Short Track Nationals news 2006-10-10

Kaeding & Blaney Add Names to Short Track Nationals Entry List LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 11, 2006) -- The names "Kaeding" and "Blaney" rarely have the term "rookie" tagged with them, but that will be the case at the end of this month as ...

Kaeding & Blaney Add Names to Short Track Nationals Entry List

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 11, 2006) -- The names "Kaeding" and "Blaney" rarely have the term "rookie" tagged with them, but that will be the case at the end of this month as California's Tim Kaeding and Ohio's Dale Blaney are among the latest entries for the $15,000-to-win 19th Annual Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, to be contested at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway on October 26-28.

It will mark the first time that either of the two Sprint Car aces have taken a shot at the prestigious Short Track Nationals title.

Kaeding will join forces with two-time STN winning car owner Donnie Cooper, while Blaney will pilot an entry fielded by fellow Buckeye-state resident Ron Hammons.

Missouri's Cooper, an STN winner with Paul McMahan in 2002 and Tim Montgomery last year, will shoot for an unprecedented third Short Track Nationals crown with Kaeding, the most frequent National Sprint Tour victory lane visitor in 2006 with 14 triumphs.

Cooper is tied with Olive Branch, MS, car owner Bobby Sparks, who enjoyed STN laurels in 1997 and 1998 with Wayne Johnson and Tim Crawley, respectively. Sparks is expected to be back as well to take a shot at a third STN title, with Bixby, Oklahoma's Darren Stewart at the helm.

With a pair of All Star wins among his four '06 triumphs while running a selected slate of events, Blaney climbed to fourth on the all-time All Star win list with 54 career feature wins. Blaney won the All Stars title in both 1995 and 1996.

Kaeding and Blaney headline the latest group of official STN entries, which now numbers more than 30, already ahead of last year's pace which eventually netted 91 competitors for the 18th running of the Short Track Nationals.

Among the other top contenders to officially submit an STN entry is newly crowned ASCS Sooner Region champion Sam Hafertepe, Jr., of Sunnyvale, TX. Hafertepe captured a top-ten STN finish in 2004 at the age of 18.

Also among the latest entries is ASCS Sooner Region points runner-up Sean McClelland of Collinsville, OK. McClelland, the 2005 ASCS Sooner Region champion, is also ranked sixth in ASCS National points.

Other recent entries include ASCS Northern Plains Region points runner-up Eric Lutz of Sioux Falls, SD, Knoxville Raceway 360-ci points runner up Jeff Mitrisin of Oskaloosa, IA, two-time '06 ASCS Sprints on Dirt feature winner Ryan Grubaugh of St. Johns, MI, and 2006 Cowtown Speedway track champion Jeff Day of Greenville, TX.

Other drivers with past STN championship feature starts among the latest entries include Missouri's Joey Montgomery (2004), Mississippi's Raymond Stull (1999) and Texas' Skip Wilson (1993 and 1994).

Also included among the latest entries are Missouri's Steve Short, Tennessee's Brian Bell, South Dakota's Mitch Runge and Mississippi's Buster Dickerson.

The latest entries join a stellar group of early entries that included hotshoes Brian Brown, Jason Johnson, Jesse Hockett, Nick Smith, Garry Lee Maier and Danny Martin, Jr., among others.

Additional Short Track Nationals Information:

What: 19th Annual Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.

Where: I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR).

When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 26-28, 2006. $15,000 to win the STN finale on October 28, with $1,900 to start the STN championship feature. Rain date is November 2-4.

Past Winners: Tim Montgomery (2005), Gary Wright (2004, 2003, 1999 and 1995), Paul McMahan (2002), Jason Sides (2001), Mike Ward (2000), Tim Crawley (1998), Wayne Johnson (1997), Pete Butler (1996), Terry Gray (1994), John Gerloff (1993), Steve Kinser (1991, '89 and '88) and Sammy Swindell (1990). 1992 finale was rained out.

qualifying races will be in place for all three nights of competition. Each night, Heat Races will be aligned according to the pre-race draw, with the passing points system in effect.

Each night, the top 40 in passing points from Heat Race competition will transfer directly into four, fully inverted Qualifying Races. The balance of the field will make up four Last Chance races, lined straight-up according to Heat Race passing points, with the top four finishers of each Last Chance race transferring to the tail of the respective Qualifying Races. Passing points only will be awarded in Last Chance races, with no finishing position points awarded.

With passing points in effect for the Qualifying Races as well, the Thursday and Friday preliminary features will be comprised of the top twenty in combined points from Heats, Qualifiers and Last Chance Races, with the top three feature finishers locked into Saturday's main event.

With six cars locked into Saturday's $15,000-to-win, $1,900-to-start main event, the top twelve drivers in combined passing points from Saturday's Heats, Qualifiers and Last Chance Races will fill positions seven through eighteen. The final two slots of the STN finale will be awarded to the two remaining drivers that have accumulated the most points through Heat, Qualifying, Last Chance and Feature racing action over the three nights of racing.

Drivers must compete in either Thursday's prelim or Friday's prelim to be eligible for passing points on Saturday. Drivers that show up for Saturday only will start tailback in their Heat Race and receive no passing points all night.

The Dash will be aligned by a pill draw conducted in "Cheater's Day" fashion. Thursday's winning driver will draw the first pill then give that pill to the driver of his choice. Friday's winner will draw the second pill and give that pill to one of the remaining drivers, and so on until the lineup is determined.

The finishing order of Saturday's "Pack's Dash for Cash" will then determine the starting lineup for the front three rows of the $15,000-to-win finale.

Trade Show: This year's rendition of the Short Track Nationals will also include the Second Annual Short Track Nationals Trade Show & Midway. Fans, drivers & crews will have the opportunity to visit vendor displays, which will be open each day. The deadline for guaranteed vendor space is Monday, October 23.

Tickets: Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday, October 25, no advance sales after that. Those ordering in advance by credit card receive a discount, with all three nights just $44. There is a discount for purchasing with cash in advance as well. Day of show cash prices are $12 on Thursday and Friday, and $25 on Saturday. To order tickets in advance or for more information, call the track at 501-455-4567.

For more information regarding the 19th Annual Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, contact I-30 Speedway at 501-455-4567.

-credit: lw

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Series Sprint
Drivers Darren Stewart , Buster Dickerson , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Jeff Mitrisin , Brian Brown , Jason Sides , Paul McMahan , Jesse Hockett , Nick Smith , Wayne Johnson , Tim Crawley , Jason Johnson