Little Rock Short Track Nationals Finale Results and Stories

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Butch DavidButch David 10/14/17
I-30 Speedway
Little Rock, AR
Short Track Nationals
70 cars
With the top three drivers from both Thursday and Friday locked in, the rest of the field used their best of the two point nights.  “Showdown” heats were run by draw with double passing points added to driver’s totals.  Only eight cars out of the six events would lock into the finale.  The rest would line heads-up by points in two B’s and two C’s.
Heat one (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Dale Howard 47 (2*) 2. Jeremy Middleton 15J (1) 3. Harli White 17w (6) 4. Chance Morton 7m (3) 5. Scott Bogucki 84B (5) 6. Dalton Stevens 99x (10) 7. Brad Bowden 39 (8) 8. Blake Hahn 52 (11) 9. Dale Wester 12w (7) 10. Tristan Lee 00 (9) 11. Channin Tankersely 17G (4)
D. Howard bested Middleton to turn one and led all 10 laps.  Tankersley was running third four laps in when he came to a stop and then retired. 
Heat two (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Kyle Bellm 14K (2) 2. Steven Tiner 94x (4) 3. Wayne Johnson 2c (6) 4. Michael Day 2 (1) 5. Dustin Gates 6 (8) 6. Jonathan Cornell 28 (7) 7. Willie Croft 29 (11) 8. Howard Moore 40 (9) 9. Zach Pringle 21B (10) 10. Kevin Hinkle 21K (5) 11. Blake Baccus 16 (3)
Bellm led Day and Tiner early.  Tiner used the high side to slingshot around Day for second on lap three.  W. Johnson tried the same move on lap six, but that was negated by a flip by Baccus that collected Hinkle.  Baccus was o.k.  W. Johnson would size up Day and take third coming for the white flag lap.
Heat three (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Jeff Swindell 94 (1) 2. Ryan Jamison 51J (2) 3. Matthew Bauldwin 43 (5) 4. Skylar Gee 99 (6*) 5. Adam Miller 32m (3) 6. Dakota Gaines D6 (9) 7. Ernie Ainsworth 91A (8) 8. Joe Young 12T (4) 9. Dewayne White 10K (11) 10. Tommy Snellgrove 4 (10) 11. Brandon Blenden 88B (7)
Jamison slid in front of J. Swindell in turn two and held him off until two laps to go in an entertaining race for the point.  Blenden spun four laps in to bring the only caution.  Bauldwin took advantage, grabbing third from Miller on the restart.
Heat four (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Seth Bergman 23 (1*) 2. Terry Gray 10 (2) 3. Eric Lutz 5 (3) 4. Jason Martin 36 (10*) 5. Wally Henson 2H (7) 6. Josh Baughman 17 (11) 7. Mike Goodman 11G (6) 8. Jake Greider 20G (5) 9. Rick Pringle 38 (9) 10. Eddie Gallagher 1xx (8) 11. Butch David 21 (4)
Bergman led wire to wire with Gray and Lutz in tow.  Henson and J. Martin moved into fourth and fifth from rows four and five immediately.  J. Martin slipped by Henson on lap four to finish third and lock into the feature.  Baughman performed some gymnastics over the turn one berm with a couple of spins and a perfect landing.  He restarted at the tail.  Gray held off Lutz and J. Martin in a three-wide battle for second at the line.
Heat five (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Cody Gardner 88R (4*) 2. Alex Sewell 8 (6) 3. Danny Smith 4s (1) 4. Andy McElhannon 42 (3) 5. Brian Bell 23B (9) 6. Marshall Skinner 26 (7) 7. Joey Schmidt 1s (5) 8. Chris Martin 44m (10) 9. Ronny Howard 44 (8) DQ (Wheel Cover) Brandon Hanks 84 (2)
Hanks dominated this one, but was DQed afterwards for not having enough dzus buttons on his wheel cover.  D. Smith was second early, but Gardner took that spot over on lap two and inherited a win.  Sewell would finish third, which became second by passing D. Smith with two to go.
