Lonnie Wheatley, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (August 27, 2021) –I-30 Speedway’s Inaugural Wingless Short Track Nationals presented by KNP Painting fired off in spectacular fashion Frida night with Justin Zimmerman edging Cody Gardner by mere inches at the line
The duo swapped the lead a pair of times in the final handful of laps of the 20-round affair before racing side-by-side to the photo finish that awarded $1,000 to Zimmerman in the ASCS Elite Non-Wing Sprint Car feature.
“I could hear someone turning some RPM’s so I knew they had to be running up top,” the Athens, Texas racer said afterward. “He showed his nose and then got by, I knew I had to concentrate and hit my marks.”
With the win, Zimmerman exited the Friday night preliminary atop event points that set Saturday heat lineups going into the $5,000-to-win finale.
After leading laps 15 and 16 only to come up just short of defending his home territory, Gardner said, “That was a lot of fun racing with those guys. It has been about six years since I have run without a wing so it feels pretty good to run that well.”
Jason Howell climbed from tenth to round out the podium in third, making for a podium that include a 410-ci powerplant (Zimmerman), a 360-ci engine (Gardner) and Howell’s 305-ci machine.
Keith Martin crossed the stripe fourth with Topeka’s Chris Morgan racing from 14th to round out the top five and earn KNP Hard Charger honors.
With a passing-points invert of six for the feature, Zimmerman led the way to the green flag with Martin alongside. Zimmerman jumped to the initial point with third-starter Gardner and Mason Smith shuffling Martin back to fourth before the caution flew after two laps when Zach Pringle slid to a stop on the backstretch.
Gardner went to work on Zimmerman when action resumed, riding the high line as Zimmerman rolled the bottom groove. While Zimmerman held Gardner at bay, Anthony Nicholson worked his way past Smith for third on the tenth round just one circuit before Howard Moore spun in turn two.
After a jumbled restart that resulted in front end damage for both Derek Hagar and Dale Howard, Nicholson’s drive to the front ended prematurely when he clipped an infield yuke tire and flipped wildly down the backstretch on the ensuing restart.
With the final nine rounds contested in non-stop fashion, Zimmerman and Gardner battled for the lead every inch of the way. Gardner’s persistence up top finally paid off as he raced into the lead in turn three as the five-to-go signal was displayed.
Gardner countered a Zimmerman slider the next round but the slightest of bobbles exiting turn two on the 17th circuit gave Zimmerman a run back into the lead. Gardner rebuilt his upper momentum over the last two laps only to come up short.
Paul White, Martin, Zimmerman, Howard and Nicholson topped heat race action for the 36-car field with Landon Simon and Hagar winning the 12-lap “B” Mains.
Blake Jenkins got upside down after contact on the opening lap of the first “B” Main. Like Nicholson, he was uninjured.
The Inaugural Wingless Short Track Nationals presented by KNP Painting at I-30 Speedway concludes with Saturday night’s $5,000-to-win championship card with the Dixon Road U-Pull-It Factory Stocks and Young Guns in action as well.
General admission is just $20 with children 12 and under admitted free compliments of Dove Plumbing. Pit passes are $30.
Inaugural Wingless Short Track Nationals presented by KNP Painting Prelminary Results
Friday – August 27, 2021
Heat Races (Top 14 in Finishing/Passing Points Advance to “A” Main, balance to two “B” Mains):
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 1-Paul White (1), 2. 44-Jason Howell (3), 3. 20-Shon Deskins (8), 4. 92-Cody Hays (2), 5. 38-Zach Pringle (4), 6. 12m-Greg Merritt (5), 7. 13-Chase Howard (6), 8. 0-Michael Vaculik (7).
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 79-Keith Martin (2), 2. 31-Mason Smith (5), 3. 63-Chris Williams (3), 4. 15J-Jeremy Middleton (7), 5. 19-Jason Long (1), 6. 21k-Kevin Hinkle (6), 7. 69-Jamey Mooney (4).
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. #1-Justin Zimmerman (2), 2. 99x-Dalton Stevens (5), 3. 14-Jordon Mallett (4), 4. 48-Caden McCreary (3), 5. 3-Howard Moore (6), 6. 27jr-Joseph Poe (1), 7. 73-Josh Baker (7).
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 47-Dale Howard (1), 2. 11w-Wyatt Burks (3), 3. 81a-Chris Morgan (4), 4. 1x-Tim Crawley (2), 5. 2-Landon Crawley (6), 6. 48x-Neal Matuska (5), 7. 3b-Chris Banja (7).
Fifth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 16-Anthony Nicholson (2), 2. G6-Cody Gardner (5), 3. 11a-Blake Jenkins (1), 4. 24-Landon Simon (6), 5. 9jr-Derek Hagar (7), 6, 91-Michael Day (3), 7. 173-Brett Holland (4).
