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15th Annual Mini Sprint Nationals shatters records


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15th Annual Mini Sprint Nationals Shatters Records

by Cody Morris

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (August 4, 2014) - Exactly one year ago to the very day, I-44 Riverside Speedway reopened with engines roaring and dirt blazing for the first time in nearly three months.

It was a most historic event, to reopen the speedway following the speedways destruction in the tragic May 20th tornado. It was the biggest Nationals in history up that time.

This years episode of the Nationals was also the first anniversary of that reopening. And what ensued defied what most thought possible in the run up to the race.

A record field of 171 entries competed in what turned into an spectacular gala of open wheel racing that quite possibly featured the best open wheel racing of the season in the Sooner State, as well as for a lucrative $30,000 purse.

For 19 of the past 25 years this weekend was the hottest of the year. This years Nationals was easily the most enjoyable with daytime highs never reaching above the mid 80s.

Such rare and beautiful weather to open August in the southern plains surely contributed to the pair of epic track surfaces I-44 Riverside promoter Mark Banister presented, as well as winning back a prized piece of track equipment with the aid of Penick Family Racing.

Not a single cloud of dust ever blew off the racing surface. The track was so fast it was euphoria to a record crowd on hand Saturday night. An enthusiastic crowd that largely stayed intact right up to the stroke midnight when the final Nationals champion was crowned.

What a Nationals. The kind that left all looking forward to not just the next Nationals, but next weeks Lucas Oil POWRi West Midget event with all five micro classes in action as well.

It doesnt just take talent to brave the high banked 1/5th mile red clay oval, it takes bravery and a real skill. The 15th running of the Mini Sprint Nationals shattered record lap times in nearly each division.

I-44 Riverside is fast becoming to micro racing what the fastest half mile ovals are to sprint car racing. This weekend only furthered that claim, featuring the fastest and most daring micro sprint racing in the southern plains to date.

All 171 entries are commended for their support of this most prestigious and coveted event, as well as their hard racing on both nights. This field launched a fresh crop of the new best racers in the region. The cream of the crop among those that dare to actually race at high speed.

Friday nights MSN opener dished out 23 heat races and 12 A Feature qualifiers, while Saturdays finale served 9 B Features and six 30 lap main events that paid out over $30,000 between them (and over $1,000 more to some of the non transfers). Over the two nights, the 15th Annual Mini Sprint Nationals featured approximately 636 laps of racing.

Six drivers added their name to a prestigious list with the likes of Donnie Ray Crawford, Chris Andrews, Jerrod Wilson, Christopher Bell, Blake Hahn, and so many more. Until next year, they will stand as the six best racers at one the best Nationals in history. Also stay tuned for important speedway announcement below.

Their exploits are featured below, in the order they earned their place in Nationals history.

Non Wing (41 Entries)

Cyril, Oklahomas MelMark standout Cord Dodson earned the pole position for the 30 lap MSN Non Wing main event with Owassos Alex Sewell alongside. Sewell had topped a pair of POWRi West Midget events at I-44 Riverside with a winged A Class victory as well back in late April.

The Non Wing 600s are a weekly fan favorite and all onlookers thought they would be fast after intermission on the heavy surface with incredible grab. But even those anticipating high speeds were in awe of the blistering pace that was set.

Sewell led a wild four car battle early over Sterling Hoff, Trey Robb, and Dodson. Robb and Dodson traded the runner up spot every couple of laps until Trey Robb flew by Dodson and Sewell to take the lead at the exact halfway point of the 30 lapper.

Dodson moved into second and the top four continued to race with little separation until yellow lights came for a stalled Kyle Keeler on the 24th lap.

Dodson chased Robb each of the final six laps, but Trey Robb would not be denied his third career Mini Sprint Nationals title aboard the Select Coatings, Outlaw Wings, OK Racewear, and OK DentWorks backed #12T. It was Robbs first Nationals win since scoring Junior Sprint and Restricted wins in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

Runner up wasnt the result the pole sitter Dodson was aiming for, but the young MelMark shoe has very little to prove in terms of talent and is entering the formidable ranks of the favorites each race.

