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Short Track Nationals record at I-30 Speedway in Jepardy?


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Short Track Nationals Record in Jeopardy?


by Lonnie Wheatley


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (October 20, 2009) – Some would insist that records are made to be broken. Some might be right, as all indications would suggest that the Short Track Nationals record count of 108 competitors established in 2007 could very well be eclipsed when the 22nd edition of the event unfolds next weekend at I-30 Speedway.


With the pre-entry discount deadline expiring over the weekend, the entry count surged to a staggering total of 102 by the close of business on Monday with even more expected before the event fires to life next Thursday, October 29.


The complete entry list will reportedly be unveiled this Thursday, October 22.


Set for October 29-31 after a Test 'N Tune session on Wednesday, October 28, the 22nd Annual O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires at Little Rock's I-30 Speedway is the next stop on the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters trail.


The event offers up $15,000 to win and $2,200 to start the STN championship main event. And, race fans will be treated to perhaps the most star-studded field in the history of the prestigious event, as entries from 22 different states from New York to Washington State and points in between have been filed.


STN patrons will see plenty of familiar faces, including defending race winner Tony Bruce, Jr., along with other past winners including Jason Johnson, Paul McMahan and Wayne Johnson.


There will be an abundance of new faces in the mix as well, with the likes of Cody Darrah, Terry McCarl, Randy Hannagan, Sean Becker, Kyle Hirst, Jessica Zemken, Darren Long, Chad Corken and Seth Bergman among a loaded crop of STN rookie contenders.


Four-time Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series champion Gary Wright, not among the 102 entries, ranks as the only driver to top the Short Track Nationals on more than one occasion since 1993. Tony Bruce, Jr., became the event's 15th different winner last year.


While the pre-entry discount deadline of October 17 has come and gone, post-entries for the 22nd Annual O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires may still be filed for $250 by calling the track at 501-455-4567 or at http://www.i-30speedway.com/stn.html.


Fans can purchase advance tickets by calling 501-455-4567. Advance tickets are just $45 for all three nights of wild racing action.


Pertinent Short Track Nationals Information:


The What: 22nd Annual O'Reilly 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 29-31, 2009. $15,000 to win the STN finale on October 31, with $2,200 to start the STN championship feature. Race time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Rain date is November 5-7. Test 'N Tune session on Wednesday night, October 28.


The Past Winners: Tony Bruce, Jr. (2008), Jason Meyers (2007), Jason Johnson (2006), Tim Montgomery (2005), Gary Wright (2004, 2003, 1999 and 1995), Paul McMahan (2002), 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) and Sammy Swindell (1990). 1992 finale was rained out.


The Series: The premier stop on the Lucas Oil Sprint Car Series presented by K&N Filters trail, Shane Stewart has moved 24 points ahead of Jason Johnson in the $60,000 championship chase with Gary Wright just another 16 points back in third. After the Short Track Nationals, the Lucas Oil Sprint Cars will finish off the season with USA Raceway's 42nd Annual Kronik Energy Western World Championships presented by Old Tucson Studios in Tucson, AZ, on November 19-21.


Current top 20 in Lucas Oil Sprint Car points: 1. Shane Stewart (Bixby, OK) 2,278, 2. Jason Johnson (Eunice, LA) 2,254, 3. Gary Wright (Hooks, TX) 2,238, 4. Travis Rilat (Forney, TX) 2,117, 5. Paul McMahan (Hendersonville, TN) 2,066, 6. Tim Crawley (Benton, AR) 2,043, 7. Danny Wood (Norman, OK) 2,020, 8. Tony Bruce, Jr. (Liberal, KS) 1,982, 9. Jack Dover (Springfield, NE) 1,963, 10. Jesse Hockett (Warsaw, MO) 1,961, 11. Sean McClelland (Tulsa, OK) 1,694, 12. Kenneth Walker (Sapulpa, OK) 1,628, 13. Darren Long (Elida, OH) 1,519, 14. Chad Corken (Highlands Ranch, CO) 1,487, 15. Gary Taylor (Snohomish, WA) 1,471, 16. Seth Bergman (Snohomish, WA) 1,397, 17. Gavin Punch (Collinsville, OK) 1,344, 18. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, OK) 1,215, 19. Wayne Johnson (Oklahoma City, OK) 1,118, 20. Ricky Logan (Little Rock, AR) 974.


The Format: A version of the popular Sprint Bandits format of heats and qualifying races will be in place for all three nights of competition. Each night, Heat Races will be aligned according to the pre-race draw, with the 2009 passing points system in effect.


Approximately half of the STN entrants will battle through Thursday's qualifying program, with the other half racing through Friday night's qualifying program. Those not locked in after the first two nights (top three from each night) will race through a full card of Heats, Last Chance Races and Qualifying Races on Saturday night to fill out the October 31 STN championship finale.


With six cars locked into Saturday’s $15,000-to-win, $2,200-to-start main event, the top twelve drivers in combined passing points from Saturday’s Heats, Qualifiers and Last Chance Races will fill positions seven through eighteen. The final two slots of the STN finale will be awarded to the two remaining drivers that have accumulated the most points through Heat, Qualifying, Last Chance and Feature racing action over their qualifying night and Saturday night.


Drivers must compete in either Thursday’s prelim or Friday’s prelim to be eligible for passing points on Saturday.


Saturday's Odus Pack Building Materials Dash for Cash will be aligned by a pill draw conducted in “Cheater’s Day” fashion. Thursday’s winning driver will draw the first pill then give that pill to the driver of his choice. Friday’s winner will draw the second pill and give that pill to one of the remaining drivers, and so on until the lineup is determined.


The COMP Cams Gambler's Challenge: The COMP Cams Gambler’s Challenge offers the pole sitter of the STN championship feature event the opportunity to pull a playing card that will grant a new starting position for the 40-lap finale. Upon accepting the Gambler's Challenge, the driver will draw the fourth, sixth, eighth or tenth starting position. If the driver can win from the starting position drawn, a $5,000 bonus will push the overall winner's take to $20,000.


If the pole sitter declines to draw a card, the outside front row starter will be presented with the same COMP Cams Gambler's Challenge.


The driver that takes the COMP Cams Gambler's Challenge is assured an extra $1,000 regardless of finishing position.


The Josh Howard Determination Award: Bossier City, Louisiana's Shed Road Auto Parts will present a top wing and nose wing from Lightning Wings to a driver that battles through adversity over the course of the intensely competitive weekend.


The Trade Show & Midway: This year’s rendition of the Short Track Nationals will also include the Fifth Annual Short Track Nationals Trade Show & Midway. Fans, drivers & crews will have the opportunity to visit vendor displays, which opens at noon on Thursday and then at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The deadline for guaranteed vendor space is Monday, October 26.


The Tickets: Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday, October 28, no advance sales after that. Tickets ordered in advance are just $45 for all three nights. Day of show prices are $15 on Thursday and Friday and $25 on Saturday. To order tickets in advance or for more information, call the track at 501-455-4567 or e-mail orders to racing@I-30speedway.com. Children's tickets will be available at the event for just $2 on both Thursday and Friday and then $5 on Saturday. There is a $1 per ticket surcharge for orders placed via credit/debit cards. Pit passes are $30 on both Thursday and Friday and $35 on Saturday.


For more information regarding the 22nd Annual O'Reilly Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, contact I-30 Speedway at 501-455-4567.

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