Heat six (started, *qualified for feature): 1. Morgan Turpen 10m (1*) 2. Derek Hagar 9JR (6*) 3. Ray Allen Kulhanek 21T (9*) 4. Charlie Louden X (5) 5. Jan Howard 121 (10) 6. John Carney II 11x (4) 7. Justin Webb 31 (7) 8. Junior Jenkins 23x (2) 9. Chase Howard 44c (8) 10. Gary Floyd 58 (3)
Turpen led an exciting race wire to wire to lock herself into the finale.  Floyd and Louden trailed her early, but Carney shot from fourth to second on lap two.  Unfortunately, he banged wheels with Floyd, who spun.  Turpen led Carney, Louden, Hagar and a charging Kulhanek back to green.  Hagar would take third on the restart.  Carney spun after contact, and had to restart at the tail.  Turpen would hold off Hagar to win, while Kulhanek grabbed third in a good run.
Bill BalogBill Balog C main one (started): 1. Bowden (4) 2. Louden (1) 3. Wester (6) / 4. Webb (9) 5. R. Howard (8) 6. C. Martin (2) 7. Henson (7) 8. Gaines (3) 9. Miller (5) 10. C. Howard (10) 11. Baccus (13) 12. Floyd (11) 13. Z. Pringle (12) DNS – Snellgrove, Lee
This one was chaos!  The top three in the 12-lapper transferred to the B.  Drivers finishing fourth through sixth, qualified for the Lanny Edwards Red Shirt Dash.  Five finished at the checkers.  Louden led Bowden and C. Martin before Floyd got into the frontstretch wall, bending his wheel and sending him pitside.  Miller stopped on the restart, and on the second try, the caution was thrown again for debris from R. Howard’s nose wing.  Miller would spin at the halfway point, collecting C. Howard.  Both were done.  Louden led Bowden, C. Martin, Henson and Wester back to green.  On lap nine, Bowden would find his way to the lead.  At that point, Henson flipped hard in turn one, collecting Gaines in a ball of fire.  Both cars were destroyed, but they were o.k.  Just before the restart, C. Martin rolled to a stop, presumably out of fuel.  He went pitside, leaving five cars on the track, and Wester with the final transfer.
C main two (started): 1. Bogucki (1) 2. Hahn (6) 3. Hanks (5) / 4. J. Howard (3) 5. Tankersley (4) 6. R. Pringle (7) 7. Greider (8) 8. Gallagher (12) 9. Jenkins (11) 10. D. White (9) 11. Hinkle (13) 12. Schmidt (10) 13. Day (2) DNS – Blenden, David
Bogucki led Day and J. Howard early on.  Day would pull off on lap three while running second.  The caution came out, with Bogucki leading J. Howard, Tankersley, Hahn and Hanks after his DQ in the heat.  D. White and Jenkins would contact five laps in bringing another caution.  Hanks proved winning his heat was no fluke and with the proper wheel cover and all took fourth on lap seven.  The last five laps were a mad scramble.  Bogucki was clearn out front, but Hahn, J. Howard and Hanks were three-wide behind him for the other two transfers.  J. Howard ended up being the odd guy out.
Dash (started): 1. Aaron Reutzel 87 (1) 2. Tim Crawley 88 (2) 3. Sam Hafertepe Jr. 15H (6) 4. Sammy Swindell 3 (4) 5. Tony Bruce Jr. 86 (3) 6. Bill Balog 1x (5)
Reutzel lost a left rear wheel in the hot lap session for the Dash cars prior to the C’s, but with their length, had plenty of time to lead this one all six laps from the pole.  S. Swindell slowed on the white flag lap, thinking the checkers had come out.  That allowed Hafertepe to grab third from him, but it wouldn’t matter.