Alex Sewell completed the podium and will be back next week seeking his third POWRi West Midget win and second micro win this season at I-44 Riverside.

Oklahoma Citys Dalton Terrell started 7th and battled with B Feature transfer Gage Robb in the final laps. Terrell scored fourth with Gage Robb turning in a sensational Hard Charger run from 19th to fifth.

Non Wing B Feature #1 (10 laps - top 2 transfer to A Feature): 1. 82c Christian Kinnison (2); 2. 25w Tommy White (1); 3. 43A Austin Hartranft (4); 4. 00w Travis Weaver (6); 5. 11N Levi Neely (5); 6. 33 Sean Kneeland (3); DNS: 98 Derrick McBride

Non Wing B Feature #2 (10 laps - top 2 transfer to A Feature): 1. 2B Brandon Boggs (2); 2. 93 Greg Emetario (1); 3. 11x Tyler Alexander (4); 4. 33x Justin Patoka (5); 5. 58 Collin Traylor (7); 6. 18 Dillon Laden (3); 7. 3 Cory Wiegart (6)

Non Wing B Feature #3 (10 laps - top 2 transfer to A Feature): 1. 22B Jonathon Beason (2); 2. 12 Gage Robb (1); 3. 02 Bobby Henning (4); 4. 34 Joey Baker (5); 5. 96R Jeff Rury (3); 6. 28x Brian Martin (6); DNS: 34d Donnie Hartranft

Non Wing B Feature #4 (10 laps - top 2 transfer to A Feature): 1. 2 Ronnie James (1); 2. 50 Shelby Burk (4); 3. 898 Ryan Padgett (7); 4. 88 Tony Penick (3); 5. 11 Michael Kearnes (5); 6. 18x Chance Janway (6); 7. 32k Chris Kelly

Non Wing A Feature (30 laps): 1. 12T Trey Robb (4); 2. 7 Cord Dodson (1); 3. 8 Alex Sewell (2); 4. 97 Dalton Terrel (7); 5. 12 Gage Robb (19); 6. 20 Shawn Wicker (8); 7. 22B Jonathon Beason (15); 8. 007 Cody Carter (5); 9. P51 Aaron Dromgoole (11); 10. 27k Kyle Keeler (6); 11. 25w Tommy White (17); 12. 2B Brandon Boggs (14); 13. 93 Greg Emetario Jr. (18); 14. 25 Anton Hernandez (10): 15. 2 Ronnie James (16); 16. 39 Sterling Hoff (3); 17. 50D Dean Drake (12); 18. 20s Steven Curbow (9); 19. 82c Christian Kinnison (13); 20. 50 Shelby Burk (20)

Lap Leaders: Alex Sewell 1-14, Trey Robb 15-30

Restricted (26 entries)

 

Bethanys Matt Moore earned the pole position starting spot by winning Friday Nights 1st A Main qualifier, while qualifier #2 was bested by Tulsas Jace McIntosh. Moore has been in breakout form this year after a one year hiatus in which his father Greg won the I-44 Riverside Non Wing championship.

Now Matt is in form to achieve a track championship in the Restricted division and has earned six weekly Restricted wins as well the Inaugural Red Dirt Nationals crown, and Moore was in form once again, although having to fight off some early challenges from Jace.

Following a flip at the opening for Carson Meek and Kaylee Cole, Moore fought off McIntosh and began earning distance a handful of laps in.

Action stayed green until Justin, Texas racer Noah Key collided with Cedies Voigts on the front straightaway sending Voigts into a hard flip that ended with her car catching fire. Flames were immediately snuffed out by track workers and both drivers walked away unharmed to the relief of hundreds of fans.

Moore burst through the final half of the race setting a torrential pace and took his first Restricted MSN in the The Vapor Hut, Soiltec, Factory Kahne Shocks, Metric Cycles, Outlaw Wings, Select Coating, Jones Welding #9m.

Tulsa area racers Jace McIntosh and Quinton Standlee completed the podium finish with Cannon McIntosh storming from 9th to fourth and Broken Arrows Jase Randolph rounding out the top five finish.

