SWINDELL BLAZES TO FIRST O'REILLY USCS WIN IN WILD MOBILE RACE MOBILE, AL - Second-generation driver Kevin Swindell of Bartlett, TN posted his first career O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series win Saturday night in a wild 25-lap...
SWINDELL BLAZES TO FIRST O'REILLY USCS WIN IN WILD MOBILE RACE
MOBILE, AL - Second-generation driver Kevin Swindell of Bartlett, TN posted his first career O'Reilly United Sprint Car Series win Saturday night in a wild 25-lap feature race at Mobile International Speedway. The 16-year-old driver drove the Wirtgen America Maxim/Kistler wrenched by his father Sammy Swindell to a wire-to-wire victory.
In addition to the victory, Swindell was the SpeedMart Young Gun of the Race, the Rookie of the Race, the K&N Filters Pole Award winner, and the Outlaw Brakes Fast Brake of the Race Award winner.
In only his second-ever winged outlaw sprint car start on asphalt, Swindell set a new track record during qualifications. Swindell toured the repaved MIS half-mile in 14.674 seconds for an average speed of 122.666 miles per hour to top the 27-car field, and then drew a zero to earn the pole position for the feature race.
Another SpeedMart Young Gun, Ryan Myers of Eldorado, OH finished in the second spot driving the Garrett-Myers Farms Domelt/Garrett-Myers. Defending and four-time O'Reilly USCS National Champion Terry Gray of Bartlett, TN rallied back from a first lap crash to finish third in the Goodson Farms/Wendy's Maxim/Wesmar, and earn the K&N Filters third-Place Award.
SpeedMart Young Gun Matt Tiffany of Daytona Beach, FL took the fourth spot in the Independent Printing Hurricane/Ott, and the fifth spot went to Wayne Reutimann Jr. of Zephyrhills, FL in the Case Constructing Hurricane/Snyder to take the SpeedMart Top Five Award.
Charles Ladner of Brandon, FL started 22nd and finished sixth in the AutoCraft Hurricane/AutoCraft to earn the Huggins Cams Hard Charger of the Race Award. Rookie of the Year candidate Bryn Gohn of Malabar, FL finished seventh in the Goodson Farms Shaw/Ott to earn the FSR Performance Award.
Brain Thomas of Auburn, GA came back from a late-race spin to finish eighth in the Saligoe Metal Works Saligoe/Broome Performance, and J.J. Dutton of Tampa, FL posted his best career finish with a ninth-place effort in the American Trading Post and Pawn Hurricane/Skeeter. Tom Winegardner Sr. of Pierson, FL rounded out the top ten in the Snap On Tools J&J/Hampshire.
The new pavement at MIS made for blinding fast speeds and wild action happened early and often in the feature race that was scheduled for 30 laps, but shortened to 25 laps due to red flags and fog.
At the start of the race, many of the field favorites were involved in a multi-car tangle in turn one just after the drop of the green flag. Joe Rebman of Mansfield, OH flipped his Rebman Truck Service Shaw/Gressman several times. Rebman walked away from the tumble that destroyed his new race car, but he earned the Weld Racing Hard Luck Award.
Also involved in the crash that ended up in the darkness over the first turn bank with no injuries were Rebman's teammate Doug Berryman of Fremont, OH, Kenny Adams of Malabar, FL, Wayne Reutimann Sr. of Zephyrhills, FL, Ted Williams of Atlanta, GA, and Gray. Both Reutimann and Gray were able to restart.
Swindell bolted into the lead on the restart followed by Brice Wrenn of Lexington, SC in the Stainless Fabricators ERI-Raptis/Gaerte, and Myers. Stephen Darvalics of Venice, FL was riding in the fourth spot, but got into trouble on lap five when he tangled with the lapped car of R.J. Johnson of Decatur, TN.
Darvalics' CineMoves Shaw/Gaerte went airborne and over the fourth turn bank. The car flipped once and landed on all fours. Darvalics was uninjured after the wild ride. Johnson's Leaf Race Wear/Pin Rings J&J/ZRE was also out for the evening.
The restart saw Swindell pull away from Wrenn and Myers, but Reutimann Sr. was cutting a trail through the field in his Case Constructing Avenger/Snyder after starting on the tail of the first lap restart. Reutimann Sr. was up to fifth by the eighth lap, and on lap 11 was by Myers for third and closing on Wrenn to challenge for second.
Wrenn and Reutimann Sr. tangled in turn four, sending both cars flipping over the banking. Both drivers walked away uninjured after the third red flag of the race.
If flipping race cars wasn't giving O'Reilly USCS officials enough problems, a heavy fog rolled in during the red flag period, and it took several laps for the car to vent the fog up and out of the track area before they could go back to green flag action. These delays forced series officials to shorten the race from 30 to 25 laps.
Thomas was running sixth on lap 17 when he spun in turn one to bring out the final caution flag of race.
The final eight laps of the race saw Myers able to stay close to the leader Swindell, but once Swindell was able to put a couple of lapped cars between himself and Myers, he cruised home for the win.
Swindell won the Engler Tool and Machine first eight-lap heat race, Tiffany won the ButlerBuilt second eight-lap heat race, and Myers took the Koolbeans Trophies third eight-lap heat race.
The next event for the O'Reilly USCS Asphalt Thunder Tour will be at Lanier National Speedway on March 26. For more information visit the O'Reilly USCS web site at www.uscsracing.com.