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Short Track Nationals – The Wait is About Over!

[i Lonnie Wheatley, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (November 2, 2009)]

Occasionally, it’s necessary to wait for the better things in life. That wait is just about over for the hundred or so Sprint Car teams and thousands of fans that will flock to Little Rock’s I-30 Speedway for the 22nd Annual O’Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.

Originally scheduled for this past weekend, October 29-31, only to be postponed several days in advance due to record-setting rain totals, ideal weather conditions that not even the Chamber of Commerce could have dreamed up have developed for this weekend’s makeup dates of November 5-7.

A critical stop on the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars presented by K&N Filters trail, a Wednesday night (November 4) Test ‘N Tune session atop the ¼-mile I-30 Speedway clay oval will precede preliminary nights on Thursday and Friday with the $15,000-to-win, $2,200-to-start STN championship finale to follow on Saturday night.

Among the nation’s premier Sprint Car racing events, a record 123 entries from 23 different states throughout the nation have been filed, with at least 19 different track or series champions and nearly 400 feature wins over the course of 2009 represented among the field.

While the weather delay will likely force several teams to make a choice of venue due to prior commitments, it is expected that the event record of 108 competitors established in 2007 could still be in danger of falling as 100-110 drivers are expected for the weekend.

Lucas Oil Sprint Car contender Tony Bruce, Jr., of Liberal, KS, reigns as the defending Short Track Nationals champion and will try to become just the second driver to post back-to-back STN wins since the event became the sport’s showcase event in 1993.

Only Gary Wright has posted back-to-back victories since that time, pulling off the feat in 2003 and 2004 to go along with previous triumphs in 1995 and 1999. Wright ranks as the only driver to post more than one Short Track Nationals triumph since 1993.

Other past event winners expected to join Bruce and Wright among this year’s stellar field include Jason Johnson (2006), Paul McMahan (2002), Tim Crawley (1998), Wayne Johnson (1997) and Sammy Swindell (1990).

Just two racing weekends away from possibly capturing his first Lucas Oil Sprint Car championship, Bixby, OK, native Shane Stewart holds a 24-point lead over Jason Johnson in the $60,000 championship points chase.

Twice, Stewart has had an STN triumph in his grasp only to have it slip away.

Stewart, or possibly Johnson or Wright if one can successfully overtake him, will be one of several 2009 ASCS champions among this year’s STN field with Regional champs including 19-year-old Aaron Reutzel (Gulf South), Kevin Ramey (Lone Star) and Joe Wood, Jr. (Sooner).

I-30 Speedway track champion Justin Sturch is another among the group of 2009 champions that also includes the likes of Garry Lee Maier (NCRA), Sean Becker (Civil War), Jerrod Hull (MASS), Josh Fisher (WOW), Mike Boston (Eagle Raceway) and Brady Bacon (Sprint Bandits TNT) among others.

Battling for a spot among the final top five in Lucas Oil Sprint Car points, Tim Crawley bagged his second career ASCS Speedweek championship earlier this summer. Residing just a few miles away in Benton, AR, Crawley had the 2008 edition of the STN well in hand until a dislocated brake caliper bolt sliced his right rear tire. That brake caliper bolt ultimately cost Crawley nearly $13,000.

The pre-entry discount deadline for the 22nd Annual O’Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires has been extended to November 4 along with advance discount tickets for all three nights for just $45. For more information, contact the track at 501-455-4567.

Pertinent Short Track Nationals Information:

The What: 22nd Annual O’Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.

The Where: I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR). I-30 Speedway is located seven miles southwest of Little Rock off I-30 Exit 126 (Alexander Road).

The When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 5-7, 2009. $15,000 to win the STN finale on November 7, with $2,200 to start the STN championship feature. Race time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Test ‘N Tune session on Wednesday night, November 4.

The Past Winners: Tony Bruce, Jr. (2008), Jason Meyers (2007), Jason Johnson (2006), 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.

The Entries: The pre-entry discount deadline has been extended to Wednesday, November 4. Entries filed by then are just $150, with any entries submitted on race day $250. Entries are available by calling the track at 501-455-4567 or at

Current Pre-Entries:

#1 Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK)
#1g Cody Gardner (Benton, AR)
#1jm Jim Moughan (Springfield, IL)
#1k Chris Shirek (Thompson, ND)
#1p Curtis Evans (Norburne, MO)
#1xh Randy Hannagan (San Jose, CA)
#1xp Chad Pitts (Little Rock, AR)
#1xx Garry Lee Maier (Dodge City, KS)
#01 TBA
#01n Jeremy Newkirk (Roland, AR)
#2a Randy Hibbs (Savannah, MO)
#2d Dusty Ballenger (Sioux Falls, SD)
#2sb Sean Becker (Carmichael, CA)
#2w Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa. OK)
#3 A.G. Rains (West Memphis, AR)
#3d Paul McMahan (Hendersonville, TN)
#3m Mark Shirshekan (Farmington, MO)
#3s John Carney II (El Paso, TX)
#03 Joe Wood, Jr. (Oklahoma City, OK)
#4 Eric Baldaccini (Keller, TX)
#5h Justyn Cox (Pleasant Grove, CA)
#5k Jerry Kamer (Jacksonville, AR)
#5L Eric Lutz (Sioux Falls, SD)
#6 Raymond Stull (Coldwater, MS)
#6b Dale Blaney (Fowler, OH)
#6z Jessica Zemken (Sprakers, NY)
#7 Darren Long (Elida, OH)
#7h Lewis Jenkins, Jr. (Bryant, AR)
#7m Kevin Ramey (Fort Worth, TX)
#7s Paul Sides (Bartlett, TN)
#8s Steve Short (Farmington, MO)
#8x Chris Williams (Memphis, TN)
#8z Zach Pringle (Benton, AR)
#9 Justin Sturch (Benton, AR)
#9p Brian Parker (Midlothian, TX)
#9w Lane Whittington (Denham Springs, LA)
#9x Gary Wright (Hooks, TX)
#10a Ricky Logan (Little Rock, AR)
#10g Terry Gray (Bartlett, TN)
#10h Josh Higday (Des Moines, IA)
#10s Sammy Swindell (Germantown, TN)
#11c Chad Corken (Highlands Ranch, CO)
#11j Justin Melton (Flower Mound, TX)
#11m Brandon Moseley (Doyline, LA)
#11xs Donovan Peterson (Brookings, SD)
#a12 Tommy Worley, Jr. (Bismarck, MO)
#d12 Danny Smith (Danville, IN)
#12d Dalton Davis (Munford, TN)
#12h Jerrod Hull (Sikeston, MO)
#12s Jeff Swindell (Bartlett, TN)
#13 Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO)
#14aj Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK)
#14k Kyle Bellm (Nixa, MO)
#14L Michael Lang (Mesquite, TX)
#14T Tyler Brown (Vilonia, AR)
#15 Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (Sunnyvale, TX)
#16a Koty Adams (Doyline, LA)
#16n Anthony Nicholson (Bartlett, TN)
#16p Dewayne Prince (Munford, TN)
#17b Ryan Bickett (Ramona, SD)
#17c Ray Allen Kulhanek (Magnolia, TX)
#17w Brad Welborn (Allen, TX)
#18 Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS)
#19 Jay Adams (Olive Branch, MS)
#20 Kyle Sager (Alto, NM)
#w20 Greg Wilson (Benton Ridge, OH)
#21b Brian Brown (Grain Valley, MO)
#21T Tommy Bryant (Conroe, TX)
#21TX Brandon Schure (El Paso, TX)
#23 Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA)
#23b Brian Bell (Cordova, TN)
#24c Justin Carver (Millington, TN)
#24g David Gailley (Forney, TX)
#24m Terry McCarl (Altoona, IA)
#26 Marshall Skinner (West Memphis, AR)
#27 Curt Michael (Ocean View, DE)
#28 Jonathan Cornell (Sedalia, MO)
#29 Travis Rilat (Forney, TX)
#29h Lyle Howey III (Hartford, SD)
#32 Garry Bell (Cordova, TN)
#35 Ronnie Blair (Troy, OH)
#36 Jonathan Beason (Broken Arrow, OK)
#39 Brad Bowden (Hernando, MS)
#40 Ernie Ainsworth (Southaven, MS)
#41 Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA)
#44w Austen Wheatley (Lake Stevens, WA)
#46 Jan Howard (Byhalia, MS)
#50z Zach Chappell (Talala, OK)
#51 Lee Sowell (Nesbit, MS)
#51b Jimmy Brooks (College Station, TX)
#53 Jack Dover (Springfield, NE)
#53x Andy Gregg (Placerville, CA)
#55 Donnie Ray Crawford (Broken Arrow, OK)
#56 Davey Heskin (St. Michael, MN)
#57 Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK)
#58 Wade Oliver (Milan, TN)
#61a Gary Taylor (Snohomish, WA)
#69 Larry Howery (Hearne, TX)
#71 Channin Tankersley (Highlands, TX)
#72 Sherman Davis (Sand Springs, OK)
#74c Brandon Corn (Hearne, TX)
#74e Claud Estes (Godley, TX)
#77 Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, CA)
#83 Tim Shaffer (Aliquippa, PA)
#86 Josh Fisher (Smithton, MO)
#87m Brian McClelland (Tulsa, OK)
#87r Aaron Reutzel (Clute, TX)
#87x Billy Melton (Longview, TX)
#88 Tim Crawley (Benton, AR)
#88b Mike Boston (Omaha, NE)
#88k James Kinder (Holts Summit, MO)
#91a Jonathan Allard (Chico, CA)
#91b Brad Sweet (Grass Valley, CA)
#91d Cody Darrah (Red Lion, PA)
#91m Marty Stanford (McKinney, TX)
#93 Dustin Morgan (Collinsville, OK)
#94 Danny Wood (Norman, OK)
#94z Zach Zimmerly (West Linn, OR)
#95 Matt Covington (Glenpool, OK)
#97 Aaron Berryhill (Broken Arrow, OK)
#99b Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK)
#99d Rickey Hood (Millington, TN)
#165 Haley Arnold (Sedalia, MO)