Restricted B Feature (12 laps - top 8 transfer to A Feature): 1. 15m Cedies Voigts (2); 2. 72c Kaylee Cole (4); 3. 29 Blake Scott (6); 4. 12 Carson Meek (5); 5. 10 Blake Battles (7); 6. 86 Tanner Johnson (12); 7. 10k Koda Oller (8); 8. 21k Kobe Simpson (13); 9. 2L Chris Larson (3); DQ: 78 Tanner Conn, 57T Kyle Thompson; DNS: 00R Ryan Anderson, 28 Tracy Hill

Lap Leaders: Tanner Conn 1-11; Cedies Voigts 12

Restricted A Feature (30 laps): 1. 9 Matt Moore (1); 2. 08J Jace McIntosh (2); 3. 95 Quinton Standlee (3); 4. 08 Cannon McIntosh (9); 5. 15 Jase Randolph (5); 6. 99 Nathan Rainey (4); 7. 55B Brandon Anderson (7); 8. 10 Blake Battles (17); 9. 3 Cole Roberts (8); 10. 86 Tanner Johnson (16); 11. 12s Sarah Walls (6); 12. 29 Blake Scott (15); 13. 21k Kobe Simpson (19); 14. 10k Koda Oller (18); 15. 00 Coby Weaver (11); 16. 15m Cedies Voigts (13); 17. 14 Noah Key (10); 18. 12 Carson Meek (14); 19. 72c Kaylee Cole (12); 20. 18 Mason McGuire (20)

Lap Leaders: Matt Moore 1-30

Junior Sprints (16 entries)

Lawtons Dylan Pendergrass started pole position for the 30 lap MSN Junior Sprint main event with Caleras Ryder Laplante alongside in what was easily the best of the six A Features and an instant classic.

Laplante led the opening pair of laps before Pendergrass battled by as the top 6 ran in a tight pack amongst a constant flow of lapped traffic.

Pendergrass led the third and fourth round before spinning to bring out the yellow. Collinsvilles Kale Drake inherited the top spot and was instantly embroiled in a tight battle with Laplante and Chickashas Brant Woods with Grady Mercer and Jake Nail also in close contention.

Laplante got by to lead laps 11, 12 and 13, but Drake struck back to lead the next five rounds. Laplante and Mercer got by once more on lap 19, but with lapped traffic closing in tight, Drake utilized it to his advantage and drew ahead of both cars for the final time on lap 24.

The top 6 were still tight throughout the final six laps, but Drake survived to earn the very tough win aboard the # 77 with support from Jess and Casey with Oil Express Brad and Kendra with Speed Shop on Main Ronnie and Ryan Truitt with Lucky 7 Chassis Andrew Deal with DRF discount Tire and everyone at Scott racing engines.

Grady Mercer finished runner up with Brant Woods third followed by Jake Nail and Gunner Bowden. Pendergrass rebounded from the early race spin to finish sixth with Laplante falling to 7th at the finish line. Alison Colby crossed in 8th with Talon Hoahwah in the 9 spot and Tuttles Jeramiah Green posting a top ten finish in just his third ever race and an obvious first time at Mini Sprint Nationals.

Junior Sprint A Feature (30 laps): 1. 77 Kale Drake (4); 2. 42 Grady Mercer (6); 3. 16 Brant Woods (8); 4. 14R Jake Nail (3); 5. 8 Gunner Bowden (10); 6. 22 Dylan Pendergrass (1); 7. 88R Ryder Laplante (2); 8. 21A Alison Colby (7); 9. 14T Talon Hoahwah (15); 10. 18J Jeramiah Green (14); 11. 1 Bryce Barnett (13); 12. 37 Jack Hall (11); 13. 28 Connor Thompson (5); 14. 72c Kayden Cole (12); DNS: 59JR Richard Harvey Jr.

Lap Leaders: Laplante 1-2, Pendergrass 3-4, Drake 5-10, Laplante 11-13, Drake 14-18, Laplante 19-22, Drake 23-30

A Class (41 entries)

Amarillos Danny Davidson earned the pole position of the 30 lap MSN A Class main event with El Renos Kyle Keeler alongside.

