Lonnie Wheatley – OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (August 17, 2005) – Olney, Illinois hotshoe Levi Jones has become a seemingly unstoppable force in the inaugural O’Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless swing, as he picked up his third feature win in as many “TNT” events by topping Wednesday night’s 30-lap feature at State Fair Speedway.
Jones battled past Dickie Gaines on the seventh round to take command then withstood a late bid from Travis Rilat to move half way to a sweep of the six-event Sprint Bandits “TNT” swing with an adept move through lapped traffic on the final round.
“We came down here to try to win some races and we’re having a blast so far,” Jones commented from victory lane. “This is a great series to run for and a fun bunch of guys to run with. We’ll be up late getting the car ready for Tulsa tomorrow night so there won’t be much time for sleep, but as long as we can keep winning that’s not a problem at all.”
After a pair of early cautions, Jones ducked underneath Gaines as the pair raced down the backstretch on the seventh lap and executed what ultimately turned out to be the winning pass as the pair raced through turns three and four.
Jones paced the field over the ensuing laps with Gaines and Rilat in pursuit as Bud Kaeding and John Scott diced for the fourth position. Kaeding’s hopes were dashed on the 17th lap when he clipped an infield tire and did a quick 360-degree spin in turn two before stopping on the backstretch with front end damage, precipitating a caution flag.
On the restart, Rilat battled past Gaines for second only to have the caution fly again when Gaines spun to a halt in turn four after contact. A disenchanted Gaines rejoined the field at the tail.
Jones led Rilat and Scott on the restart as Danny Jennings
made his way up to fourth.
Jones raced to a comfortable lead aboard Scott Benic’s Gaerte-powered Lucas Oil Products No. 2b Maxim until lapped traffic came into play with just five laps to go. Rilat began to reel in the leader and was poised to make a bid for the lead until Jones adeptly made his way around a pair of lapped cars entering turn one on the final lap.
Jones took his third consecutive checkered flag in front of
Rilat, with Cali-native turned Hoosier Scott turning in a strong run to claim
the show position.
Californian Brad Sweet raced from twelfth to sixth, with
With 30 cars in the pit area, Jon Stanbrough, Gaines and Rilat each captured heat race victories. Qualifying races were topped by Rilat, Jones and Kaeding.
Zach Chappell’s night came to an early end with a turn two flip in hot laps, while Mitchell Gosey got upside down off the turn three embankment in the first heat race. Jimmy Taylor took a wild ride on the initial attempt to start the third heat race, with Michael Woodruff getting upside down as well. Woodruff returned only to climb another car’s right rear tire on the restart and took a vicious turn two ride.
The third qualifying race was marred by a frightening turn three double tumble involving Sean Walden and Rodger Eckhardt. Regaining consciousness after several minutes, Eckhardt was alert and responding to safety personnel before being transported to a local hospital with a suspected concussion. There were no other injuries.
Round Four of the inaugural O’Reilly Sprint Bandits “TNT”
swing fires off at Tulsa Speedway at on Thursday night, before wrapping up at
O’Reilly Sprint Bandits “TNT” Results:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. #10 Jon Stanbrough, 2. #11 Dave Darland, 3. #83 John Scott, 4. #2b Levi Jones, 5. #1 Brad Sweet, 6. #27 Andy Shouse, 7. #47 Justin Marvel, 8. #8 Rodger Eckhardt, 9. #55 Tony Everhart, 10. #36g Mitchell Gosey.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. #21x Dickie Gaines, 2. #57 Mike Martin, 3. #29F Bud Kaeding, 4. #61J Danny Jennings, 5. #17T Travis Scott, 6. #14w Sean Walden, 7. #29n Larry Neighbors, 8. #15 Kerry McAlister, 9. #1x Sean McClelland, 10. #45 Steve Ostling.
Third Heat (8 Laps):
1. #29 Travis Rilat, 2. #11F Foster Landon, 3. #21 Charles Davis, Jr.,
4. #4 Robert Sellers, 5. #10x
First Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. #29 Travis Rilat, 2. #21x Dickie Gaines, 3. #47 Justin Marvel, 4. #17T Travis Scott, 5. #4 Robert Sellers, 6. #20 Koby Barksdale, 7. #15 Kerry McAlister, 8. #36g Mitchell Gosey, 9. #11f Foster Landon.
Second Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. #2b Levi Jones, 2. #1 Brad Sweet, 3. #83 John Scott, 4. #10 Jon Stanbrough, 5. #57 Mike Martin, 6. #27 Andy Shouse, 7. #45 Steve Ostling, 8. #55 Tony Everhart. DNS: #29n Larry Neighbors.
Third Qualifier (8 Laps):
1. #29F Bud Kaeding, 2. #61J Danny Jennings, 3. #11 Dave Darland, 4. #35
Tyler Spath, 5. #21 Charles Davis, Jr., 6. #1x Sean McClelland, 7. #10x
A Feature (30 Laps):
1. #2b Levi Jones, 2. #29 Travis Rilat, 3. #83 John Scott, 4. #11 Dave
Darland, 5. #21 Charles Davis, Jr., 6. #1 Brad Sweet, 7. #57 Mike Martin, 8.
#47 Justin Marvel, 9. #21x Dickie Gaines, 10. #4 Robert Sellers, 11. #10 Jon
Stanbrough, 12. #61J Danny
O’Reilly Sprint Bandits “TNT” Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Levi Jones (