Lonnie Wheatley, KANSAS CITY, Kan. (August 19, 2006) – Brad Sweet put an exclamation point on the Second Annual O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour 'N Topless Midwest Swing finale by racing into the lead on the 26th round en route to a $10,000 victory in Saturday night's 30-lap Ron Shuman Classic at Lakeside Speedway in front of a standing room only crowd.
Sweet's big break came when Shane Hollingsworth surrendered a commanding lead with engine woes on the 21st lap. Five circuits later, Sweet charged by Charles Davis, Jr., on the high side of turn three to take command and then took the checkered flag aboard Jack Yeley's Gaerte-powered Joe Dooling/DMI/Hot Hues No. 3J DRC-chassis.
While Sweet became the fifth different winner in as many consecutive nights of Sprint Bandits TNT action, and sixth TNT victory lane visitor including last week's Ultimate Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway, it was Warsaw, Missouri's Jesse Hockett who pocketed the $2,500 O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Midwest Swing championship with a third place showing behind Sweet and Davis.
"I was looking for that white flag, I was about ready to fall out of the seat," an ecstatic Sweet explained after the landmark victory. "The track was so fast, you really had to work. This is a great race to win."
Sweet had his work cut out for him from the outset, as he gridded the feature inside the third row. At the drop of the green, it was outside front row starter Davis gunning into the lead ahead of polesitter Hockett, with the Trucker's 24-Hour Road Service teammates Shane Hollingsworth and Hunter Schuerenberg in third and fourth.
After the race's first caution flew after four laps for Chris Morgan, who spun to a stop on the backstretch with front end damage, Hockett blasted by Davis on the high side of turns one and two on the restart to take command, with Hollingsworth taking from second from Davis in turns three and four.
Entering turn one on the sixth lap, Schuerenberg slid too high and flipped wildly after tagging the wall. Dickie Gaines got upside down in the ensuing scramble, with Levi Jones cutting a left rear tire in the process. Schuerenberg walked away without injury, while Gaines and Jones rejoined the chase. Gaines, who entered the night atop TNT points, later pulled to the infield with engine woes. Defending TNT champion Jones retired before checkered flag flew as well.
Following Schuerenberg's tumble, Hollingsworth turned up the wick and dove to Hockett's inside in turns one and two on the restart. The pair raced wheel-to-wheel for more than a lap before Hollingsworth emerged with the lead.
in front, Hollingsworth began to assert his strength by amassing a half
straightaway advantage by the tenth round.
By the time
to fourth after the Schuerenberg flip, Sweet made his way past Hockett for
third on the 17th lap and began chasing down
Hollingsworth's stellar drive came to an abrupt halt however, when his machine lost power and he coasted to a stop in turn three on the 21st lap with a suspected broken valve.
There was no stopping Sweet over the final circuits, as he banked the victory in front of Davis and Hockett. After starting tenth, Jon Stanbrough battled past Dave Darland in the final rounds to snare fourth. Darland rounded out the top five.
Daron Clayton advanced a half-dozen positions to snare sixth, with Mat Neely, 14th-starter R.J. Johnson, 17th-starter Jim Cameron and 19th-starter Tim Newman completing the top ten.
Darland, Sweet and Clayton each scored heat race wins, with Schuerenberg, Davis and Darland winning the qualifying races. Hollingsworth had the third qualifying race well in hand until a throttle spring broke in the final corner. Hollingsworth still coasted across the line to finish second, which allowed him to accumulate enough points to run the Dash, which Hockett won to earn the pole position for the feature.
night got off to a wild start when
O’Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams Tour ‘N Topless Lakeside Speedway Ron Shuman Classic Results:
Heat (8 Laps): 1. 11d-Levi Jones, 2.
21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 3. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 4. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 5.
55-Tony Everhart, 6. 18-Tim Newman, 7. 4-Robby Ross, 8. 12-
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 3J-Brad Sweet, 2. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 3. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg, 4. 20-Mike Lefholz, 5. 17-Chris Windom, 6. 96c-Jim Cameron, 7. 21-Mike Lefholz, 8. 97-Bret Mellenberndt.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 92-Daron Clayton, 2. 75-Jesse Hockett, 3. 11-Dave Darland, 4. 7c-Chris Morgan, 5. 2b-Mat Neely, 6. 15-R.J. Johnson, 7. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 8. 92J-J.R. Topper.
Qualifying Races – Top Four in Combined Passing Points from Heats & Qualifiers that were in Friday competition to Pole Dash; Balance of "A" Feature Lineup Determined by Combined Points
First Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg, 2. 2b-Mat Neely, 3. 3J-Brad Sweet, 4. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 5. 21x-Dickie Gaines, 6. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 7. 18-Tim Newman. DNS: 4-Robby Ross.
Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 21s-Charles
Davis, Jr., 2. 20-Ron Lefholz, 3. 75-Jesse Hockett, 4. 7c-Chris Morgan, 5.
92-Daron Clayton, 6. 96c-Jim Cameron, 7. 21-Mike Lefholz. DNS: 12-
Third Qualifier (8 Laps): 1. 11-Dave Darland, 2. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 3. 11d-Levi Jones, 4. 15-R.J. Johnson, 5. 55-Tony Everhart, 6. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 7. 92J-J.R. Topper, 8. 17-Chris Windom.
Pole Dash – Finishing Order Determines Front Two Rows of "A" Main
Pole Dash (4 Laps): 1. 75-Jesse Hockett, 2. 21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 3. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 4. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg.
O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Lakeside Speedway Ron Shuman Classic “A” Main
Main (30 Laps): 1. 3J-Brad Sweet, 2.
21s-Charles Davis, Jr., 3. 75-Jesse Hockett, 4. 14-Jon Stanbrough, 5. 11-Dave
Darland, 6. 92-Daron Clayton, 7. 2b-Mat Neely, 8. 15-R.J. Johnson, 9. 96c-Jim
Cameron, 10. 18-Tim Newman, 11. 1k-Kim Kennedy, 12. 97-Bret Mellenberndt, 13.
55-Tony Everhart, 14. 11d-Levi Jones, 15. 10-Shane Hollingsworth, 16.
21x-Dickie Gaines, 17. 71-Hunter Schuerenberg, 18. 7c-Chris Morgan, 19.
92J-J.R. Topper, 20. 20-Ron Lefholz.
DNS: 17-Chris Windom, 21-Mike Lefholz, 4-Robby Ross, 12-
Lap Leaders: Charles Davis, Jr. 1-4, Jesse Hockett 5-6, Shane Hollingsworth 7-21, Charles Davis, Jr. 22-25, Brad Sweet 26-30.
O'Reilly Sprint Bandits COMP Cams TNT Midwest Swing Points (Top Twenty): 1. Jesse Hockett 706, 2. Mat Neely 694, 3.
(tie) Dickie Gaines and Jon Stanbrough 686, 5. Shane Hollingsworth 664, 6.
Charles Davis, Jr. 650, 7. R.J. Johnson 644, 8. Bret Mellenberndt 582, 9.
O'Reilly Sprint Bandits TNT Points (Top Ten):
1. Jon Stanbrough 1,224, 2. Dickie Gaines 1,155, 3.