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Blake Hahn makes it two-in-a-row at I-30 Speedway’s Short Track Nationals

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Blake Hahn Makes it Two in a Row at I-30 Speedway’s Short Track Nationals

                                                                                                            

by Lonnie Wheatley

 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 5, 2019) –Blake Hahn added himself to a select list of elite racers by charging to his second consecutive Short Track Nationals championship feature win atop the high-banked, ¼-mile I-30 Speedway clay oval on Saturday night.

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Courtesy of Lonnie Wheatley

Hahn reclaimed the point from John Carney II on the 21st circuit and led the rest of the way in the 41-lapper to take the $10,041-winner’s share in the 32nd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires finale.

 

“This is amazing,” Hahn said upon climbing out of the DriveWFX/Smiley’s No. 52 in victory lane.  “We’ve been running well lately and to win this race twice in a row is incredible.”

 

With the triumph, the Sapulpa, OK racer became just the fifth in STN history to win the event in back-to-back years, joining the likes of Steve Kinser (1988-1989), Gary Wright (2003-2004), Tony Bruce, Jr. (2008-2009) and, most recently, Sammy Swindell (2016-2017).

 

Hahn bounced back from missing the cut in Friday night’s preliminary feature to race his way into Saturday’s four-car Mike Pack Building Materials “Dash for Cash”.  And, after drawing the pole position, Hahn led all but the final milliseconds when Seth Bergman nipped him at the line to earn a $500 bonus and the pole for the 41-lap finale with Carson Short and Carney II earning second row starting berths.

 

Hahn gunned into the initial lead only to surrender the point to Carney II on just the second lap.  Carney II kept Hahn and company at bay in the ensuing rounds, fending off a pair of bids from Hahn along the way.

 

Hahn began to close in as the midway point approached and dove underneath Carney II entering turn three on the 21st round to recapture the lead.

 

With the final 23 laps run in non-stop fashion after three interruptions in the initial 18 circuits, Hahn worked through some traffic and set a rapid pace to maintain a half-straightaway lead as the laps clicked off.

 

Carney II and Bergman diced in his wake, swapping the runner-up position several times before a tense moment in traffic allowed Bergman to secure the position.  Working the cushion, Bergman chipped away at Hahn’s advantage in the closing circuits only to come up short at the line.

 

“I think we may have had something for him if the cautions would have fallen a little different and we had got to more traffic,” the Snohomish, WA, native said after his career-best STN finish.

 

After posting a runner-up finish in Friday’s preliminary, El Paso’s Carney II earned his best career STN championship feature finish as well by rounding out the podium in third.

 

While the trio of Han, Bergman and Carney II monopolized the top three positions throughout the 41-lapper, position changes behind them were frequent with Sam Hafertepe, Jr., ultimately taking the fourth position after starting 13th

 

Hafertepe, Jr., surged over the final half of the race, gaining a handful of positions to post his fourth career STN top-five.

 

On the charge with Hafertepe, Jr., Lindsay, Oklahoma’s Harli White rallied from 15th to become the first lady racer to crack the top five in an STN championship feature.

 

Friday preliminary winner Derek Hagar was sixth with Howard Moore, Dylan Westbrook, Chris Martin and Charlie Louden completing the top ten after race-long, top-ten contenders Matt Covington and Carson Short tangled in turn one on the final circuit just as Hahn streaked underneath the checkered flag.

 

The race’s first stoppage happened after seven circuits when Zach Pringle and Tony Bruce, Jr., tangled getting into turn three with Greg Wilson going off the embankment to avoid the carnage.  All three were done for the night.

 

The caution flew two rounds later Scott Bogucki’s powerplant expired with a final interruption after 18 laps when Chris Martin spun to a stop in turn one.

 

Louden and Bogucki were the only two drivers that started a first career STN championship finale.

 

Hagar, Louden, Eric Baldaccini, Hafertepe, Jr., Pringle, Short, Moore and Bergman each topped heat races to pick up a bonus of $100 courtesy of Jenkins Fleet Services.

 

Martin, Bogucki, Carney II and Brandon Hanks topped qualifying races with Monty Ferriera and Brad Bowden victorious in “C” Main action before Hafertepe, Jr., Bruce, Jr., won the “B” Mains.

 

A total of 70 competitors took in the 32nd Annual COMP Camps Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires at I-30 Speedway.

 

32nd Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires Saturday Night Results:

 

Heat Races (Top 40 in Finishing/Passing Points to Qualifying Races; Balance to Two “C” Mains):

 

First Heat (8 Laps):  1. 9jr-Derek Hagar (2), 2. 44m-Chris Martin (1), 3. D6-Cody Gardner (3), 4. 15J-Jeremy Middleton (6), 5. 22-Sean McClelland (5), 6. 7-Justin Henderson (8), 7. 91a-Ernie Ainsworth (7), 8. 2-Joseph Miller (4), 9. 50z-Zach Chappell (9).

