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Denby Doubles in Ltd Mod, Bergman snags ASCS USNDTC win @TMS 9-13

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Port-a-Cool US National Dirt Track Championships @ Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, 9/12-13/14

By J M Hallas


Ft. Worth, TX.,(Sept 13th, 2014) With a full night of racing already in the books, the Port-a-Cool US National Dirt Track Championships came to conclusion. Friday night saw four ASCS drivers lock themselves into tonight's big championship event, with seven Limited Modified racers making the automatic transfer to the A-main.


The Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour saw Sam Hafertepe Jr. get the win in the 25-lap prelim after getting the jump on a red start over Kevin Ramey, who had a slowly deflating left rear. Along with Hafertepe, Danny Jennings, Matt Covington and Stevie Smith had secured spots.


The Limited Modified A-qualifier had Tracy Denby jr. and Tommy Davis jr. put on a good lead swapping race in their 15-lap event. Denby eventually held off Davis for the win with Sean Jones, Nick Clinkenbeard, Travis Johnson, Glen Gordy and Gabe Tucker all transferring.


Saturday night's action for the ASCS Sprint Cars included heats and two B-mains to set the field for the(scheduled) 40-lap, $4,000 to win main event.


The Limited Modifieds ran five Last Chance Heats taking the top three from each and one Last Chance Qualifier to fill their starting grid, plus two provisionals drawn from pre-entries.


After some discussion and concern about tire wear, ASCS and TMS officials decided to reduce the 40-lap feature to only 30 laps.


Bergman Best in ASCS Bash

Seth Bergman made the long tow from Snohomish, Washington pay off as he took home the big win, custom helmet, cowboy hat and $4,000 pay day. Bergman, who started sixth, slipped a couple spots on the start, while Sam Hafertepe jr. charged towards the front. Hafertepe, who scored the honors Friday night, got by early leader Kevin Swindell on lap 9 and looked for the sweep.


Bergman, who found a better groove dicing through traffic, began picking off spots and was catching Hafertepe coming to halfway. As Hafertepe was stuck, Bergman used the bottom to sneak past for the lead on lap 17. Once clear, Bergman eased ahead and despite a couple caution closing up the field, Bergman kept Hafertepe at bay to snag the victory.


As the 22-car ASCS Sprint Car starting field took the green, Kevin Swindell, from outside row 1, beat pole sitter Matt Covington into turn 1 for the lead. Covington fell in line with Hafertepe coming from row 4, Tony Bruce jr. and Bergman in tow. Harli White brought out an early caution when her car stopped on the back stretch.


As green waved again, Hafertepe got past Covington for second, followed by Bruce a lap later. Using the top in turns 1-2, and the bottom in turns 3-4, Hafertepe ran down Swindell, while Bergman got by Bruce for third. Hafertepe caught and passed Swindell for the top spot on lap 9. Swindell tried to retake the position, but to no avail.


Hafertepe ran up on heavy traffic on lap, as Bergman worked his way by Swindell for second. Just after the crossed flags were shown Bergman ducked under Hafertepe for the lead on lap 17. In the pack, Aaron Reutzel looked to be the fastest car on the track grabbing spots left and right moving up to third by lap 20.


With five to go Bergman had built a full straightaway lead over Hafertepe when Reutzel burned the left rear off and stopped for a yellow. Bergman had three lapped cars as a buffer on the restart and left Hafertepe, Brad Loyet, Bruce and Johnny Herrera. Herrera and Swindell both got by a fading Bruce for fourth and fifth.


Lap 28 saw Stevie Smith fighting with Bruce for position and get turned around after clipping on infield tire. This time Bergman only had one lapper to hold off Hafertepe. That lapped car was was multi-time champ, Jason Johnson who Hafertepe was unable to pass. This gave Bergman in the Young Tool Company, Oilfield Equipment & Manufacturing, Corridor Electric, Speedmart, Print Place, Scott Baylor Race Engines, Eagle Chassis a clear road to the checkers.


