-Jan Howard, 3. 12h-Jerrod Hull, 4. 0-Jason Martin, 5. 75b-Tyler Blank, 6. 19-Klint Angelette, 7. 87b-Kent Buckley, 8. 40a-Ernie Ainsworth, 9. 40j-Junior Jenkins, 10. 21v-Taylor Velasquez, 11. 3x-Brooke Tatnell, 12. 77x-Wayne Johnson, 13. 30-Brandon Corn, 14. 85-Jerry Bell, 15. 60-Eric Sandage. DNS: 22d-Dennis Yoakam, 14e-Tommy Bryant.
Second Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 21b-Brian Brown, 2. 26m-Marshall Skinner, 3. 8z-Zach Pringle, 4. 01-Danny Lasoski, 5. 14z-Jessica Zemken, 6. 18h-Mike Hess, 7. 71-Channin Tankersley, 8. 36-Jonathan Beason, 9. 14m-Jordon Mallett, 10. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 11. 0c-Preston Peebles II, 12. 31-Brandon Berryman, 13. 84-Ben Wagoner, 14. 5r-Jerod Roller, 15. 33-Mark Huddleston, 16. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 17. 11xx-Chad Corken.
Third Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 7s-Jason Sides, 2. 93m-Dustin Morgan, 3. 22h-Randy Hannagan, 4. 9s-Justin Sturch, 5. 57-Shane Stewart, 6. 3s-John Carney II, 7. 7y-Don Young, 8. 51s-Lee Sowell, 9. 21tx-Brandon Schure, 10. 5L-Eric Lutz, 11. 76-John Ricketts, 12. 4b-Eric Baldaccini, 13. C4-Casey Rowland, 14. 55s-Jason Solwold, 15. 1m-Sean McClelland, 16. 38-Rick Pringle. DNS: 8h-Joey Moughan.
Fourth Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 1g-Cody Gardner, 3. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 4. 94-Danny Wood, 5. 95-Matt Covington, 6. 74e-Claud Estes, 7. 1x-Gary Taylor, 8. 16n-Anthony Nicholson, 9. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek, 10. 11m-Justin Melton, 11. 5m-Miranda Arnold, 12. 9g-Jared Georges, 13. 1b-Tim Law, 14. 97b-Aaron Berryhill, 15. 16a-Koty Adams, 16. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 17. 40h-Andy Huston.
Fifth Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 83-Tim Shaffer, 2. 29-Tim Kaeding, 3. 6h-Kyle Hirst, 4. 75L-Kyle Larson, 5. 9x-Gary Wright, 6. 53d-Jack Dover, 7. 50z-Zach Chappell, 8. 55c-Donnie Ray Crawford, 9. 1p-Curtis Evans, 10. 165-Haley Arnold, 11. 8x-Chris Williams, 12. 9w-Lane Whittington, 13. 4s-Tommy Snellgrove, 14. 17g-Jimmy Brooks, 15. 58f-Gary Floyd. DNS: 69-Larry Howery, 7w-Wade Human.
Sixth Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 90-Jeff Swindell, 2. 89g-David Gravel, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 27-Andy Shouse, 5. 22s-Robbie Standridge, 6. 87m-Brian McClelland, 7. 87r-Aaron Reutzel, 8. 18b-Tony Bruce, Jr., 9. 72-Sherman Davis, 10. 5g-Dave Glennon, 11. 20s-Sheldon Barksdale, 12. 26s-Jon Stinson, 13. 1h-Nic Jenkins, 14. 9h-Derek Hagar, 15. 11c-Dakota Carroll, 16. 59-Marty Stanford.
Seventh Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 24-Justin Carver, 2. 10a-Ricky Logan, 3. 3a-A.G. Rains, 4. 91-Darren Stewart, 5. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 6. 7hx-Chris Morgan, 7. 141-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 8. 17bb-Brad Bowden, 9. 93s-Chris Sweeney, 10. 12T-Joe Young, 11. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 12. 3m-Mark Shirshekan, 13. 8tw-Kent Lewis, Jr. DNS: 7h-Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 17w-Brad Welborn, 58x-Wade Oliver.
Twenty-first starting position awarded to I-30 Speedway track champion Zach Pringle.
23rd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires Championship “A” Feature:
A Feature (30 Laps – Starting position in parentheses): 1. 49-Brad Sweet (4) [$15,000], 2. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (5) [$10,000], 3. W20-Greg Wilson (1) [$7,500], 4. 7s-Jason Sides (8) [$5,000], 5. 7tw-Brandon Wimmer (2) [$2,650], 6. 24-Justin Carver (11) [$2,600], 7. 90-Jeff Swindell (10) [$2,550], 8. 83-Tim Shaffer (13) [$2,500], 9. 88-Tim Crawley (12) [$2,475], 10. 29-Tim Kaeding (14) [$2,450], 11. 8z-Zach Pringle (21) [$2,425], 12. 89g-David Gravel (16) [$2,400], 13. 99-Brady Bacon (9) [$2,375], 14. 46-Jan Howard (20) [$2,350], 15. 10a-Ricky Logan (17) [$2,325], 16. 1g-Cody Gardner (15) [$2,300], 17. 1s-Sammy Swindell (3) [$2,300], 18. 21b-Brian Brown (7) [$2,300], 19. 93m-Dustin Morgan (19) [$2,300], 20. 6k-Chad Kemenah (6) [$2,300], 21. 26m-Marshall Skinner (18) [$2,300].
Lap Leaders: Greg Wilson 1-28, Brad Sweet 29-30