Meyers Magic Worth $20K in O'Reilly Short Track Nationals Finale! LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 27, 2007) -- For 38 laps on Saturday night, it seemed an almost certainty that Oklahoma's Shane Stewart would reach victory lane in the 20th...
Meyers Magic Worth $20K in O'Reilly Short Track Nationals Finale!
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 27, 2007) -- For 38 laps on Saturday night, it seemed an almost certainty that Oklahoma's Shane Stewart would reach victory lane in the 20th Annual O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires 40-lap championship finale at I-30 Speedway.
But California shoe Jason Meyers had other ideas in the $76,600 feature event, sneaking up on the race-long leader and swiping the lead with the white flag in sight and then emerging from a furious last-lap duel with Stewart to post a dramatic $20,000 triumph in the prestigious event sanctioned by the O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series.
Meyers' triumph aboard the Elite Landscaping/Primerica Financial Maxim, utilizing a Charlie Garrett powerplant supplied by Jeff McCall, made the driver of the No. 14 entry the 14th different winner in STN history before a capacity crowd.
"I think I snuck up on him there, he got trapped behind a couple of lapped cars and that gave me the chance I needed," Meyers explained in victory lane. "We ran here last year with Doc Sloan and had a lot of fun and knew we had to come back, winning this time makes it even better."
Ranked fifth in World of Outlaws points, Meyers' first ASCS National Tour feature win came with the Elite Racing Team en route from Perris, CA, last weekend to Charlotte, NC, next weekend.
After starting fourth in the 6-lap Pack's Dash for Cash, Meyers served fair warning by blitzing past front row Dash starters Zach Chappell and Jason Sides on the way to winning the Dash and earning the Pole position for the feature.
And while egged on by the crowd to accept the COMP Cams challenge, which would have offered a $25,000 bonus for him to start tailback and the take the win, Meyers couldn't resist the golden opportunity at a $20,000 payday from the pole position. Neither could Stewart, who earned the front row outside starting slot with a second-place Dash finish.
A Meyers win seemed unlikely most of the way though, with outside front row starter Shane Stewart gunning into the lead at the drop of the green flag aboard the Shaver-powered Doyle's Harley-Davidson No. 1hd Maxim with Meyers in tow. Stewart weathered three interruptions in the opening nine rounds, with the final 31 circuits run in non-stop fashion atop the high-banked, 0x00bc-mile clay oval.
While Stewart raced around the top side of the track, Meyers had his hands full over the middle portion of the race with Friday night preliminary feature winner Tim Shaffer. And as lapped traffic came into play prior to the midway point, Meyers and Shaffer closed in on Stewart with a three-way battle for the lead beginning to develop.
Stewart would have none of it though, slipping away after the 20th round and opening up a half straightaway lead over the next ten rounds.With Stewart, the Thursday night preliminary feature winner, sailing out front, Meyers finally escaped Shaffer's challenges when the Pennsylvania shoe tapped an infield tire in turn two on the 26th lap. Despite losing several car-lengths, Shaffer continued on with no damage.
But when Stewart closed in on a pair of lapped cars battling for position, a handicap unknown to most observers on hand gave Meyers just the opportunity he was looking for.
"The panhard bar on the front axle broke two or three laps into the race," Stewart explained afterward. "Any time I slowed up just a little bit, the car would start moving around. Terry (Gray) was on the low side and Travis (Rilat) was up high, I needed one of 'em to get ahead of the other so I could get going."
They didn't though, and in the final five laps Meyers was able to erase Stewart's half straightaway advantage, sliding into the lead exiting turn four with the white flag in sight.
Stewart slid back in front of Meyers entering turn one on the final lap, only to have Meyers duck back to the low side exiting turn two and win the drag race down the backstretch. A clean run through the final pair of corners secured the victory for Meyers, with Stewart settling for runner-up honors in the event that has eluded him.
"I thought we had this one, but I also knew I could hear someone there," Stewart commented. "This is one event that I circle on my calendar each year and I've got to keep coming back until I win it."
After starting sixth, Shaffer quickly advanced to fourth in the opening rounds and then took third from Zach Chappell by the fifth lap. After dicing with Meyers for much of the race, Shaffer took the show position in Doc Sloan's Dynotech-powered No. a12 J&J.
Defending Short Track Nationals champion Jason Johnson rebounded from a wild flip in hot laps to earn the eighth starting position for the feature. "The Ragin' Cajun" was sixth by the fifth lap and blasted past Gary Wright and Chappell for fourth on a lap ten restart.
Holding fourth to the line in Lanny Row's Wesmar-powered The Shop Motorsports No. 41 Eagle was good enough for Johnson to climb past the unrelated Wayne Johnson for second in final O'Reilly ASCoT National points. Wayne Johnson missed the cut for the feature when he tagged an infield tire and suffered event-ending front-end damage in his qualifying race.