Keeler led early until a pair of red flags, the first when Brandon Boggs and Steven Curbow got together in pack-racing and both flipping. The second when El Renos Blake Dewberry dumped it in turn three. All drivers were ok, but done for the night - although Boggs did attempt to return minus the wing.

Davidson pulled to the infield shortly after the Dewberry flip, handing second place to Broken Arrows Factor One stalwart Jason Mcdougal. McDougal immediately seized the opportunity and grabbed the lap 5 lead, but Keeler rebounded to take it back on lap 7.

Keeler kept the lead until the final two stoppages, a couple of lap 14 yellows for wounded mounts of Jason Lair then secondly Sterling Hoff.

Mcdougal pounded heavy clay and grabbed the lead on lap 17 and never looked back - earning his first career MSN win aboard the Facotr One Racing #73. Keeler earned a commendable runner up finish with Chickashas Jim Woods coming from row 5 to finish third. Piedmonts Grady Chandler moved up one spot to claim fourth with 2014 Chili Bowl Prelim winner Jonathon Beason advancing from tenth to complete the top five finishing order.

A Class B Feature #1 (10 laps - top 2 transfer to A Feature): 1. 29d Blake Dewberry (4); 2. 12 Blake McDermott (1); 3. 82c Christian Kinnison (2); 4. 00w Travis Weaver (3); 5. 50 Dean Drake (5); DNS 98 Derrick McBride, 25s Bobby Springer

A Class B Feature #2 (10 laps - top 2 transfer to A Feature): 1. 08k David McIntosh (1); 2. 57D Blaine Denny (3); 3. P40 Aaron Dromgoole (2); 4. 27D Jared Dunkin (5); 5. 21 Michael Meek (4); DNS: 47 Austin Helt, 13m Chance McRarey

A Class B Feature #3 (10 laps - top 2 transfer to A Feature): 1. 23L Jason Lair (1); 2. 22 Teri Burk (2); 3. 86 Tanner Johnson (3); 4. 36 Lloyd Smith (5); 5. 4T Caleb Thompson (6); 6. 51 Paul Hendrix (7); 7. 67s Steve Johnson (4)

A Class B Feature #4 (10 laps - top 2 transfer to A Feature): 1. 58 Collin Traylor (1); 2. 7R Justin Rogers (2); 3. 1 Johnny B (5); 4. 33 Sean Kneeland (4); 5. 34 Joey Baker (6); 6. 32k Chris Kelly (3)

A Class A Feature (30 laps): 1. 73 Jason McDougal (3); 2. 8 Alex Sewell (4); 3. 83 Jim Woods (9); 4. 00 Grady Chandler (5); 5. 22B Jonathon Beason (10); 6. 08k David McIntosh (14); 7. 7R Justin Rogers (20); 8. 12 Blake McDermott (17); 9. 23L Jason Lair (15); 10. 58 Collin Traylor (16); 11. 22 Teri Burk (19); 12. 57D Blaine Denny (18); 13. 27k Kyle Keeler (2); 14. 39 Sterling Hoff (7); 15. 2 Ronnie James (8); 16. 12T Trey Robb (6); 17. 16x Danny Davidson (1); 18. 29d Blake Dewberry (13); 19. 2B Brandon Boggs (11); 20. 20s Steven Curbow (12)

Lap Leaders: Keeler 1-4, McDougal 5-6, Keeler 7-16, McDougal 17-30

Turf Tire (23 entries)

 

In one of the most sensational surprises of the past year, the Turf Tire division boasted their biggest field in nearly a decade with 23 checking in over the weekend.

Junior Vickman has been rolling in Riverside Turfs as of late, winning 3 of the last 5 Turf Tire races. He started pole position with Enids Nick Rummel alongside.

Vickman dropped dime and led early with Rummel, Gene Berry, and 2012 Turf champ Jeremy Penick fourth.

A Brandon Jones spin slowed down the action on the sixth round and Shorty Burks got upside down on the ensuing restart, but once underway Vickman was dogged by his pursuers. Gene Berry battled past in sensational side by side racing to lead the 17th and 18th laps, before Vickman got back by a lap later.