Seth Begman....the calm before the storm


"We've won some big races this year," said Bergman. "But as far as prestige goes, this is the race you want you win. This is the biggest win of the year for us. It's one of the marque events on our calendar for the year. To come here and win in Texas we'll definitely take that fan home."


"I've watched guys here the past two years put that cowboy hat on and smile. To finally be the one to get that hat and all the prizes, you can't beat that feeling. I have to thank my mom and dad, without them I wouldn't be here. I always say I'm the lucky guy that gets to be here talking to the media and doing all these cool things."


"We had to get a good draw in our heat race and take advantage of that, which we did. With them watering the track we knew the first half of the race would be good. We knew the rubber would come in and it would be who the first one to find and get out front. Sometimes it's better to run second, you can search around. Sam(Hafertepe) did a good job coming from eighth to the lead."


"I found the rubber around the bottom of turns 1-2 before he did and I think that was the key move of the race. Once I got by him the rubber was all the way around the track. I was able to stay in that groove and not slip out of it. We tightened the car up and hoped it would work out. My hats off to my crew chief, Ryan Beechler, he called it exactly as it played out."


"Sprint cars are wild animals. It's tricky to get them around a dirt track that's always changing. Last night was a completely different track. We were probably 360 degrees from where we were tonight. I'm lucky enough to surround myself with smart people that keep up with that stuff. We changed some stagger and wheel spacing and Ryan hit it right."


Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour

23 Seth Bergman, Snohomish, Wa., 15h Sam Hafertepe jr., Sunnyvale, 05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, Mo., 45x Johnny Herrera, Albuquerque, NM, 94 Jeff Swindell, Bartlett, Tenn., 17t Channin Tankersley, Highlands, 95 Matt Covington, Glenpool, Ok., 29 Travis Rilat, Forney, 33 Zach Chappell, Talala, Ok., 18 Toby Bruce jr., Liberal, Kan., 74b John Carney, Horizon City, 4 Stevie Smith, Broken Arrow, Ok., 1j Danny Jennings, Norman, Ok., 41 Jason Johnson, Eunice, La., 1 Sean McClelland, Tulsa, Ok., 3h Brandon Hanks, Burlinson, Tenn., 7m Kevin Ramey, Ft. Worth, 87 Aaron Reutzel, Clute, 5t Ty Williams, Liberal, Kan., 12w Dale Wester, Ovilla, 19 Patrick Stasa, Kingman, Kan., 17w Harli White, Lindsay, Ok.


ASCS B-mains(top 3 to A-qualifier)

B-main 1; 19 Patrick Stasa, 33 Zach Chappell, 5t Ty Williams, 88 Scottie McDonald, 21x Taylor Velesquez, 2k John Kelly, 4x Shawn Peterson, 4j John James, 17 Blake Hahn, 02 Brandon Long---dns, 12 James Mosher---dns


B-main 2

29 Travis Rilat, 41 Jason Johnson, 3h Brandon Hanks, 11 Roger Crockett, 5 Joe Bob Lee, 74e Claud Estes, 21t Ray Allen Kulhanek, 93 Dustin Morgan, 5x Tyson Hall, 45 Martin Edwards, 48 Jake Martens


ASCS Heats(top 12 to A-main)

Heat 1; 87 Aaron Reutzel, 12w Dale Wester, 17w Harli White, 41 Jason Johnson, 74b John Carney, 88 Scottie McDonald, 5 Joe Bob Lee, 74e Claud Estes, 4x Shawn Peterson


Heat 2; 7m Kevin Ramey, 94 Jeff Swindell, 17t Channin Tankersley, 11 Roger Crockett, 93 Dustin Morgan, 33 Zach Chappell, 48 Jake Martens, 02 Brandon Long, 3h Brandon Hanks


Heat 3; 23 Seth Bergman, 05 Brad Loyet, 29 Travis Rilat, 1 Sean McClelland, 21t Ray Allen Kulhanek, 5t Ty Williams, 4j John James, 2k John Kelly


