By Ryan Neuharth Tucson, Ariz (January 17, 2010) If Sunday nights Bill Cheesbourg Memorial, the finale of the 4th Annual Wild West Shootout at USA Raceway, is a harbinger of the coming 2010 season, Jimmy Mars has put the dirt late model fraternity on notice. Starting from the pole, Mars captured the season’s first high dollar event when raced his BSB Manufacturing / Keyes Chevytown / Deppe Enterprises / Wiles Driveshafts / Baileigh Industries / Pro Power Racing Engines / MB Customs chassis to victory lane to bookend his season opening win from one week ago.
For Mars it was his fourth career Wild West Shootout win, equaling him with Billy Moyer and Steve Francis for second on the all-time list. The series all-time winningest driver remains Terry Phillips, who extended his total to nine earlier in the week.
Mars would lead at the drop of the green as he got the jump on fellow front row starter Rob Mayea as Jeremy Payne, AJ Kirkpatrick and Randy Korte freight trained Frank Heckenast, Jr and raced three wide down the backstretch for third. Payne grabbed the spot on the high side as Kirkpatrick went fourth and Korte rounded out the top five. Heckenast, Jr was now sixth followed by Dean Moore, Steve Drake, Mike Balcaen and Mike Kirby.
The races only caution would appear on lap two for a ten car mêlée in turn two which included Clay Daly, Chris Shannon, Jack Sullivan, Billy Moyer, Will Vaught, Lance Matthees, Pat Doar, Billy Moyer, Jr, Eddie Kirchoff and Rylan Long. All drivers were able to continue, however, under the yellow second place runner Rob Mayea would retire from the event.
When the green reappeared for the Delaware double file restart, Mars again grabbed the lead as Payne slotted second and the scramble was on throughout the top ten. Korte would take third from Kirkpatrick, Heckenast, Jr would get past Moore for fifth and Steve Drake jumped past Balcaen for sixth as the field clicked under the flagstand to complete lap five.
Mars was in firm command as he put a comfortable distance between himself and Payne, while the later also had opened a significant margin on the rest of the field. Balcaen and John Anderson would jump to the high side and begin charging to the front as Balcaen moved from seventh to fourth and Anderson from ninth to fifth. Two other drivers on the move, 16th starting Darrell Nelson and 22nd starter Billy Moyer, Jr would run ninth and tenth respectively with ten in the books.
Mars would begin to experience the back of the field on lap 11 as the shuffling within the top ten remained fluid lap after lap. Mars continued to stretch his lead by lap 15 as Payne remained a comfortable second. Korte would race third, Kirkpatrick fourth and Anderson would round out the top five. Sixth through tenth was occupied by Balcaen, Drake, Moyer Jr, Heckenast, Jr and Moore.
Anderson and take fourth on lap 16 from Kirkpatrick, but Moyer, Jr found the bottom grove to his liking and jumped from eighth to fifth, while the elder Moyer rallied from the tail of the field to run eighth at the half-way point of the 40 lapper.
Moyer, Jr was not done as he cruised past Anderson on lap 21 and Korte just one circuit later to now run a distant third to Mars and Payne. Trouble would begin to set in for Kirkpatrick as he would backslide out of the top ten by lap 25. With 15 to go Mars advantage was half a straightaway plus multiple lap cars over Payne, Moyer, Jr Korte and Anderson, who were followed by Drake, Moyer, Heckenast, Jr, Kirchoff and Balcaen.
Korte and Anderson would resume their high-low battle for fourth with Anderson taking the spot for good on lap 27. The best fight on the speedway as another high-low affair between Drake and Moyer. The two would trade sixth multiple times per lap over the course of ten trips around the 3/8th mile with Drake finally winning out on lap 35. With just five to go, Mars had lapped well into the top fifteen and was quickly approaching tenth running Balcaen.
On this night, no one had anything for Mars as he would lap up to ninth place in a dominating performance to capture the $10,000 Bill Cheesbourg Memorial winners check. Payne settled for second in his best run of the week, while Moyer, Jr. also came home with his best finish of the week in third.
Calvin Catlin raced from the outside of the third row to the lead early in the Factory Stock feature and outran Sherman Barnett for his second consecutive feature win in his #6c car tonight. However, in post race inspection, illegal suspension parts were discovered, stripping Catlin of the win and handing the win to second finishing Sherman Barnett.
