Smith Shines in ASCS Sooner Region Finale at Mid-America SOUTH COFFEYVILLE, Okla. (October 7, 2006) -- Nick Smith pocketed $3,000 by racing to victory lane in Saturday night's season finale for the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS...
Smith Shines in ASCS Sooner Region Finale at Mid-America
SOUTH COFFEYVILLE, Okla. (October 7, 2006) -- Nick Smith pocketed $3,000 by racing to victory lane in Saturday night's season finale for the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region in Mid-America Speedway's First Annual Fall Nationals versus the NCRA.
Smith outdueled Shelly Ward to take command on the fifth round, then waded through heavy lapped traffic much of the way to secure his third ASCS Sooner Region win of the season.
Meanwhile, Sam Hafertepe, Jr., secured the 2006 ASCS Sooner Region championship with an eleventh place run, finishing 26 points ahead of Kevin Ramey and Sean McClelland, who tied for runner-up honors.
"Shelly had the low side of the track, which is where I wanted to be, those first few laps and really made me work for the lead," Smith explained afterward. "Then we got into lapped traffic for about 20 laps and I was just trying to go where ever I need to go since I didn't have any idea if anyone was close or not."
Garry Lee Maier, who secured his second consecutive NCRA championship, was close at one point, but Smith navigated his way through traffic adeptly to open up a safe advantage. Three lapped cars separated Smith from Maier when the race's second and final caution flew with just three laps remaining and by the time Maier made his way past traffic, Smith had checked out in the Ostrich-powered No. 15s J&J.
Ward and Smith led the field to the green flag and raced in wheel-to-wheel fashion for two rounds before Jon Freeman spun to a stop in turn two with a cut right rear tire. The pair resumed the battle for the point on the restart, with Smith surging ahead to lead the third round.
Ward battled right back to lead the fourth round, only to surrender the point for good the next time around. With Smith in front, third-starter Maier made his way past Ward for second a lap later and set his sights on Smith.
Smith reached the tail of the 24-car feature field on the eighth round and began picking off lapped cars at a quick pace, eventually building a near straightaway advantage. Maier was cutting into Smith's lead when the caution flew with 27 laps in the books for a tractor tire that was knocked into the racing line in turn two.
Smith cruised to the stripe unabated over the final three rounds, with Maier settling for second. After starting 13th, Jason Johnson made a late charge through the field to claim third, with Darren Stewart and Ward rounding out the top five.
J.D. Johnson snared sixth, with 17th-starter Jamie Passmore, McClelland, Foster Landon and Ramey completing the top ten.
Brian McClelland, Freeman, Stewart, Maier, Landon, Cody Branchcomb and Smith topped heat race action for the rugged 55-car field, with Eric Baldaccini, Passmore and Ramey winning the 12-lap "B" Mains.
There were several flips in heat race action, the most spectacular of which was Brian Herbert's wild series of endos through the turn one exit and well into the pit area in the fifth heat race. Brian Roberts flipped hard into the turn two wall in the third heat, while Forrest Sutherland got upside down in the second heat race. There were no injuries.
In his Sprint Car debut, third-generation racer Donnie Ray Crawford battled past Aaron Berryhill to finish a close second to Branchcomb in the night's sixth heat. Crawford was an early exit from the main event when his mount jumped out of gear, forcing the young racer to the infield.
American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Results:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 10-Brian McClelland, 2. 29-Lyle Howey III, 3. 59-Dex Eaton, 4. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 5. 26-Rafe Essary, 6. 65L-Nick Lucito, 7. 1x-Jake Martens, 8. 60-Earl McDoulett.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 81-Jon Freeman, 2. 97b-Shelly Ward, 3. 07h-Rob Hartman, 4. 7c-Chris Morgan, 5. 14-Jerrod Wilson, 6. 51-Mike Peters, 7. 92-Zach Chappell, 8. 85s-Forrest Sutherland.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 91-Darren Stewart, 2. 98-J.D. Johnson, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. X-Chuck Swenson, 5. 99-Justin Melton, 6. 35-Brad Best, 7. 13m-Kathryne Minter, 8. 010-Brian Roberts.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): q. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 2. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 3. 17-Marc Robe, 4. 44-Preston Peebles II, 5. 15b-Michael Brown, 6. 2d-Stu Snyder, 7. 30-Rick England, 8. 97c-Tom Cummings.
