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 Press Release

WESTERN WORLD QUALIFIERS
By Windy McDonald

Phoenix, AZ (November 4) Half of the field for the Saturday night finals of the Budweiser/NAPA Western World Sprint Car Championships were filled in Friday nightís qualifying races at Manzanita Speedway and some of the biggest names in sprint car racing earned main event berths for the finale.

Bud Kaeding of Campbell, CA., winner of the Western in 2002 and runner-up last year, won his qualifying race and will start in the third row for the USAC sprint car feature. Levi Jones of Olney, IL  and Jon Stanbrough of Jamestown, IN also won their 15 lap qualifying races on the half mile track. Jones will start in the front row Saturday night and Stanbrough will be in the second row.

In the 360 sprints, which contest their races on the one third mile track, the front three  qualifying race winners,  Josh Pelkey, Cory Kruseman and Ricky Johnson, will be lined up in that order in their Saturday night feature.

Both the half mile and one third mile tracks were exceptionally fast as proved by the qualifying runs on the half mile track. Five drivers cracked the 18 second barrier with Tracy Hines a mere .02 seconds off the five year one lap record of 18.551which is held by Brad Noffsinger.

Hines gave way to Stanbrough in the first 15 lap qualifier but held off Cory Kruseman, the driver ranked second in the current USAC point standings. The fast track put a premium on passing and most drivers finished the half mile qualifiers where they started.  Jerry Coons, Jr. missed a main event berth in finishing fourth and will start in the second row for Saturday nightís semi main. Brandon Lane and Mike Martin also made the semi but Arizona champion Eric Wilkins and Mike Leslie will have to try to come through the consy Saturday night or try  to qualify a different car Friday night.

Jones held off a determined Charles Davis, Jr. and Troy Cline in the second qualifier. Jones established a 15 lap record of 4:47.84 (93.935 mph) in his win. Josh Ford made a great drive in the closing laps to get by both Wil Newlin and Jesse Hockett and take fourth. Hockett was fifth across the line with Newlin in sixth. Nathan High and R.J. Johnson will be in the consolation race Saturday night.

The third qualifier went to Kaedding who swapped the top spot with Tony Elliott, the defending Western World champion. Elliott held off Rip Williams, the USAC/CRA points leader. The semi berths went to Bobby Cody who made a last lap pass on Mat Neely to take away the fourth spot. Neely finished in front of Bob Ream, Jr. Keith Williamson and Tom Dice trailed.

The 360 races provided the passing with Cory Krusemanís win in the first heat race the best of the night. Kruseman started sixth and made his way to the front and finally got the lead with a high side pass on Willy Grombach who hung on for second in front of eighth starting Marty Miller. Ronnie Clark, Terry Schank, Jr. and Larry Lloyd got the semi berths while Jesse Dunham and Charles Davis, Jr. were involved in a crash and rounded out the field.

Ricky Johnson used the high side of the one third mile track to shoot from fourth to first and left it to Ben Gregg and Charlie Fegan to fight for second. Gregg won the battle. Chris McArthur was fourth just ahead of Tim Beal, Kelly Dennison and Ashley Corey.

The final heat was won by pole sitter Josh Pelkey but Nathan High provided the show for the fans as he drove his way from the third row to nail down second with J.T. Imperial getting third. Fourth went to Jay Ervine over Davey Bateman, Terry Belcher, Scott Pasmore and Brian Swinehart.

 

LINE UP FOR SATURDAY NIGHT.(A flip of the coin will decide whether the Thursday night cars are on the inside or outside.)

USAC SPRINTS

40 LAP MAIN EVENT

Front row            Levi Jones

2nd row             Cory Kruseman

3rd row             Bud Kaeding

4th row             Charles Davis, Jr.

5th row             Tracy Hines

6th row             Tony Elliott

7th row             Troy Kline

8th row             Cory Kruseman

9th row             Rip Williams

(eight cars will transfer from the semi to the main)

 

SEMI MAIN

Front row            Josh Ford

2nd row             Jerry Coons, Jr.

3rd row             Bobby Cody

4th row             Jesse Hockett

5th row             Brandon Lane

6th row             Mat Neely

7th row             Wil Newlin

8th row             Mike Martin

9th row             Bob Ream, Jr.

 

CONSOLATION RACE

Front row            Nathan High

2nd row             Eric Wilkins

3rd row             Keith Williamson

4th row             R.J. Johnson

5th row             Mike Leslie

6th row             Thomas Dice

 

360 SPRINT CAR LINE UP

Front row:            Josh Pelkey

2nd row             Cory Kruseman

3rd row             Ricky Johnson

4th row             Nathan High

5th row             Willy Grombach

6th row             Ben Gregg

7th row             J.T. Imperial

8th row             Marty Miller

9th row             Charlie Fegan

(EIGHT CARS TRANSFER FROM SEMI)

SEMI MAIN

Front row            Jay Ervine

2nd row             Ronnie Clark

3rd row             Chris McArthur

4th row             Davey Bateman

5th row             Terry Schank, Jr.

6th row             Tim Beal

7th row             Terry Belcher

8th row             Larry Lloyd

9th row             Kelly Dennison

 

CONSOLATION RACE

Front row            Scott Pasmore

2nd row             Jesse Dunham

3rd row             Ashley Corey

4th row             Brian Swinehart

5th row             Charles Davis, Jr.

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