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Ramey Rules Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals for F…

[b Ramey Rules Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals for First Lucas Oil Sprint Car Win of 2009]

[i Lonnie Wheatley, MESQUITE, Texas]

Forth Worth’s Kevin Ramey has enjoyed a fair amount of success at Devil’s Bowl Speedway over the years, including several track championships along with Spring and Summer Nationals triumphs. But, one thing that was missing from the résumé was a Winter Nationals score.

The newly-crowned ASCS Lone Star Region champion took care of that on Sunday afternoon by reeling in his first Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters triumph of the season to put the caps on the 36th Annual Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals, picking up a hefty $6,000 winner’s share in the process.

“Even Regional guys can win these things!” an enthused Ramey exclaimed after besting a weekend field of 61 Lucas Oil Sprint Car Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals competitors and joining Fred Brownfield Memorial preliminary winner Roger Crockett as just the second Regional racer to top a Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series feature event thus far in 2009.

After starting on the front row outside and slipping back to third in the early going, Ramey drove the Williams Motorsports Wells-powered City Vending No. 7m Maxim into the lead on the fifth circuit and survived some tense final rounds in the 30-lapper to secure his ninth career ASCS National triumph in front of early leader Gary Wright, with series point leader Shane Stewart, Johnny Herrera and 22nd-starter Sammy Swindell rounding out the top five.

“We’ve won a few of these before but it’s been a while, this one is the sweetest,” Ramey commented in victory lane. “We’ve won a Spring Nationals and a Summer Nationals before, now we’ve got a Winter Nationals to go along with it!”

Ramey, who topped both a weather-delayed Devil’s Bowl Spring Nationals and then Summer Nationals on the same night in June of 2006, gridded Sunday’s feature outside the front row only to have Saturday night preliminary winner Gary Wright gun into the lead after the initial pair of starts were waved off for incidents, including a Darren Long flip in turn two.

With third-starter Eric Baldaccini the first to discover just how effective the high line was on the reworked ½-mile clay oval as the sun settled beyond the turn three tree-line, Ramey slipped to third momentarily as Baldaccini edged ahead of Wright to lead the fourth circuit.

The 2008 Brodix Rookie of the Year’s stint in the lead was a short-lived one however, as he slipped just a bit too high exiting turn two and fell back to sixth as Ramey took quick advantage of the slightest of hesitations by Wright to race into the lead.

Sticking primarily to the high line after the Baldaccini tip, Ramey led Wright and fourth-starter Sam Hafertepe, Jr., as Baldaccini worked his way back up to fourth by the eighth circuit.

With the leaders into traffic by the eleventh round, the man on the move was 12th-starter Jack Dover. The 19-year-old Nebraska shoe battled past Brian Brown and Shane Stewart to crack the top five by the 12th circuit and then took fourth away from Baldaccini on the 16th round.

Dover immediately moved in on Hafertepe for third, only to perilously spin to a seemingly harmless stop along the backstretch and into the turn three entry after contact with 18 laps in the books. Dover rejoined the fray at the tail, only to succumb to suspected rear end woes two laps later.

Back up to fourth after Dover’s slide down the backstretch, Baldaccini fell to the tail of the field when he slipped off turn two on the lap 19 restart and soon shredded a left rear tire to precipitate another caution on the 25th lap.

Ramey had to survive another pair of interruptions in the final pair of laps, with top-five runners Hafertepe and Brian Brown both coming to a stop on separate occasions.

Ramey was not to be deterred, adding his sixth overall ASCS feature win of the season and the first in National competition since July of 2006.

Wright settled for runner-up honors in Scott Brown’s ASI-powered Lubbock Wrecker Service/Richwood Construction No. 9x Maxim, with Shane Stewart making a late move into the show position aboard Paul Silva’s Wesmar-powered ProBilt Construction No. 57 A.R.T. to extend his lead in the $60,000 championship points chase to 24 markers over tenth-place finisher Jason Johnson, with Wright 40 points out of the lead entering the 22nd Annual Short Track Nationals at Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway on October 29-31.

New Mexico’s Johnny Herrera worked forward from 13th to snare fourth at the line in the No. 45x entry, with Sammy Swindell making a late burst to round out the top five in the Rolfe No. 10 after starting 22nd.

Paul McMahan crossed the stripe in sixth, with 19th-starter Wayne Johnson, 16th-starter Travis Rilat, Brady Bacon and 18th-starter Jason Johnson completing the top ten.

Danny Jennings, Dover, Bacon, McMahan, Kenneth Walker and John Carney II won Sunday afternoon’s heat races, with Dustin Morgan, Jason Johnson and Wayne Johnson winning the “B” Mains. Morgan was forced pitside with mechanical issues two laps into the feature, while Carney flipped without injury entering turn three on the ensuing restart.

Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters
36th Annual Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals Championship Finale Results
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – Mesquite, TX

Locked in from Saturday Night’s Preliminary Feature:

9x-Gary Wright, 57-Shane Stewart, 7m-Kevin Ramey, 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr.

Heat Races (Top 12 in Passing Points to “A” Main; Balance to 3 “B” Mains):

Heat One (8 Laps): 1. 1j-Danny Jennings, 2. 22j-John Gaston, 3. 91-Jonathan Allard, 4. 10-Sammy Swindell, 5. 22b-Ben Gregg, 6. 88-Tim Crawley, 7. 99d-Rickey Hood, 8. 45k-Kolt Walker, 9. 87x-Billy Melton.