Hermitage, Missouri racer Eric Turner climbed into Jeff Sires’ #02 Modified tonight and raced from the pole to lead every lap of the 25-lap UMP DirtCar feature event to become the sixth different winner in the six nights of the 2010 Wild West Shootout. Darrell Nelson, Corky Thomas and Pat Doar raced in a tight three-car pack for second with Paul Banghart and Bumper Jones also in a tremendous battle for fifth. As Turner cruised to the win, Thomas stole second from Nelson with Doar and Bumper Jones rounding out the top five.
Jimmy Mars, Jeremy Payne, Billy Moyer, Jr., John Anderson, Randy Korte, Steve Drake, Billy Moyer, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Eddie Kirchoff, Mike Balcaen, Dean Moore, Chris Shannon, Rylan Long, Brad Williams, AJ Kirkpatrick, Clay Daly, Will Vaught, Lance Matthees, Darrell Nelson, Pat Doar, Mike Kirby, Jack Sullivan, Paul Mueller, Rob Mayea
B-Main 1 Finish:
Jack Sullivan, Will Vaught, Pat Doar, Eddie Kirchoff, Lonnie Parker, Jr., Andrew McKay, Brad Seng, Bill Bartells, Dave Dietz, Ron Bartells, Matt Aukland, John Lowry, Bucky Andrews
B-Main 2 Finish:
Billy Moyer, Lance Matthees, Billy Moyer, Jr., Rylan Long, Rob Sanders, Brant Kehrer, Tyler Reddick, Dan Henrickson, Greg Walters, Joey Moriarty, Shane Simper, Kelly Boen, Terry Phillips
Balcaen, Williams, Moore, Drake, Mueller, Walters, Henrickson, Simper, Phillips
Heckenast, Jr., Daly, Kirby, Moyer, Jr., Sanders, Aukland, Kehrer, Moriarty, Seng
Kirkpatrick, Mayea, Nelson, Long, B. Bartells, R. Bartells, Deitz, Andrews
Mars, Shannon, Sullivan, Vaught, Parker, Jr., Kirchoff, McKay, Boen
Korte, Payne, Moyer, Anderson, Matthees, Reddick, Doar, Lowry
Modified Event Results:
A-Main: Turner, C. Thomas, Nelson, Doar, B. Jones, Gallardo, N. O’Neal, Banghart, Ray, Stanford, Ramirez, G. Junghans, Ward, Williamson, Wallace, Karst, A. Turnbull, Georges, Harpole, T. Thomas, R. Jones, C. Junghans, Edginton, Whitwell
Heat 1: Corky Thomas, David Karst, Tim Thomas, Tim Ward, Jimmy Ray, Ryan Engalls, Nick O’Neal, Lance Mari, Brian Graf
Heat 2: Darrell Nelson, Nick O’Neal, Shane Edginton, Anthony Madrid, John Stinson, Dennis Gates, Dennis Haven, Ronnie Salas
Heat 3: Pat Doar, Royal Jones, Fito Gallardo, Jesse Williamson, Christy Georges, RC Whitwell, Shayne Laske, Terry Haven, Derek Ramirez
Heat 4: Paul Banghart, Bumper Jones, Chase Junghans, Greg Jenkins, Grant Junghans, Kenny Wallace, Tyson Turnbull, Cody Skytland
Heat 5: Alex Stanford, Eric Turner, JJ Harpole, Max Sadler, Dickie Gorham, Aaron Turnbull, Dana Fite, Blake Jegtvig
B-Main 1: G. Junghans, A. Turnbull, Ray, Williamson, Jegtvig, T. Turnbull, Jenkins, Laske, Stinson, Mari, T. Haven, Engalls, Graf, J, O’Neal
B-Main 2: Whitwell, Ramirez, Wallace, Georges, Seidler, Sadler, Gorham, Skytland, Fite, Madrid, D. Haven, Gates, Salas
Factory Stock Results
A-Main: Barnett, B. Walton, Romeor, Dingus Morrow, Morehart, Churchwell, Hidalgo, Jurado, Burdick, McEuen, McCarty Jr., L. Walton, Bauman, Leech, Hanes, Dingus Morrow, Catlin
Heat 1: Sherman Barnett, Bill Walton, Brad Moyer, Heath McEuen, Harland Morehart, Derek Morrow, Lance Walton, Manny Romero, Trevor Hidalgo, Dingus Morrow
Heat 2: Calvin Catlin, Terry Churchwell, Bill Wall, Rod Jurado, Josh Burdick, Larry Leech, Steven Hanes, Johnny McCarty Jr., Bryan Bauman