Short Track Nationals pre-race notes

Short Track Nationals: Four Days and Counting LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 22, 2006) -- By this time next week, some lucky driver will be basking in the glory and have an extra $15,000 in his pocket after a triumph in the 19th Annual Short ...

Short Track Nationals: Four Days and Counting

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 22, 2006) -- By this time next week, some lucky driver will be basking in the glory and have an extra $15,000 in his pocket after a triumph in the 19th Annual Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway.

As of Friday, 76 entries had flooded the track office for the prestigious event that offers up a healthy $1,900 just to start Saturday night's championship feature event. Saturday's finale will follow two full nights of preliminary action on Thursday and Friday.

Among the latest to submit official entries are defending race winner Tim Montgomery of Fredericktown, MO, along with other past STN kings Tim Crawley and Terry Gray. Crawley scored his STN triumph in 1998, with Gray victorious in 1994.

Other past winners expected to vie for another STN crown include four-time winner Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, and Memphis-area racers Jason Sides and Mike Ward.

Montgomery, taking the helm of the No. 11 entry normally driven by Cape Girardeau, MO, racer Tyler Thompson, will try to match the feat pulled off by Gary Wright in 2004: back-to-back STN wins. Wright is the only driver to post back-to-back STN wins since the event became a 360-ci showcase in 1993. In fact, Wright is the only driver to post more than one victory since 1993, picking off wins in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2004

While Montgomery tries for a second win in a row, Crawley will try to make his 14th overall win of 2006 his most lucrative, as will Gray.

Crawley and Gray have been among the most successful in STN history, taking a back seat to only Wright. Along with his four wins, Wright has a total of twelve top-ten STN finishes since 1993. Gray has posted seven top-ten runs, with Crawley finishing among the top ten a half dozen times.

The only other drivers to post six or more top-ten STN finishes include 1996 winner Pete Butler (who is questionable for this year's edition with health issues) with seven top-tens and 2000 winner Mike Ward, 1997 winner Wayne Johnson and Garry Lee Maier, each with six top-ten showings.

While Montgomery, Crawley and Gray will try to add another STN trophy to the shelf, a stout bunch of contenders will make a run to become the 13th different winner in STN history.

Among those bidding for a first STN win will be California's Tim Kaeding and Brad Sweet, Louisiana's Jason Johnson, Missouri's Brian Brown and Jesse Hockett, Ohio's Dale Blaney, Oklahoma's Nick Smith and Sean McClelland, Florida's Danny Martin, Jr., New York's Justin Barger, Texas' Kevin Ramey and Sam Hafertepe, Jr., South Dakota's Chuck Swenson and a host of other top contenders from throughout the nation.

Advance discount tickets for the 19th Annual Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, which will attract a field of approximately 100 entries, will be on sale through Wednesday. After that, tickets may be purchased at the gate on race day. Each night of racing action fires off at 7:30 p.m.

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. Full program of heats, last chance races, qualifiers and feature on each night, with the top three finishers from Thursday and Friday features locked into Saturday's championship finale.

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.

Entry Info: Entries postmarked by Friday, October 20, are just $150.JEntries after the October 20 deadline are $250, with no exceptions.JEntry forms may be obtained at http://www.i-30speedway.com/driverentry.htm or by calling the track at 501-455-4567.

The Entries: Seventy-six entries from 18 different states have already entered. Represented states include Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

At least nine different 2006 champions have already entered, including Jason Johnson (ASCS Speedweek and Southern Iowa Speedweek), Chuck Swenson (ASCS Northern Plains Region), Garry Lee Maier (NCRA), Jesse Hockett (Sprint Bandits TNT Midwest Swing), Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (ASCS Sooner Region), Justin Sturch (I-30 Speedway), Mitch Runge (Huset's Speedway -- Brandon, SD), Joey Montgomery (St. Francois County Raceway -- Farmington, MO), and Jeff Day (Cowtown Speedway -- Kennedale, TX).

The field has combined for well over 200 feature wins in 2006, with seven entered drivers posting double-digit feature wins this year, including Jason Johnson (21), Brian Brown (15), Tim Kaeding (15), Tim Crawley (13), Jesse Hockett (11), Kevin Ramey (11) and Chuck Swenson (10).