Heat Two (8 Laps): 1. 53-Jack Dover, 2. 41-Jason Johnson, 3. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 4. 29-Travis Rilat, 5. 10a-Ricky Logan, 6. 29L-Larry Long, 7. 81au-Gavin Punch, 8. 76-John Ricketts, 9. 165-Haley Arnold.

Heat Three (8 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 3. 94-Danny Wood, 4. 6-Justin Spoerl, 5. 03-Joe Wood, Jr., 6. 8m-Kyle McCutcheon, 7. 12w-Dale Wester, 8. 9-Brian Parker, 9. 87a-Andrew Marshala.

Heat Four (8 Laps): 1. 3d-Paul McMahan, 2. 9T-Gary Taylor, 3. 7-Darren Long, 4. 1-Sean McClelland, 5. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 6. 24-David Gailley, 7. 11-Chad Corken, 8. 45-Martin Edwards. DNS: 69-Larry Howery.

Heat Five (8 Laps): 1. 2-Kenneth Walker, 2. 23-Seth Bergman, 3. 14aj-Wayne Johnson, 4. 93-Dustin Morgan, 5. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 6. 4m-Randi Miller, 7. 99j-Jake Ossenfort, 8. 3-Mark Shirshekan. DNS: e85-Zach Chappell.

Heat Six (8 Laps): 1. 3s-John Carney II, 2. 21-Brian Brown, 3. 27-Andy Shouse, 4. 13-Jesse Hockett, 5. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 6. 65-Skip Wilson, 7. 35-Greg Rilat, 8. 22-Koby Barksdale, 9. 75-Don Young.

“B” Mains (Top 2 From Each Advance to “A” Main):

First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 93-Dustin Morgan, 2. 91-Jonathan Allard, 3. 88-Tim Crawley, 4. 9T-Gary Taylor, 5. 10a-Ricky Logan, 6. 99d-Rickey Hood, 7. 29L-Larry Long, 8. 24-David Gailley, 9. 87a-Andrew Marshala, 10. 23-Seth Bergman, 11. 76-John Ricketts, 12. 03-Joe Wood, Jr. DNS: 45k-Kolt Walker, 75-Don Young.

Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 41-Jason Johnson, 2. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 3. 13-Jesse Hockett, 4. 4m-Randi Miller, 5. 27-Andy Shouse, 6. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 7. 35-Greg Rilat, 8. 81au-Gavin Punch, 9. 22-Koby Barksdale, 10. 9-Brian Parker, 11. 99j-Jake Ossenfort, 12. 1-Sean McClelland, 13. 12w-Dale Wester. DNS: e85-Zach Chappell.

Third “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 14aj-Wayne Johnson, 2. 10-Sammy Swindell, 3. 97-Aaron Berryhill, 4. 22b-Ben Gregg, 5. 22j-John Gaston, 6. 11-Chad Corken, 7. 45-Martin Edwards, 8. 3-Mark Shirshekan, 9. 87x-Billy Melton, 10. 65-Skip Wilson, 11. 165-Haley Arnold. DNS: 6-Justin Spoerl, 8m-Kyle McCutcheon, 69-Larry Howery.

Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals Main Event:

“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 7m-Kevin Ramey, 2. 9x-Gary Wright, 3. 57-Shane Stewart, 4. 45x-Johnny Herrera, 5. 10-Sammy Swindell, 6. 3d-Paul McMahan, 7. 14aj-Wayne Johnson, 8. 29-Travis Rilat, 9. 99-Brady Bacon, 10 41-Jason Johnson, 11. 13-Jesse Hockett, 12. 94-Danny Wood, 13. 1j-Danny Jennings, 14. 2-Kenneth Walker, 15. 21-Brian Brown, 16. 15-Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 17. 4-Eric Baldaccini, 18. 53-Jack Dover, 19. 91-Jonathan Allard, 20. 88-Tim Crawley, 21. 18-Tony Bruce, Jr., 22. 3s-John Carney II, 23. 93-Dustin Morgan, 24. 7-Darren Long.

Lap Leaders: Gary Wright 1-3, Eric Baldaccini 4, Kevin Ramey 5-30.

Note: Tim Crawley and Jesse Hockett utilized Lucas Oil Sprint Car provisionals to start the “A” Main.

Lucas Oil Sprint Car Presented by K&N Filters Points (Top Twenty): 1. Shane Stewart 2,278, 2. Jason Johnson 2,254, 3. Gary Wright 2,238, 4. Travis Rilat 2,117, 5. Paul McMahan 2,066, 6. Tim Crawley 2,043, 7. Danny Wood 2,020, 8. Tony Bruce, Jr. 1,982, 9. Jack Dover 1,963, 10. Jesse Hockett 1,961, 11. Sean McClelland 1,694, 12. Kenneth Walker 1,628, 13. Darren Long 1,519, 14. Chad Corken 1,487, 15. Gary Taylor 1,471, 16. Seth Bergman 1,397, 17. Gavin Punch 1,344, 18. Brady Bacon 1,215, 19. Wayne Johnson 1,118, 20. Ricky Logan 974.