Wright locked up his fourth consecutive ASCS National championship by rounding out the top five in the Wesmar-powered Richwood Construction/Whiteco Commercial Funding No. 9 Maxim.
Oklahoma's Chappell was sixth, with Mississippi's Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., climbing from 13th to finish seventh. Texas shoe Sam Hafertepe, Jr., earned Hard Charger honors by racing from 20th to eighth, with Oklahoma's Daryn Pittman and Missouri's Jerrod Hull completing the top ten.
The feature's first caution flew after three laps when ASCS Gulf South shoe Tommy Bryant spun in turn four after contact. Suffering a cut tire, Bryant was done for the night.
Five laps later, I-30 Speedway track champion Zach Pringle, who started seventh after accumulating the most points in Saturday's heat and qualifying race action, went for a tumble off turn three. Pringle was uninjured but done for the night.
A lap later, third-starter Jason Sides spun in turn four to bring out the night's final caution. Sides raced back to finish twelfth.
Five drivers made their first STN championship feature start, including Meyers, Shaffer, Oklahoma City's Joe Wood, Jr. (16th), Pringle (18th) and Bryant (20th).
Lewis Jenkins, Jr., Jack Dover, Stenhouse, Darren Stewart, Dain Naida, Wayne Johnson, Sean McClelland, John Carney, Jr., Stu Snyder and Garry Lee Maier topped heat race action as 98 drivers vied for the final 14 positions to the STN championship feature.
Lee Sowell, Tony Bruce, Jr., Joe Beaver and Gary Taylor topped Last Chance race action, with Travis Rilat, Tim Montgomery, Terry Gray and Jerrod Hull winning the Qualifying races.
The night featured plenty of thrills and spills, with Florida's Danny Martin, Jr., the first flip victim when he bicycled and flipped wildly off the top of turn four on the opening lap of the fourth heat. On the seventh lap of the same heat, Kaley Gharst climbed Kenneth Walker's right rear tire and flipped entering turn one. One lap later, Dale Blaney bicycled and flipped in turn two.
On the opening lap of the sixth heat, Jimmy Brooks flipped in turn three while battling for the lead with Tyler Thompson. Four laps later, a broken rear axle sent Kyle Bellm upside down exiting turn four.
Langley, British Columbia's Travis Rutz, who was later presented the Long Tow award, had the tenth and final heat well in hand until climbing over the lapped car of Larry Howery entering turn one on the final lap and flipping.
Marshall Skinner was the lone Last Chance flip victim when he dumped his mount in turn four on the first lap of the second Last Chance race.
After second-runner Greg Wilson hooked a rut and tagged the frontstretch wall and then a multi-car tangle that eliminated Johnny Miller and Jesse Hockett in the first Qualifying race, things got really wild when leader Steve Short jumped the turn four cushion and turned down into Travis Rilat with the white flag in sight. The resulting contact sent Short for a wild ride, with Derek Hagar caught up with no place to go and tumbling as well.
Jack Dover's STN came to a conclusion on the opening lap of the fourth Qualifying race when contact with another car in turn two on the opening lap sent him end-over-end.
There were no injuries in Saturday's action.
An STN record total of 108 drivers from 21 different states as well as Canada competed in the 20th Annual O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway, with $106,000 in purse money distributed over the weekend.
20th Annual O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires Championship Finale Results:
Locked in from Preliminary Features: 1hd-Shane Stewart, a12-Tim Shaffer, 7s-Jason Sides, 9w-Gary Wright, 50z-Zach Chappell, 14m-Jason Meyers.
Heat Races -- Top 40 in Finishing/Passing Points to Four Qualifying Races (32 inverted); Balance of Field to Four Last Chance Races.
First Heat (10 Laps): 1. 7h-Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 2. 29R-Travis Rilat, 3. 81-Jon Freeman, 4. 97-Mike Brecht, 5. 29x-Brandon Berryman, 6. 53b-Joe Beaver, 7. 21b-Brian Brown, 8. 58-Wade Oliver, 9. 71T-Tim Simmons, 10. 12x-Robbie Standridge.
Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. 53d-Jack Dover, 2. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 3. 75J-Jesse Hockett, 4. 4am-Tyler Walker, 5. 26-Marshall Skinner, 6. 3a-A.G. Rains, 7. 12s-Jeff Swindell, 8. 87b-Brian McClelland, 9. 6-Mike Dussel, 10. 15b-Brad Bowden.
Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. 40R-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 2. 87T-Tim Montgomery, 3. 59d-Dustin Morgan, 4. 21T-Tommy Bryant, 5. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 6. 8w-Jeff Wingate, 7. 38-Rick Pringle, 8. 7w-Wade Human, 9. 29s-Shawn Sander, 10. 66-Kenny Taylor.