Lanny Edwards Red Shirt Dash (started): 1. J. Howard (2) 2. Webb (1) 3. R. Pringle (4) 4. C. Martin (5) 5. R. Howard (3) DNS – Tankersley
$500 was up for grabs, and J. Howard led the distance to take this one.  Look for more of the veteran and brother Dale next year.
Steven TinerSteven Tiner B main one (started): 1. Tiner (3) 2. Sewell (1) 3. Moore (11) / 4. McElhannon (6) 5. Ainsworth (5) 6. D. Smith (13) 7. Lutz (9) 8. H. White (8) 9. Bauldwin (9) 10. Bowden (14) 11. Middleton (10) 12. Wester (16) 13. Louden (15) 14. Goodman (12) 15. Skinner (4) 16. Croft (2)
Croft led the 12-lapper early over Sewell and fellow Californian Tiner.  He would lose power on lap four and exit.  Tiner assume dthe lead ahead of Sewell, Skinner, Ainsworth and McElhannon.  The battle for third, fourth and fifth resembled a night at the “Ditch” in West Memphis as Moore also joined the party.  Things would come to an abrupt end for Skinner who slid hard sideways into the infield tires across from the grandstand.  They shot him back onto the track and upside down.  Fortunately, he was not hit and climbed out.  Tiner led Sewell, McElhannon, Moore and Ainsworth back to green.  With two to go, Moore would complete his amazing run from 11th to grab the final transfer.
B main two (started): 1. W. Johnson (1) 2. Bell (2) 3. Morton (4) / 4. Cornell (5) 5. Hanks (16) 6. Stevens (9) 7. Baughman (10) 8. Bellm (3) 9. Jamison (8) 10. Gates (7) 11. J. Swindell (11) 12. Young (12) 13. Hahn (15) 14. Gray (6) 15. Carney (13) 16. Bogucki (14)
Bogucki spun before a lap could be completed.  Once green, W. Johnson won a great race with Bell for the lead early, while Cornell shot up to third.  Three laps in, Bogucki would spin a second time, collecting Carney, who spun, and Hahn who made heavy contact, but would continue.  W. Johnson led Bell, Cornell, Morton and Gray back to green.  Hard racing for the final transfer cost Gray his front end as he spun helplessly in turn one five laps in.  The final seven laps went non-stop.  Morton would win a great battle with Cornell for the final transfer, while Hanks would continue his charge out of the C passing 11 cars, but falling two spots from a transfer.
Sammy SwindellSammy Swindell A main (started): 1. S. Swindell (4) 2. Hafertepe (3) 3. Reutzel (1) 4. Balog (6) 5. Bruce (5) 6. Crawley (2) 7. Hagar (12) 8. J. Martin (7) 9. Turpen (10) 10. Gee (14) 11. Gardner (8) 12. Bergman (13) 13. Sewell (17) 14. Morton (20) 15. Tiner (15) 16. Bell (18) 17. Kulhanek (11) 18. D. Howard (9) 19. Moore (19) 20. W. Johnson (16)
S. Swindell shot around the front row to lead lap one of the 40-lapper over Reutzel, Crawley and Hafertepe.  Hafertepe ducked under Crawley to take third on the second lap, and did the same to Reutzel to take second on lap five.  W. Johnson came to a stop after contact with D. Howard bringing a caution.  He would pull off after a restart that saw Sammy leading Hafertepe, Reutzel, Crawley and Balog.  Crawley would surge by Reutzel into third, but Reutzel would fight back for the spot on lap eight.  Balog hammered the cushion on both ends to circle Crawley for fourth ten laps in.  The leaders entered traffic on lap twelve, and Sammy worked it well, while Hafertepe gave chase using mostly the low side.  Things would stay green until Tiner stopped on the high side of turn three with a flat right rear 28 laps in.  Reutzel had been putting heat on Hafertepe, but the top four remained the same.  Bruce had grabbed fifth from Crawley.  Bell would stop and retire after the restart, but Sammy would pull away again to win his fifth STN in AG Rains sprinter.  His win was worth $15,000.