Heat 4; 18 Tony Bruce jr., 45x Johnny Herrera, 19 Patrick Stasa, 17 Blake Hahn, 21x Taylor Velesquez, 12 James Mosher, 5x Tyson Hall, 45 Martin Edwards


Denby Double Dips in Limited Modifieds

Vidor's Tracy Denby doubled up for the big weekend win in the 30-lap Limited Modified feature. After last nights A-qualifier victory, Denby took the 'Pole Dash' for the number one starting spot in the main. Denby, in the Dark Horse Racing Shocks, B&J Seafood, Engines by CB, IRP Chassis, took the point on lap 1 and never looked back.


Denby quickly eased away from Travis Johnson to a very comfortable lead. After halfway Johnson began to slowly reel Denby in and caught him using lapped traffic. Denby nearly gave up the spot, but pushed a slower car out of his way, with Johnson on his bumper. Once in clean air, Denby inched out to a car length lead with two to go. Denby got a slight advantage on the final circuit, as Johnson appeared to overdrive the corners, and took the checkers.


The 26-car, $2,000 to win, 3-wide start saw Denby and Johnson side by side in turn 1. But it was Denby off of turn 2 with lead chased by Johnson, Gabe Tucker, Tommy Davis jr., and Glen Gordy. Behind them Sean Jones, Monte Bolton and JJ Jennings were three wide for sixth, with four abreast racing back in the pack.


By lap 5 the lead duo had put some distance on Tucker, who had a gap back to Davis, Jones, Jennings and Clinkenbeard. The races only caution waved on lap 7 when two Abilene races, Tyler Fain and Robby Crabtree, tangled in turn 3-4. On the restart, Denby got away from Johnson who had Tucker trying the outside.


Johnson and Tucker continued to battle for second giving Denby a chance to get out to a big margin. At halfway it was Denby, Johnson, Tucker, Jones and Jennings in the top five, with Clinkenbeard joining the group. As the top six sorted out, Davis, Jimmy Day, JC Howell, Bolton and Michael Daniels slugged it out for seventh.


With ten to go Johnson began closing the gap while Denby started to encounter traffic. Johnson was visibly reeling Denby in when Denby ran up on Bubba Gates, who was running his line. Denby shoved out of the line in turn 4, with Johnson now on his tail with five to go.


As the twin flags were shown Denby had Johnson a mere car length behind. Johnson, who was hustling the car through the corners, gave up some ground as the white flag waved. At the checkers it was Denby taking the win by 7/10 of a second, or a few car lengths.


"Getting the TMS cowboy hat is the highlight of my season," replied Denby. "It was a lot of hard work by the crew and a real consistent car. You just have to stay out of trouble and get the best starting spot you can here."


"I thought he(Johnson) was on my bumper the whole time. I was just going as fast as I could. Normally we have someone trying to let me know if someone has found a better line. This track is so big that there wasn't anyone, I didn't have any clue."


"I guess the lapped cars didn't see the move over flag. I got in(the corner) a little to hard and got into him. I race with him at our track, I'll have to go give him an apology, I think he'll understand."


Denby making some laps


Limited Modified Championship

151 Tracy Denby jr., Vidor, 86j Travis Johnson, Enid, OK., 95 Gabe Tucker, Carbon, 66x Sean Jones, Mansfield, 26g JJ Jennings, Corpus Christi, 66 Nick Clinkenbeard, Weatherford, 951 Monte Bolton, Wolfforth, 117 Tommy Davis jr., Wills Point, 103 JC Howell, Mabank, 23m Jimmy Day, Greenville, 15w Dennie Gieber, Frankston, 711 Michael Daniels, Caddo Mills, 23g Glen Gordy, Holliday, 63 Shane Hoefling, Meyersville, 121 Bobby Ruffin, Crandall, 2f Greg Frazer, Joshua, 01 Bobby Malchus, Red Oak, 88 Doug Easterling, Haskell, 47 Gary Stuckey, Kilgore, 78 Rodney White, Ector, 118 Robby Crabtree, Clyde, 77 Tyler Fain, Abilene, 44 Kale Westover, Tuttle, OK., 16g Bubba Gates, Santa Fe, 33 Pepper Kuykendall, Venus, 30 Chad Jones, Bells