 

Second Heat (8 Laps):  1. X-Charlie Louden (5), 2. 23p-Hunter Poe (3), 3. 21k-Kevin Hinkle (1), 4. 12w-Dale Wester (7), 5. 94-Jeff Swindell (8), 6. 0mg-Mike Vaculik (2), 7. 61-Dewayne White (6), 8. 3b-Chris Banja (9), 9. 67-Hayden Martin (4).

 

Third Heat (8 Laps):  1. 0-Eric Baldaccini (2), 2. 44b-Scott Bogucki (1), 3. 17T-Channin Tankersley (4), 4. 12h-Tony Bruce, Jr. (7), 5. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek (6), 6. 39-Brad Bowden (5), 7. 16b-Justin Peck (3), 8. 58-Clay Dow (8).

 

Fourth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (1), 2. 44h-Ronny Howard (2), 3. 84-Brandon Hanks (4), 4. 6-Dustin Gates (3), 5. 45-Monty Ferreira (5), 6. 1s-Joey Schmidt (8), 7. 77x-Alex Hill (7), 8. 21m-Paxton Gregory (6).

 

Fifth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 8z-Zach Pringle (1), 2. 17w-Harli White (4), 3. 26-Marshall Skinner (2), 4. 14k-Kyle Bellm (3), 5. 11g-Mike Goodman (6), 6. 21p-Robbie Price (5), 7. 13c-Chase Howard (8), 8. 4-Tommy Snellgrove (7).

 

Sixth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 21s-Carson Short (2), 2. 2x-Tucker Doughty (4), 3. 95-Matt Covington (5), 4. J2-John Carney II (7), 5. 10j-Justin Jacobsma (8), 6. 33c-Casey Carter (1), 7. 22g-Riley Goodno (3), 8. 29-Pete Butler (6).

 

Seventh Heat (8 Laps):  1. 3-Howard Moore (2), 2. 47x-Dylan Westbrook (4), 3. 9$-Kyle Clark (1), 4. 14-Jordon Mallett (8), 5. 47-Dale Howard (7), 6. 21b-Brandon Hinkle (5), 7. 92-Cody Hays (6), 8. 48-Cody Stacy (3).

 

Eighth Heat (8 Laps):  1. 23b-Seth Bergman (2), 2. W20-Greg Wilson (4), 3. 52-Blake Hahn (8), 4. 1x-Tim Crawley (5), 5. 38-Rick Pringle (1), 6. 5-Kory Bales (7), 7. 29w-Wade Woolsey (6), 8. 99-Blake Jenkins (3).

 

Qualifying Races – Top 12 in Combined Passing/Finishing Points to “A” Feature; Balance to “B” Mains

 

First Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 44m-Chris Martin (1), 2. 21s-Casron Short (5), 3. 47-Dale Howard (9), 4. 8z-Zach Pringle (3), 5. X-Charlie Louden (6), 6. 11g-Mike Goodman (10), 7. 12w-Dale Wester (2), 8. 26-Marshall Skinner (8), 9. 2x-Tucker Doughty (4), 10. 15J-Jeremy Middleton (7).

 

Second Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 44b-Scott Bogucki (1), 2. 12h-Tony Bruce, Jr. (2), 3. 47x-Dylan Westbrook (4), 4. 52-Blake Hahn (6), 5. 14-Jordon Mallett (3), 6. 94-Jeff Swindell (7), 7. 3-Howard Moore (5), 8. 7-Justin Henderson (10), 9. 6-Dustin Gates (9), 10. 1x-Tim Crawley (8).

 

Third Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. J2-John Carney II (2), 2. 17T-Channin Tankersley (1), 3. 23b-Seth Bergman (5), 4. 9jr-Derek Hagar (6), 5. W20-Greg Wilson (4), 6. 1s-Joey Schmidt (10), 7. 10J-Justin Jacobsma (7), 8. 14k-Kyle Bellm (9), 9. 21k-Kevin Hinkle (8), 10. 23p-Hunter Poe (3).

 

Fourth Qualifier (8 Laps):  1. 84-Brandon Hanks (1), 2. 95-Matt Covington (3), 3. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (4), 4. 17w-Harli White (5), 5. 44h-Ronny Howard (2), 6. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek (9), 7. 22-Sean McClelland (10), 8. D6-Cody Gardner (7), 9. 0-Eric Baldaccini (6), 10. 9$-Kyle Clark (8).