The Series: A premier stop on the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters trail, Shane Stewart has moved 24 points ahead of Jason Johnson in the $60,000 championship chase with Gary Wright just another 16 points back in third. After the Short Track Nationals, the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars will finish off the season with USA Raceway’s 42nd Annual Kronik Energy Western World Championships presented by Old Tucson Studios in Tucson, AZ, on November 19-21.

Current top 20 in Lucas Oil Sprint Car points: 1. Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 2,278, 2. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 2,254, 3. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 2,238, 4. Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) 2,117, 5. Paul McMahan (Hendersonville, TN) 2,066, 6. Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) 2,043, 7. Danny Wood (Norman, OK) 2,020, 8. Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) 1,982, 9. Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) 1,963, 10. Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO) 1,961, 11. Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK) 1,694, 12. Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK) 1,628, 13. Darren Long (Elida, OH) 1,519, 14. Chad Corken (Highlands Ranch, CO) 1,487, 15. Gary Taylor (Snohomish, WA) 1,471, 16. Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) 1,397, 17. Gavin Punch (Collinsville, OK) 1,344, 18. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) 1,215, 19. Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 1,118, 20. Ricky Logan (Little Rock, AR) 974.

The Format: A version of the popular Sprint Bandits format of heats and 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 2009 passing points system in effect.

Approximately half of the STN entrants will battle through Thursday’s qualifying program, with the other half racing through Friday night’s qualifying program. Those not locked in after the first two nights (top three from each night) will race through a full card of Heats, Last Chance Races and Qualifying Races on Saturday night to fill out the November 7 STN championship finale.

Drivers must compete in either Thursday’s prelim or Friday’s prelim to be eligible for passing points on Saturday.

Saturday’s Odus Pack Building Materials Dash for Cash 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 COMP Cams Gambler’s Challenge: The COMP Cams Gambler’s Challenge offers the pole sitter of the STN championship feature event the opportunity to pull a playing card that will grant a new starting position for the 40-lap finale. Upon accepting the Gambler’s Challenge, the driver will draw the fourth, sixth, eighth or tenth starting position. If the driver can win from the starting position drawn, a $5,000 bonus will push the overall winner’s take to $20,000.

If the pole sitter declines to draw a card, the outside front row starter will be presented with the same COMP Cams Gambler’s Challenge.

The driver that takes the COMP Cams Gambler’s Challenge is assured an extra $1,000 regardless of finishing position.

The Josh Howard Determination Award: Bossier City, Louisiana’s Shed Road Auto Parts will present a top wing and nose wing from Lightning Wings to a driver that battles through adversity over the course of the intensely competitive weekend.

The Dart Engine Block Presented by Wells Racing Engines: Wells Racing Engines will present a lightened Dart engine block, a prize worth approximately $4,000, to some lucky ASCS registered driver over the course of the weekend.

The Trade Show & Midway: This year’s rendition of the Short Track Nationals will also include the Fifth Annual Short Track Nationals Trade Show & Midway. Fans, drivers & crews will have the opportunity to visit vendor displays, which opens at noon on Thursday and then at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The deadline for guaranteed vendor space is Monday, October 26.

The Tickets: Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday, November 4, no advance sales after that. Tickets ordered in advance are just $45 for all three nights. Day of show prices are $15 on Thursday and Friday and $25 on Saturday. To order tickets in advance or for more information, call the track at 501-455-4567 or e-mail orders to Children’s tickets will be available at the event for just $2 on both Thursday and Friday and then $5 on Saturday. There is a $1 per ticket surcharge for orders placed via credit/debit cards. Pit passes are $30 on both Thursday and Friday and $35 on Saturday.

For more information regarding the 22nd Annual O’Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, contact I-30 Speedway at 501-455-4567.

Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at