Fourth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 91-Darren Stewart, 2. 8z-Zach Pringle, 3. 2w-Kenneth Walker, 4. 64J-Johnny Miller, 5. 71b-Robert Bell, 6. 35h-Jimmy Hurley, 7. 44-Ronny Howard, 8. 6b-Dale Blaney, 9. 3*-Kaley Gharst, 10. 00-Danny Martin, Jr.
Fifth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 6n-Dain Naida, 2. 86F-Josh Fisher, 3. 21p-Daryn Pittman, 4. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 5. 10-Terry Gray, 6. 76-Jay Russell, 7. 94T-Steven Tiner, 8. 01-Paul McMahan, 9. 13k-Lucas Wolfe, 10. 51b-Mike Boston.
Sixth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 94J-Wayne Johnson, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 1x-Don Droud, Jr., 4. 51s-Lee Sowell, 5. 12h-Jerrod Hull, 6. 7c-Chris Morgan, 7. 11T-Tyler Thompson, 8. 75b-Tyler Blank, 9. 14k-Kyle Bellm, 10. 51J-Jimmy Brooks.
Seventh Heat (10 Laps): 1. 1m-Sean McClelland, 2. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 3. 15s-Nick Smith, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 18w-Lorne Wofford, 6. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr., 7. 93b-Bob Schaeffer, 8. 14c-Coleman Gulick, 9. 3b-Brad Greer, 10. 8x-Chris Williams.
Eighth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 8c-John Carney, Jr., 2. w20-Greg Wilson, 3. R19-Scott Winters, 4. 98-Andrew Korte, 5. 57x-Jake Peters, 6. 25-Gary Taylor, 7. d12-Doc Sloan, 8. 35r-Ron Blair, 9. 28-Jonathan Cornell, 10. 32-Garry Bell.
Ninth Heat (10 Laps): 1 2d-Stu Snyder, 2. 95-Matt Covington, 3. 8s-Steve Short, 4. 20e-Eric Lutz, 5. 71J-John Jacob, 6. 1p-Curtis Evans, 7. 5$-Danny Smith, 8. 93c-Chris Sweeney, 9. 17b-Ryan Bickett.
Tenth Heat (10 Laps): 1. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 2. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 3. 74e-Claud Estes, 4. 9JR-Derek Hagar, 5. 40e-Ernie Ainsworth, 6. 69h-Larry Howery, 7. 39c-Travis Rutz, 8. 5ma-Mallory Armfield. DNS: 1g-Cody Gardner.
Last Chance Races -- Top 4 Finishers to tail of the Four Qualifying Races.
First Last Chance Race (10 Laps): 1. 51s-Lee Sowell, 2. 40e-Ernie Ainsworth, 3. 64J-Johnny Miller, 4. 38-Rick Pringle, 5. 71J-John Jacob, 6. 93c-Chris Sweeney, 7. d12-Doc Sloan, 8. 17b-Ryan Bickett, 9. 6-Mike Dussel, 10. 1p-Curtis Evans, 11. 01-Paul McMahan. DNS: 12s-Jeff Swindell, 13k-Lucas Wolfe, 00-Danny Martin, Jr., 32-Garry Bell.
Second Last Chance Race (10 Laps): 1. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr., 2. 58-Wade Oliver, 3. 12x-Robbie Standridge, 4. 5$-Danny Smith, 5. 51b-Mike Boston, 6. 75b-Tyler Blank, 7. 69h-Larry Howery, 8. 8w-Jeff Wingate, 9. 71T-Tim Simmons, 10. 29x-Brandon Berryman, 11. 1g-Cody Gardner, 12. 26-Marshall Skinner. DNS: 3a-A.G. Rains, 6b-Dale Blaney, 14k-Kyle Bellm.
Third Last Chance Race (10 Laps): 1. 53b-Joe Beaver, 2. 7c-Chris Morgan, 3. 94T-Steven Tiner, 4. 87b-Brian McClelland, 5. 98-Andrew Korte, 6. 71b-Mike Boston, 7. 39c-Travis Rutz, 8. 3b-Brad Greer, 9. 15b-Brad Bowden, 10. 35r-Ron Blair, 11. 44-Ronny Howard, 12. 29s-Shawn Sander.JDNS: 35h-Jimmy Hurley, 51J-Jimmy Brooks.
Fourth Last Chance Race (10 Laps): 1. 25-Gary Taylor, 2. 4am-Tyler Walker, 3. 18w-Lorne Wofford, 4. 14c-Coleman Gulick, 5. 93b-Bob Schaeffer, 6. 11T-Tyler Thompson, 7. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 8. 76-Jay Russell, 9. 7w-Wade Human, 10. 66-Kenny Taylor, 11. 5ma-Mallory Armfield, 12. 8x-Chris Williams. DNS: 21b-Brian Brown, 3*-Kaley Gharst.