Limited Modified Pole Dash

151 Tracy Denby jr., 86j Travis Johnson, 66x Sean Jones, 95 Gabe Tucker, 117 Tommy Davis jr., 66 Nick Clinkenbeard, 23g Glen Gordy


Limited Modified Last Chance Heats(Top 3 to A-main, 4-7 to LCQ)

LCH 1; 951 Monte Bolton, 118 Robby Crabtree, 199 Ryan Harris, v8 Robert Vetter, 14t Talon Minten, 5r Ryan Doyon, 10c Chris Cary, 12 Josh Ferguson, 211 Chad Fitzgerald, 84 Tom Lorenz, 21b Gene Bryce, 575 Wes Armstrong, 128 Bailey Dosser, 175 Bo Beckner, 18m Wayne Melton, 173 Trice Hermes, 22t Darrell Thompson, 15* Mike Martin, 5* Leroy Decker jr., 02 Gary Corbin, 77 Tristan Dycus


LCH 2; 15w Dennie Gieber, 77 Tyler Fain, 78 Rodney White, 01 Bobby Malchus, 19 Clint Dosser, 47 Gary Stuckey, 39 Don Reid, 188 RJ Stroman, 23 Joel Garcia, 56 Chris Huckeba, 42l Bud Longpine, 28j Justin Nabors, 6 Jarrett Roberts, 10 Dustin Robinson, d25 David Tanner, 16 Rob Bland, 25 Michael Gaunet, 24r Robby Minten, 5x Dustin Mooney


LCH 3; 44 Kale Westover, 2f Greg Frazer, 121 Bobby Ruffin, 30 Chad Jones, 53 Edward Oakes, B17 Brandon Ball, 174 Mickey Helms, 0 Loni Richardson, 7k Greg Moran, 601 Chris Cogburn, 93 Dustin Shoemaker, 20 Nathan Sexton, j2 Josh Short, 26b John Bonneau, 33 Pepper Kuykendall, 88d Aaron Browning, 37h Garrett Higgins, 97f Luke Fritchen, 4 Bo Day---BF Rough Driving, 13 John Herring


LCH 4; 711 Michael Daniels, 23m Jimmy Day, 16g Bubba Gates, 15 Curtis Allen, 13j James McCreery, 90 Dustin Butcher, 5s Bud Reed, 4f Trevor Foley, 56w Tyler Webb, 722 Jeramie Cox, 37 Chris Balthorp, 99b Kristi Byrd, 7 Shane Little, 91 Craig Oakes, 2 Brian Short, 561 Kevin Simpson, 44j Brent Jones, 99 Justin McCoy---DQ tech


LCH 5; 26g JJ Jennings, 88 Doug Easterling, 103 JC Howell, 4s TJ Steele, 991 Chad Cox, 18 Tim Clonch, 69y Bret Young, 8 Jason Armstrong, 17s Chase Allen, 1 Cullen Hill, 6x Chase Vineyard, 17 Michael Maraschirca, 31 Matt Martin, 81 Levy Galmor, 69 Raymond King, 18h Matt Henderson, 45 Jason Hood


Last chance Qualifier(top 2 to A-main)

01 Bobby Malchus, 30 Chad Jones, 15 Curtis Allen, 199 Ryan Harris, 90 Dustin Butcher, 47 Gary Stuckey, 991 Chad Cox, v8 Robert Vetter, 53 Edward Oakes, 18 Tim Clonch, b17 Brandon Ball, 174 Mickey Helms, 69y Bret Young, 5r Ryan Doyon, 5s Bud Reed, 39 Don Reid, 13j James McCreery, 14t Talon Minten, 19 Clint Dosser, 4s TJ Steele

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