Entries by state, listed in order of 2006 feature wins (feature wins in parenthesis):

Arkansas: 87-Tim Crawley (13), 3-A.G. Rains (6), 26-Marshall Skinner, 1g-Cody Gardner (1), 4T-Justin Sturch (1), 5k-Jerry Kamer, 12T-Joe Young, 42-Nathan Brown, 42s-Josh Baker.

California: 01-Tim Kaeding (15), 77-Brad Sweet (4), 94-Steven Tiner.

Florida: 00-Danny Martin, Jr. (7).

Illinois: 12x-Robbie Standridge (5), 44g-Kaley Gharst (2), 44-A.J. Bruns.

Indiana: 71s-Jake Simmons.

Iowa: k9-Jody Rosenboom (4), 10-Jeff Mitrisin (4), 13F-Larry Pinegar II (1), 53-Joe Beaver, 71b-Robert Bell.

Kansas: 11x-Garry Lee Maier (7), 7c-Chris Morgan (1).

Louisiana: 41-Jason Johnson (21).

Michigan: 00-Ryan Grubaugh (2).

Mississippi: 4x-Jan Howard (1), 21-Raymond Stull (1), 47-Dale Howard (1), 51-Lee Sowell, 12m-Greg Merritt, 44h-Donny Howard, 44r-Ronny Howard, 45-Josh Howard, 86-Buster Dickerson.

Missouri: 21-Brian Brown (15), 75-Jesse Hockett (11), 21c-Joey Montgomery (3), 11-Tim Montgomery (1), 1*-Kent Buckley, 2-Ryan Marsch, 07-Rob Hartman, 8-Steve Short, d12-Doc Sloan, 86-Eric Schrock.

Nebraska: 2d-Rodney Droud.

New York: 32-Justin Barger (5).

Ohio: 6b-Dale Blaney (4), 35r-Ron Blair.

Oklahoma: 15s-Nick Smith (5), 1-Sean McClelland (4), 35b-Brad Best (2), 11f-Foster Landon (1), 4am-Travis Jenkins, 59-Dex Eaton.

South Dakota: X-Chuck Swenson (10), 28-Mitch Runge (7), 5-Eric Lutz (2), 20-Dusty Wasmund (1), 40g-Clint Garner (1).

Tennessee: 10-Terry Gray (5), 40-Ernie Ainsworth (4), 23-Brian Bell.

Texas: 7m-Kevin Ramey (11), 95-Jeff Day (7), 17-Brad Welborn (4), 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (3), 74-Claud Estes (3), 44x-Preston Peebles II (1), b4-Eric Baldaccini, 12m-Tommy Bryant, 21T-Kent Lewis, Jr., 41m-Scottie McDonald, 65-Skip Wilson, 71-Channin Tankersley, 99-Justin Melton.

everything they get and the fans are the ultimate winners as they watch three nights of unrivaled on-track action unfold.

A version of the Sprint Bandits popular format of heats and qualifying races will be in place for all three nights of competition, with all drivers eligible to compete each night (unless getting locked in through Thursday night's feature). Drivers will battle through a full set of Heat Races, Last Chance Races and Qualifying Races to set the feature lineups each night, with the top three finishers from the Thursday and Friday preliminary main events locked into Saturday's $15,000-to-win, $1,900-to-start main event.

The balance of The Short Track Nationals championship feature will be filled through another full card of Heats, Last Chance Races and Qualifiers on Saturday night, with the night's top twelve points earners filling spots seven through 18 in the feature starting grid. Positions 19 and 20 will be awarded to the two drivers who have accumulated the most points over the three nights but have not landed in the first 18 spots. A 21st position could be awarded to Justin Sturch, who earned a provisional starting position by claiming the I-30 Speedway track championship.

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, consisting of the top three feature finishers from both Thursday and Friday night, will be aligned by a pill draw conducted in "Cheater's Day" fashion. 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.

SNT on the Net: Those unable to attend the biggest Sprint Car racing event of the year can listen to all the action live at www.americandirtnetwork.com.

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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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Buster Dickerson , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Preston Peebles , Jeff Mitrisin , Brian Brown , Jason Sides , Paul McMahan , Justin Barger , Jesse Hockett , Brad Sweet , Nick Smith , Justin Melton , Dex Eaton , Jody Rosenboom , Wayne Johnson , Kevin Ramey , Tim Crawley , Chris Morgan , Tim Kaeding , Jason Johnson , Sean McClelland