Pack's Dash for Cash -- Finishing Order Determines Front Three Rows of "A" Feature.
Pack's Dash for Cash (6 Laps -- Starting position in parentheses): 1. 14m-Jason Meyers (4), 2. 1hd-Shane Stewart (3), 3. 7s-Jason Sides (2), 4. 50z-Zach Chappell (1), 5. 9-Gary Wright (6), 6. a12-Tim Shaffer (5).
Qualifying Races -- Winner from Each Qualifier Locked into "A" Main; Top 8 Additional Point Earners Advance to "A" Main (Rows 4-9 Lined up according to Saturday Night points)
First Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 29R-Travis Rilat, 2. 8z-Zach Pringle, 3. 40r-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 4. 15s-Nick Smith, 5. 86f-Josh Fisher, 6. 40e-Ernie Ainsworth, 7. 7J-Lewis Jenkins, Jr., 8. 9JR-Derek Hagar, 9. 8s-Steve Short, 10. 75J-Jesse Hockett, 11. 64J-Johnny Miller, 12. 51s-Lee Sowell, 13. w20-Greg Wilson, 14. 38-Rick Pringle.
Second Qualifier (12 Laps): 1. 87T-Tim Montgomery, 2. 21T-Tommy Bryant, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 88-Tim Crawley, 5. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 6. 59d-Dustin Morgan, 7. 18T-Tony Bruce, Jr., 8. 74e-Claud Estes, 9. 2w-Kenneth Walker, 10. 58-Wade Oliver, 11. 1m-Sean McClelland, 12. 95-Matt Covington, 13. 12x-Robbie Standridge, 14. 5$-Danny Smith.
Third Qualifier (10 Laps): 1. 10-Terry Gray, 2. 91-Darren Stewart, 3. 21p-Daryn Pittman, 4. 1x-Don Droud, Jr., 5. 8c-John Carney, Jr., 6. 20e-Eric Lutz, 7. 2d-Stu Snyder, 8. 53b-Joe Beaver, 9. 7c-Chris Morgan, 10. 94T-Steven Tiner, 11. 81-Jon Freeman, 12. 87b-Brian McClelland, 13. 57x-Jake Peters, 14. 94J-Wayne Johnson.
Fourth Qualifier (10 Laps): 1. 12h-Jerrod Hull, 2. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 3. 97-Mike Brecht, 4. R19-Scott Winters, 5. 25-Gary Taylor, 6. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 7. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 8. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 9. 18w-Lorne Wofford, 10. 2m-Bryce Vowan, 11. 14c-Coleman Gulick, 12. 6n-Dain Naida, 13. 4am-Tyler Walker, 14. 53d-Jack Dover.
Tenth row of "A" Feature comprised of top two point earners over their points accumulated through Qualifying and Saturday night action that haven't already qualified: Ernie Ainsworth and Sam Hafertepe, Jr.
20th Annual O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires Championship "A" Feature:
A Feature (40 Laps -- Starting position in parentheses): 1. 14m-Jason Meyers (1) [$20,000], 2. 1hd-Shane Stewart (2) [$10,000], 3. a12-Tim Shaffer (6) [$7,500], 4. 41-Jason Johnson (8) [$5,000], 5. 9w-Gary Wright (5) [$2,500], 6. 50z-Zach Chappell (4) [$2,400], 7. 40R-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (13) [$2,300], 8. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (20) [$2,200], 9. 21p-Daryn Pittman (15) [$2,175], 10. 10-Terry Gray (14) [$2,150], 11. 29R-Travis Rilat (9) [$2,125], 12. 7s-Jason Sides (3) [$2,100], 13. 12h-Jerrod Hull (16) [$2,075], 14. 91-Darren Stewart (12) [$2,050], 15. 40e-Ernie Ainsworth (19) [$2,025], 16. 03-Joe Wood, Jr. (17) [$2,000], 17. 87T-Tim Montgomery (10) [$2,000], 18. 8z-Zach Pringle (7) [$2,000], 19. 15s-Nick Smith (18) [$2,000], 20. 21T-Tommy Bryant (11) [$2,000].
Lap Leaders: Shane Stewart 1-38, Jason Meyers 39-40.
Final 2007 O'Reilly ASCoT Points (Top Ten): 1. Gary Wright 4,420, 2 . Jason Johnson 4,318, 3. Wayne Johnson 4,312, 4. Travis Rilat 4,104, 5 . Foster Landon 3,477, 6. Darren Stewart 2,819, 7. Nick Smith 2,402, 8 . Eric Baldaccini 1,951, 9. Kenneth Walker 1,823, 10. Johnny Miller 1,744.