TULSA, Okla. (August 18, 2005) – Levi Jones continued his
domination of the inaugural O’Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N
Topless swing by scoring a wire-to-wire triumph in Thursday
night’s 30-lap feature at Tulsa Speedway to post his fourth
consecutive “TNT” victory.
Undefeated through the opening four rounds of Sprint Bandits
“TNT”, Jones has already collected $42,000 in winnings aboard
Scott Benic’s Gaerte-powered Lucas Oil Products No. 2b Maxim.
Jones can add another $12,000 by sweeping the two-night “TNT”
finale at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS, on Friday and
“You really have to give credit to the track crew, they really
gave us a heavy race track tonight, probably the heaviest track
I’ve been on all year,” Jones commented from victory lane. “My
car was a little bit tight so working lapped traffic would have been
difficult, the yellow flags fell at the right times for us.”
California youngster Brad Sweet earned the pole position for the
feature through heat and qualifying race action, with Jones earning
the outside pole position. Jones led the pack into turn one with
Sweet and Dickie Gaines in tow until Casey Shuman tagged the turn
four wall after two rounds.
After an ensuing restart was waved off for Tony Everhart’s turn
three tumble, Jones set sail leaving Sweet to fend off Gaines,
Travis Rilat, Steve Ostling and Dave Darland. Gaines worked his way
past Sweet on the ninth circuit and began to close the gap as heavy
lapped traffic came into play, only to see the caution fly after
twelve rounds for debris.
Jones took off again on the restart, with Bud Kaeding working
past Darland for sixth on the 15th lap then cracking the top five
two laps later when Steve Ostling pulled to the infield when his
left front brake locked up. Kaeding picked up another spot when
Travis Rilat, who had taken third from Sweet on the 13th lap,
brought out the caution when he stopped on the backstretch with a
blown engine with 19 laps in the books.
After a three car tangle involving Tyler Spath, Foster Landon and
Justin Marvel a lap later, Jones once again separated himself from
the field with Gaines holding second despite bicycling mightily in
turn one on the 22nd lap. Gaines closed the gap in the Danny
Roberts-owned Popeye’s Chicken No. 21x in the final rounds but
still fell a half dozen car-lengths short as the checkered flag flew
upon Jones once again.
Sweet settled for a strong third place showing in the Eastwood
Motorports No. 1 behind Jones and Gaines, with Kaeding snaring
fourth. Jon Stanbrough battled past Darland for fifth on the 28th
lap, with Darland settling for sixth at the line. John Scott claimed
seventh, with Zach Chappell, Sean McClelland and Mike Martin
completing the top ten.
Chappell, Kaeding and Landon topped heat race action, with Sweet,
Gaines and Rilat winning the qualifying races.
Asked his thoughts of the Sprint Bandits format of heats and
qualifiers by announcer Randy Ward, Jones explained, “When I first
heard how the format worked, I was kinda bummed since we always
qualify well. But Emmett’s got a great point system that really
rewards guys for racing on the track and passing cars and I think it
works out great, I don’t think anyone can complain about the
format at all.”
Jones will shoot for his fifth consecutive O’Reilly Sprint
Bandits “TNT” victory in Friday night’s Lakeside Speedway
preliminary, with action getting under way at 7:30 p.m. The top four
finishers from Friday’s feature will be locked into Saturday
night’s finale, which offers $10,000 to win.
O’Reilly Sprint Bandits “TNT” Results:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. #50z Zach Chappell, 2. #2b Levi Jones, 3.
#29 Travis Rilat, 4. #83 John Scott, 5. #57 Mike Martin, 6. #52 Roy
Larkin, 7. #55 Tony Everhart, 8. #20 Koby Barksdale.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. #29F Bud Kaeding, 2. #10 Jon Stanbrough,
3. #45 Steve Ostling, 4. #1x Sean McClelland, 5. #21 Charles Davis,
Jr., 6. #53 Casey Shuman, 7. #35 Tyler Spath, 8. #18 Burt Davis.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. #11F Foster Landon, 2. #1 Brad Sweet, 3.
#21x Dickie Gaines, 4. #11 Dave Darland, 5. #66 Brent Bates, 6. #10x
Brian McClelland, 7. #47 Justin Marvel.
First Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. #1 Brad Sweet, 2. #11 Dave Darland,
3. #50z Zach Chappell, 4. #57 Mike Martin, 5. #10 Jon Stanbrough, 6.
#66 Brent Bates, 7. #55 Tony Everhart, 8. #20 Koby Barksdale.
Second Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. #21x Dickie Gaines, 2. #2b Levi
Jones, 3. #45 Steve Ostling, 4. #53 Casey Shuman, 5. #1x Sean
McClelland, 6. #52 Roy Larkin, 7. #35 Tyler Spath, 8. #18 Burt
Third Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. #29 Travis Rilat, 2. #83 John Scott,
3. #11F Foster Landon, 4. #21 Charles Davis, Jr., 5. #47 Justin
Marvel, 6. #29F Bud Kaeding, 7. #10x Brian McClelland.
A Feature (30 Laps): 1. #2b Levi Jones, 2. #21x Dickie Gaines, 3.
#1 Brad Sweet, 4. #29F Bud Kaeding, 5. #10 Jon Stanbrough, 6. #11
Dave Darland, 7. #83 John Scott, 8. #50z Zach Chappell, 9. #1x Sean
McClelland, 10. #57 Mike Martin, 11. #66 Brent Bates, 12. #18 Burt
Davis, 13. #35 Tyler Spath, 14. #11F Foster Landon, 15. #47 Justin
Marvel, 16. #29 Travis Rilat, 17. #52 Roy Larkin, 18. #45 Steve
Ostling, 19. #21 Charles Davis, Jr., 20. #10x Brian McClelland, 21.
#20 Koby Barksdale, 22. #55 Tony Everhart, 23. #53 Casey Shuman.
O’Reilly Sprint Bandits “TNT” Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Levi
Jones (Olney, IL) 600, 2. Jon Stanbrough (Jamestown, IN) 548, 3.
Dickie Gaines (Mitchell, IN) 546, 4. Bud Kaeding (Campbell, CA) 532,
5. (tie) Justin Marvel (Pittsboro, IN) and Dave Darland (Lincoln,
IN) 522, 7. John Scott (Avon, IN) 491, 8. Brad Sweet (Grass Valley,
CA) 489, 9. Charles Davis, Jr. (Buckeye, AZ) 488, 10. Travis Rilat
(Forney, TX) 467, 11. Mike Martin (Yuma, AZ) 465, 12. Tyler Spath
(Chico, CA) 445, 13. Zach Chappell (Talala, OK) 436, 14. Steve
Ostling (Corona, CA) 364, 15. Casey Shuman (Phoenix, AZ) 295.