(Photo Credit: Mike Spivey)
Lonnie Wheatley, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 10, 2014) – He has been just one position short of the $15,000 winner’s share over each of the past two years. Now he is ready to take another swing at the big money in two weeks at I-30 Speedway’s 27th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.
Norman, Oklahoma’s Christopher Bell is among the latest batch of entries for the $15,000-to-win, $2,500-to-start event set for October 23-25 after the blockbuster week gets under way with the $2,000-to-win Short Track Nationals Open on Wednesday night, October 22.
Now 19 years old, Bell virtually introduced himself to the Sprint Car racing world with an eye-opening runner-up finish to Paul McMahan atop the high-banked, ¼-mile I-30 Speedway clay oval in 2012.
Then last year, Bell backed up his maiden STN performance by racing from tenth to take runner-up honors once again, this time behind Sammy Swindell among a loaded field of 105 entries.
The reigning USAC Midget champion, Bell is at 20 wins and counting in 2014 in a variety of action that includes Midgets, Winged 410 Sprint Cars, Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Non-Wing 410 Sprint Cars. Bell will drive Brandon Berryman’s All Pro Auto Reconditioning No. 31b for the second year in a row in Little Rock.
Bell is one of several notable new entries as the pre-entry deadline of October 14 draws ever closer. Some other notables include…
10g Terry Gray (Bartlett, TN) – Well on his way to another USCS National championship, the 1994 STN champion has raced into 15 career STN championship feature events.
17T Channin Tankersley (Highlands, TX) – The newly-crowned ASCS Gulf South champ tries for his second straight STN feature start after a 16th place finish last year. Tankersley is one of eight drivers among the current entries that started last year’s finale along with Bell, Johnny Herrera, Ray Allen Kulhanek, Brandon Hanks, A.G. Rains, Derek Hagar and Seth Bergman.
10m Morgan Turpen (Cordova, TN) – Currently second to teammate Terry Gray in USCS points, the young lady racer is set for her first STN after posting three feature wins thus far in 2014. She joins a rookie crop that also includes Canada’s Mitch Brown, Farmington’s Jason Keith and Little Rock’s Matthew Bauldwin so far.
Another pair of the latest entries have past STN championship feature experience including Missouri’s Jerrod Hull, who has raced into the big show on four occasions, and 2003 top-ten finisher Claud Estes of Godley, TX.
Some other strong STN experience comes in the form of Nixa, Missouri’s Kyle Bellm with other recent entries including Mississippi’s Jerod Roller and Kokomo shoe Parker Price-Miller, who narrowly missed the main in his first STN outing last year.
Entry forms for the Short Track Nationals are available at http://www.i-30speedway.com/flyers/stn2014.pdf or by calling 501-455-4567. Entries submitted by October 14 are just $150 with entries after that date at $250.
Last October, Sammy Swindell bested a field of 105 competitors for his third STN crown, racing to the checkered flag ahead of up-and-coming Christopher Bell, Anthony Nicholson, Johnny Herrera and Shane Stewart.
The Pertinent Info:
The What: 27th Annual COMP Cams 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, October 23-25, 2014. $15,000 to win the STN finale on October 25 with $2,500 to start the STN championship feature. Race time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Rain date is October 30, October 31 & November 1. The $2,000 to win and $200 to start Second Annual Short Track Nationals Open kicks off all the action on Wednesday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m.
The Format: Approximately half the field will take to the track in the Thursday night qualifying event, with the other half in Friday’s qualifying event. The popular format of heats and qualifying races will once again be in place on the Thursday and Friday qualifying nights. The top 14 in cumulative points from heats and qualifiers will be locked into that night’s main event, with two or three “B” Mains, depending upon car count, contested to fill out the qualifying night feature field.
The top three from each qualifying night will be locked into Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win, $2,500-to-start STN Championship Finale. Those six drivers will battle it out in Saturday’s Dash for Cash to determine the alignment of the front three rows of the championship main event.
The balance of the field will redraw on Saturday to set lineups for eight (8) “Saturday Night STN Showdowns”. With passing points in effect, points will be added to qualifying night point totals (heats, qualifying races and features) with the top eight (8) in total points advancing to STN feature starting positions 7-14.
The next 36 in total points will go to three “B” Mains with the remainder of the field to three “C” Mains. Top finishers from “C” Mains will move on to “B” Main action, with the top two from each “B” Main moving on to the STN finale.
Wednesday’s Short Track Nationals Open will have no impact upon Thursday, Friday or Saturday lineups, with the exception that the top finisher among Wednesday’s top four that is unable to qualify for Saturday night’s STN finale will be offered a provisional.
Wednesday’s STN Open will include heat races lined up by pill draw with passing points in effect that will set lineups for the “B” Main(s) (multiple “B” Mains if necessary depending upon car count) and “A” Main.
The Past Winners: Sammy Swindell (2013, 2011 and 1990), Paul McMahan (2012 and 2002), Brad Sweet (2010), Tony Bruce, Jr. (2009 and 2008), Jason Meyers (2007), Jason Johnson (2006), Tim Montgomery (2005), Gary Wright (2004, 2003, 1999 and 1995), 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). 1992 finale was rained out.
The Tickets: Advance tickets for either three or four nights are on sale through Monday, October 20, no advance sales after that. Single night tickets are not available in advance. Tickets ordered in advance are just $61 for all four nights (Wednesday through Saturday) or $51 for three nights (Thursday through Saturday) with $1 off if paying cash.
Day of show prices are $15 on Wednesday, $20 on Thursday and Friday and $28 on Saturday.
Children's tickets will be available at the event only for just $3 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and then $6 on Saturday with a $1 cash discount per ticket.
To order tickets in advance or for more information, call the track at 501-455-4567 or e-mail orders to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pit passes are $25 on Wednesday, $30 on both Thursday and Friday and $35 on Saturday.
The PPV: Can’t make your way to Little Rock, AR, for this prestigious event? Once again you can still catch every lap of the action on your computer via live Pay-Per-View. Just check out www.shorttracknationals.com for pricing and ordering information. Orders are being taken now.
The Trade Show & Midway: This year’s rendition of the Short Track Nationals will also include the Tenth Annual Short Track Nationals Trade Show & Midway. Fans, drivers & crews will have the opportunity to visit vendor displays, which opens at noon on Wednesday and then at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The deadline for guaranteed vendor space is Monday, October 20. Inquiries regarding vendor space should be directed to email@example.com.
For more information regarding the 27th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, contact I-30 Speedway at 501-455-4567 or check online at http://www.i-30speedway.com/shorttracknationals.html.