 

“C” Features – Top 3 from Each Advance to Corresponding “B” Feature

 

First “C” Feature (10 Laps):  1. 45-Monty Ferreira (1), 2. 38-Rick Pringle (2), 3. 2-Joseph Miller (10), 4. 13c-Chase Howard (4), 5. 22g-Riley Goodno (9), 6. 58-Clay Dow (8), 7. 21p-Robbie Price (3), 8. 92-Cody Hays (7), 9. 29-Pete Butler (11), 10. 33c-Casey Carter (6), 11. 91a-Ernie Ainsworth (5). DNS: 50z-Zach Chappell, 99-Blake Jenkins.

 

Second “C” Feature (10 Laps):  1. 39-Brad Bowden (2), 2. 5-Kory Bales (1), 3. 16b-Justin Peck (8), 4. 61-Dewayne White (6), 5. 21b-Brandon Hinkle (3), 6. 21m-Paxton Gregory (10), 7. 4-Tommy Snellgrove (11), 8. 29w-Wade Woolsey (7), 9. 0mg-Mike Vaculik (4), 10. 3b-Chris Banja, 11. 77x-Alex Hill (5), 12. 48-Cody Stacy (10), 13. 67-Hayden Martin (13).

 

Mike Pack Building Materials Dash for Cash (Finishing Order Set First Two Rows of “A” Main):

                                                                   

Dash (4 Laps):  1. 23b-Seth Bergman (3) [$500], 2. 52-Blake Hahn (1) [$250], 3. 21s-Carson Short (2) [$150], 4. J2-John Carney II (4) [$100].

 

“B” Features – Top 3 from Each Advance to “A:

                                                                   

First “B” Feature (10 Laps):  1. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (1), 2. 17w-Harli White (2), 3. 8z-Zach Pringle (3), 4. 14-Jordon Mallett (4), 5. 21T-Ray Allen Kulhanek (7), 6. 7-Justin Henderson (10), 7. 44h-Ronny Howard (5), 8. 0-Eric Baldaccini (9), 9. D6-Cody Gardner (11), 10. 22-Sean McClelland (8), 11. 21k-Kevin Hinkle (12), 12. 2-Joseph Miller (17), 13. 45-Monty Ferreira (15), 14. 15J-Jeremy Middleton (13), 15. 38-Rick Pringle (16), 16. 1s-Joey Schmidt (6), 17. 1x-Tm Crawley (14).

 

Second “B” Feature (10 Laps):  1. 12h-Tony Bruce, Jr. (1), 2. 17T-Channin Tankersley (2), 3. 3-Howard Moore (5), 4. 6-Dustin Gates (13), 5. W20-Greg Wilson (3), 6. 16b-Justin Peck (17), 7. 94-Jeff Swindell (6), 8. 26-Marshall Skinner 10), 9. 12w-Dale Wester (8), 10. 11g-Mike Goodman (4), 11. 10J-Justin Jacobsma (5), 12. 23p-Hunter Poe (12), 13. 39-Brad Bowden (15), 14. 5-Kory Bales (16), 15. 14k-Kyle Bellm (11), 16. 9$-Kyle Clark (14). DNS: 2x-Tucker Doughty.

 

“A” Feature

 

A Feature (41 Laps – Starting position in parentheses):  1. 52-Blake Hahn (2) [$10,041], 2. 23b-Seth Bergman (1) [$5,000}, 3. J2-John Carney II (4) [$2,500], 4. 15h-Sam Hafertepe, Jr. (13) [$2,200], 5. 17w-Harli White (15) [$2,000], 6. 9jr-Derek Hagar (8) [$1,700], 7. 3-Howard Moore (18) [$1,500], 8. 47x-Dylan Westbrook (7) [$1,300], 9. 44m-Chris Martin (10) [$1,200], 10. X-Charlie Louden (6) [$1,100], 11. 84-Brandon Hanks (12) [$1,000], 12. 95-Matt Covington (9) [$950], 13. 21s-Carson Short (3) [$900], 14. 1x-Tim Crawley (21) [$880], 15. 17T-Channin Tankersley (16) [$850], 16. 47-Dale Howard (5) [$800], 17. 44b-Scott Bogucki (11) [$800], 18. 14-Jordon Mallett (20) [$800], 19. 8z-Zach Pringle (17) [$800], 20. 12h-Tony Bruce, Jr. (14) [$800], 21. W20-Greg Wilson (19) ]$800]

 

Note: w20-Greg Wilson and 14-Jordon Mallett were awarded the 19th and 20th “A” Main starting positions as the top two drivers in accumulated passing/finishing points from heat races and qualifiers over Friday and Saturday that had not already secured feature starting berths; 1x-Tim Crawley was awarded the 21st starting position via the I-30 Speedway track champion provisional.

 

Lap Leaders: Blake Hahn 1, John Carney 2-20, Hahn 21-41.

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