El Renos Jeremy Penick battled into the lead on lap 23 with Vickman exiting shortly after.

Penick was chased by Jared Morris, but was on a mission to finish his first Nationals in five tries and he did that and a lot, winning his first MSN aboard the Penick Family Racing #28. Morris earned the runner up with Berry finishing third.

Brian Penick moved up six spots to claim fourth with Rummel closing the top five finish.

Fantastic trend with this class and group of racers. Everyone on both sides of the fence were impressed. Keep it up!

Turf Tire A Feature (30 laps): 1. 28 Jeremy Penick (4); 2. 93x Jared Morris (8); 3. 98 Gene Berry (3); 4. 33 Brian Penick (10); 5. 45x Nick Rummel (2); 6. 5m Scott Patraw (9); 7. 14v Zach Van Zant (6); 8. 28s David Stewart (14); 9. C3 Bobby Chapa (5); 10. 30 Mike Robertson (12); 11. 75 Willie Vickman (16); 12. 20x Dusty Devine (15); 13. 6J Brandon Jones (13); 14. 22s Sheldon Johnson (18); 15. 8 Alan Taylor (17); 16. 11 Johnathon Doyle (20); 17. 96 Taylor Peterson (19); 18. 1ST Junior Vickman (1); 19. 002 Jimmy Smith (22); 20. 26k Robert Maney Jr. (21); 21. 1x Shorty Burks (7); 22. 21 Josh Bigger (11)

Lap Leaders: Junior Vickman 1-16, Gene Berry 17-18, Vickman 19-22, Jeremy Penick 23-30

OUTLAW (23 entries)

Broken Arrow, Oklahomas Joey Front Row Baker started pole position for the 30 lap Outlaw main event with fellow Tulsan Jeff Frey alongside.

These guys set an insanely fast pace with Baker, an Outlaw tuneup winner at Riverside on July 12th, leading the frenzy until Danny Davidson brought out the lone caution of the race on lap 15. Tulsas Matt Taylor moved up to 2nd, but Baker was gone on the restart.

Joey Baker dominated in wire-to-wire fashion aboard the Dust Bowl Customs, Garnett Storage, and Metric Cycles #34. Cord Dodson made his first legitimate Outlaw start and battled past Matt Taylor in the closing laps to earn the runner up spot, with Blake Dewberry coming from 19th to claim third.

Travis Harris moved up three spots to claim fourth with Chance Terrell completing the top five finish.

Outlaw A Feature (30 laps): 1. 34 Joey Baker (1); 2. 8g Cord Dodson (6); 3. 29d Blake Dewberry (20); 4. 155 Travis Harris (7); 5. 60x Chance Terrel (5); 6. 16x Danny Davidson (8); 7. 22B Jonathon Beason (4); 8. 12 Blake McDermott (22); 9. 08k David McIntosh (9); 10. 82c Christian Kinnison (10); 11. 33x Justin Patocka (11); 12. 4 Harold Lewis (13); 13. 79 Matt Taylor (3); 14. 66 Edmund Bishop (23); 15. 1 Johnny B (12); 16. 73 Jason McDougal (14); 17. 99 Shane Fletcher (16); 18. 50D Dean Drake (19); 19. 00 Grady Chandler (18); 20. 411 Ron Wiegart (15); 21. 15 Jeff Frey (2); DNS: 25s Bobby Springer, 13m Chance McRarey

Lap Leaders: Joey Baker 1-30

Hard Charger: Blake Dewberry +17

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I-44 Riverside Speedway will be boosting purses in all five classes for the remainder of the season. When the A Class or Non Wing classes get 25-29 entries - their purse will be boosted to nearly $1,500. With 30 or more entries - a full $2,000 purse.

The Restricted, Junior Sprint, and Turf Tire classes will also be boosted nearly 40% when they have 15 entries or more, and an 80% boost if they achieve 20 or more.

For more information on this development, stay tuned official I-44 Riverside Speedway outlets in the next 48 hours.

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