Fifth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 11F-Foster Landon, 2. 65-Skip Wilson, 3. 12-Trey Robb, 4. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 5. 25-Derek Cottrell, 6. 7-Roger Sundquist, 7. 14v-Sean Walden, 8. 97-Brian Herbert.
Sixth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 2. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford, 3. 97x-Aaron Berryhill, 4. 4-Jamie Passmore, 5. 45-J.P. Bailey, 6. 5ma-Mallory Armfield, 7. 4am-Travis Jenkins, 8. 23-Jimmy Taylor.
Seventh Heat (8 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 10R-David Wheeler, 3. 1-Sean McClelland, 4. 81au-Gavin Punch, 5. 72-Sherman Davis, 6. 58-Dara Morrow, 7. 8-Rodger Eckhardt.
First "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 2. 17-Marc Robe, 3. 44-Preston Peebles II, 4. 26-Rafe Essary, 5. 10R-David Wheeler, 6. 1x-Jake Martens, 7. 99-Justin Melton, 8. 45-J.P. Bailey, 9. 8-Rodger Eckhardt, 10. 5ma-Mallory Armfield, 11. 30-Rick England, 12. 15b-Michael Brown, 13. 23-Jimmy Taylor. DNS: 010-Brian Roberts.
Second "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 4-Jamie Passmore, 2. 59-Dex Eaton, 3. 12-Trey Robb, 4. 92-Zach Chappell, 5. 81au-Gavin Punch, 6. 51-Mike Peters, 7. 25-Derek Cottrell, 8. 07h-Rob Hartman, 9. 60-Earl McDoulett, 10. 65L-Nick Lucito, 11. 97c-Tom Cummings, 12. 14-Jerrod Wilson. DNS: 14v-Sean Walden.
Third "B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 2. X-Chuck Swenson, 3. 72-Sherman Davis, 4. 35-Brad Best, 5. 4am-Travis Jenkins, 6. 58-Dara Morrow, 7. 7c-Chris Morgan, 8. 7-Roger Sundquist, 9. 85s-Forrest Sutherland, 10. 2d-Stu Snyder. DNS: 97x-Aaron Berryhill, 13m-Kathryne Minter, 97-Brian Herbert.
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 15s-Nick Smith, 2. 11x-Garry Lee Maier, 3. 41-Jason Johnson, 4. 91-Darren Stewart, 5. 97b-Shelly Ward, 6. 98-J.D. Johnson, 7. 4-Jamie Passmore, 8. 1-Sean McClelland, 9. 11F-Foster Landon, 10. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 11. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 12. 94-Cody Branchcomb, 13. 59-Dex Eaton, 14. 10-Brian McClelland, 15. 65-Skip Wilson, 16. 12-Trey Robb, 17. X-Chuck Swenson, 18. 44-Preston Peebles II, 19. b4-Eric Baldaccini, 20. 17-Marc Robe, 21. 29-Lyle Howey III, 22. 81-Jon Freeman, 23. 72-Sherman Davis, 24. 55-Donnie Ray Crawford.
Final American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Sam Hafertepe, Jr. 2,126, 2. (tie) Sean McClelland and Kevin Ramey 2,100, 4. Brian McClelland 1,783, 5. J.P. Bailey 1,690, 6. Dex Eaton 1,679, 7. Eric Baldaccini 1,641, 8. Johnny Miller 1,518, 9. Derek Cottrell 1,501, 10. Justin Melton 1,438.