AZ (November 12) It was standing room only for the finals of the 38th
Annual Checker Auto Parts/Budweiser Western World Championships, presented by
the Parker Store Saturday night at Manzanita Speedway and
92 of the nations top sprint car drivers responded with a night of high
Darland, who could do no better than third in both the Thursday and Friday
night USAC qualifying main events, overtook two time Western World champion on
the fifth lap and even heavy lapped traffic could not slow his pace. Although
the race was slowed several times with yellow flags, Keading, who started on
the pole, could not catch up.
Jerry Coons, Jr., winner of the Thursday night feature, started fifth
and worked his way past Kaeding for second but was in the pits when traffic
ended his run with about eight laps remaining. He headed to the pits, his crew
changed a tire and he drove his way from the rear for a 12th place
Kaeding was back in second with Levi Jones running third with just over
a lap remaining. Kaeding’s BK-Leffler Maxim failed to make it to the white
flag as Kaeding took the troubled car to the pits.
Darland had the Walker-Guiducci Racing sprinter well out front at the
checkered flag to add his name to the list ofWestern World champions However
his win was not enough to overtake Jones, who entered the final race of the
year with a 16 point lead, for the USAC driving championship. Jones crossed
the line in second with his 2B Racing Maxim.
Damion Gardner, who had wrapped up the USAC/CRA title with his win
Friday night, brought the Ron Chaffin sprinter home in third with 14th
starting Cory Kruseman fourth and Mike Spencer fifth. Spencer moved past
Charles Davis into fifth in the USAC/CRA standings with only one race
Second generation driver Casey Shuman was the hard charger as he drove
from 23rd to sixth. Then came Mat Neely, Tracy Hines, Danny
Sheridan and Jeremy Sherman.
With lap money distributed to the top three drivers on each lap Darland
added $900 to his first place $12,500 payoff.
Rip Williams beat Kruseman into the first turn and led all 20 laps in
the “B” main to earn the 13th starting berth in the feature.
Kruseman finished second, Sheridan third, Mike Kirby fourth and Sherman fifth.
Ben Gregg won the accident free 12 lap “C” main event as he beat
Seth Wilson into the first turn for a wire to wire win. Wilson took second
ahead of Mike Leslie, Tom Hessert and Rick Ziehl.
MAIN: (12 laps) 1. Ben Gregg (#22B Gregg), 2. Seth Wilson (#17 Racing Optics),
3. Mike Leslie (#76 Montgomery), 4. Tom Hessert III (#5H Hessert), 5. Rick
Ziehl (#20z Ziehl), 6. Chuck Buckman (#61az Carsten), 7. Mike Martin (#57
Martin), 8. Davey Ray (#14AJ Fattfro), 9. Jordan Hermansader (#4 Alexander),
10. Tom Ogle (#5A Turner), 11. Brandon Lane (#97H Lane), 12. Derek O'Dell
(#11D O'Dell), 13. Nadine Keller (#16 Keller), 14. Bob Ream Jr. (#8 BRAT).
MAIN: (20 laps) 1. Rip Williams (#3 Jory), 2. Cory Kruseman (#38 Crossno), 3.
Danny Sheridan (#18 Kittle), 4. Mike Kirby (#96 Kirby), 5. Jeremy Sherman (#7
Priestley), 6. Shane Cottle (#10E Edison), 7. Ryan Pace (#44p Pace), 8. Mat
Neely (#10 R & B), 9. Josh Wise (#20 Stewart), 10. Jesse Hockett (#2J
Massey), 11. Casey Shuman (#44M Felker), 12. R.J. Johnson (#15AZ Martin), 13.
Hessert, 14. Leslie, 15. Wilson, 16. Martin, 17. Charles Davis Jr. (#8A
Smiley), 18. Rickie Gaunt (#2A Smiley), 19. Gregg, 20. Dickie Gaines (#21x
Roberts), 21. Josh Ford (#73 Ford), 22. Ray, 23. Buckman, 24. Ziehl. NT
FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Dave Darland (#11 Walker/Guiducci), 2. Levi Jones (#2B
2B Racing), 3. Damion Gardner (#50 Chaffin), 4. Cory Kruseman, 5. Mike Spencer
(#44 Engstrom), 6. Casey Shuman, 7. Mat Neely, 8. Tracy Hines (#69T Dynamics),
9. Danny Sheridan, 10. Jeremy Sherman, 11. Rip Williams, 12. Jerry Coons Jr.
(#69 Dynamics), 13. Brad Sweet (#1C Sweet), 14. Jesse Hockett, 15. Jay Drake
(#21 Stewart), 16. Josh Wise, 17. Ryan Pace, 18. Bud Kaeding (#29 BK/Leffler),
19. R.J. Johnson, 20. Mike Kirby, 21. Shane Cottle, 22. Bill Rose (#11x
Walker/Guiducci), 23. Darren Hagen (#71 Hagen), 24. Rickie Gaunt, 25. Bryan
Clauson (#67 Kunz). NT
---------------------------- **Buckman and Ray flipped
during the "B" Main.
LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 Kaeding, Laps 6-40 Darland.
VALVOLINE USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Jones-1,670; 2-Darland-1,657;
3-Kaeding-1,349; 4-Drake-1,333; 5-Wise-1,286; 6-Neely-1,165; 7-Coons-1,008;
8-Hagen-906; 9-Jon Stanbrough-886; 10-Hines-772.
VALVOLINE USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Gardner-2,130; 2-Kruseman-1,942;
3-Williams-1,894; 4-Kirby-1,623; 5-Spencer-1,442; 6-Davis-1,400;
7-Gaunt-1,362; 8-Ford-1,161; 9-Sheridan-1,127; 10-Wilson-1,029.