Walker wins Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals MESQUITE, TX (March 15) -- The O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series ran the first race in its history at Devil's Bowl Speedway two years before Tyler Walker was born. The 23-year-old Californian, who has ...
Walker wins Devil's Bowl Spring Nationals
MESQUITE, TX (March 15) -- The O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series ran the first race in its history at Devil's Bowl Speedway two years before Tyler Walker was born. The 23-year-old Californian, who has been helping usher in sprint car racing's new era, won the 30th Annual Spring Nationals Saturday before a standing-room-only crowd at "The Bowl."
Walker drove C&W Motorsports' #35 Eagle past pole-sitter Donny Schatz in the third corner late in the 10th lap on his way to winning the fifth "A" Feature of his O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series career and claiming the $10,000 first prize.
"I owe it all to my car owners and my crew," Walker said after turning two of his signature victory back flips on the front straightaway. "They did an excellent job preparing the car and I wouldn't be here without them. I'm having a great time. I'm just happy to be out here doing what I love to do, having fun and, hopefully, putting on a good show for you fans."
Walker and Schatz, who won the main event at State Fair Speedway the night before, put on quite a show, racing wheel-to-wheel around the legendary semi-banked, ½-mile oval for the first 10 laps. Walker, who inherited the lead in the Second Dash Race after Daryn Pittman's engine lost power, started next to Schatz on the front row in the "A" Feature.
Schatz drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event. He met Walker's many challenges to pass him during the race's early stages. Walker was just inches from Schatz' rear bumper when they entered lapped traffic during the fifth lap. Mechanical problems in the #11K Delco Remy Maxim forced Kraig Kinser to stop in turn four the next time around, taking the leaders out of lapped traffic.
Walker raced wheel-to-wheel with Schatz through the second corner the next two times around, but was unable to surge ahead. The leaders were approaching lapped traffic again when Aaron Berryhill stopped in turn four late in lap eight.
Walker raced around Schatz in the second corner as the race resumed, only to have Ricky Logan spin over the bank in turn two several seconds later. Walker raced wheel-to-wheel with Schatz down the back straightaway as the green flag replaced the yellow, then took the lead with a daring dive into turn three to take the lead.
"I was working better on the bottom all the way around," Walker said. "I was trying to pass him on the top and I wasn't sure if I could. We had a run on the outside earlier, but we passed him down low."
Craig Dollansky lost 10th place when his collision with Jac Haudenschild peeled the left rear tire from the #7 VMAC Maxim sent him sliding over the bank in the first corner early in lap 13. Walker controlled the ensuing restart and quickly built a comfortable advantage, opening a half-straightaway lead midway through the race.
Walker caught the back-markers during the 18th lap and extended his lead by racing through lapped traffic with ease.
Steve Kinser, who raced into third place from outside the third row during the first two laps of the First Dash Race, passed Johnny Herrera and Schatz during the 26th and 27th laps. Schatz lost third place when he coasted off the track with a smoking engine with two laps remaining.
Kinser, winner of 10 O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Features at the Devil's Bowl, was racing through turn four as Walker took the checkered flag.
"I was watching the lap board as we were getting down to the end and I remembered it bit me here before when I tried to go hard all the way," Walker said. "I staying out of traffic as much as I could, but still tried to keep up a fast race pace."
Herrera finished in third place, ahead of O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski, Mark Kinser, Sammy Swindell, Joey Saldana, Jeff Shepard, Second Heat Race winner Shane Stewart and Haudenschild.
Jeremy Campbell and Randy Hannagan used provisionals to start the main event and each passed 11 cars to finish 14th and 15th, respectively.
Steve Kinser paced the qualifying session with a 124.844-M.P.H. lap around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval.
The O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series will race at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, MS, Friday and sanction the Texas Shootout at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, TX, Saturday.