“B” Features – Top 3 from Each Advance to “A:
First “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 24-Landon Simon (1), 2. 48-Caden McCreary (3), 3. 1x-Tim Crawley (5), 4. 91-Michael Day (8), 5. 2-Landon Crawley (4), 6. 13-Chase Howard (10), 7. 19-Jason Long (6), 8. 3b-Chris Banja (9), 9. 12m-Greg Merritt (7), 10. 173-Brett Holland (11), 11. 11a-Blake Jenkins (2).
Second “B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 9jr-Derek Hagar (2), 2. 38-Zach Pringle (5), 3. 3-Howard Moore (3), 4. 48x-Neal Matuska (7), 5. 21k-Kevin Hinkle (6), 6. 63-Chris Williams (1), 7. 92-Cody Hays (4), 8. 0-Michael Vaculik (9) 9. 69-Jamey Mooney (10), 10. 73-Josh Baker (8), 11. 27jr-Joseph Poe (DNS).
A Feature (20 Laps – Starting position in parentheses): 1. #1-Justin Zimmerman (1), 2. G6-Cody Gardner (3), 3. 44-Jason Howell (10), 4. 79-Keith Martin (2), 5. 81a-Chris Morgan (14), 6. 31-Mason Smith (5), 7. 24-Landon Simon (15), 8. 20-Shon Deskins (6), 9. 15J-Jeremy Middleton (12), 10. 48-Caden McCreary (17), 11. 14-Jordon Mallett (13), 12. 11w-Wyatt Burks (11), 13. 38-Zach Pringle (18), 14. 1-Paul White (8), 15. 9jr-Derek Hagar (16), 16. 3-Howard Moore (20), 17. 1x-Tim Crawley (19), 18. 16-Anthony Nicholson (7), 19. 47-Dale Howard (9), 20. 99x-Dalton Stevens (4).
Lap Leaders: Justin Zimmerman 1-14, Cody Gardner 15-16, Zimmerman 17-20.
Event Points (Saturday heat races lined up by points with an invert of six):
|Rank||##||Name||Friday Heat||Friday Ftr||Total|
|1||#1||Justin Zimmerman (Athens, TX)||20.5||100||120.5|
|2||g6||Cody Gardner (Benton, AR)||19.5||95||114.5|
|4||79||Keith Martin (Burleson, TX)||20.5||88||108.5|
|5||81a||Chris Morgan (Topeka, KS)||16.5||85||101.5|
|6||31||Mason Smith (Wichita Falls, TX)||19.5||82||101.5|
|7||20||Shon Deskins (Phoenix, AZ)||18.5||76||94.5|
|8||24||Landon Simon (Avon, IN)||15.0||79||94.0|
|10||14||Jordon Mallett (Greenbrier, AR)||16.5||68||84.5|
|11||11w||Wyatt Burks (Topeka, KS)||18.5||66||84.5|
|12||48||Caden McCreary (Terrell, TX)||13.7||70||83.7|
|13||1||Paul White (Waco, TX)||20.0||62||82.0|
|14||38||Zach Pringle (Benton, AR)||11.7||64||75.7|
|15||16||Anthony Nicholson (Millington, TN)||20.5||54||74.5|
|16||9jr||Derek Hagar (Marion, AR)||13.0||60||73.0|
|17||47||Dale Howard (Byhalia, MS)||20.0||52||72.0|
|18||3||Howard Moore (Memphis, TN)||12.5||58||70.5|
|19||99x||Dalton Stevens (Ennis, TX)||19.5||50||69.5|
|20||1x||Tim Crawley (Benton, AR)||13.4||44||69.4|
|22||2||Landon Crawley (Benton, AR)||12.5||48||58.5|
|23||48x||Neal Matuska (Waxahatchie, TX)||9.7||48||57.7|
|24||91||Michael Day (Farmersville, TX)||9.1||46||57.1|
|26||92||Cody Hays (Wynne, AR)||13.4||42||55.4|
|28||13||Chase Howard (Nesbit, MS)||7.7||34||51.7|
|30||3b||Chris Banja (Beebe, AR)||8.0||38||48.0|
|33||69||Jamey Mooney (Heber Springs, AR)||7.1||36||45.1|
|34||73||Josh Baker (Earle, AR)||8.0||36||44.0|
|35||173||Brett Holland (Memphis, TN)||7.1||34||43.1|
|36||27jr||Joseph Poe (Scott, AR)||8.5||34||42.5|
600’s ~ 11
FEATURE: #1k Kortland Stephens, #43 Matthew Bauldwin, #69x Devin Crawley, #56r Brian Ross, #13 Evie Dean (KNP Painting Hard Charger), #71 Mark Snellgrove, #4 Tommy Snellgrove, #28 Logan Johnson and #8 Daniel Phillips DNS: #55a Thomas Stayton and #m16 Maverick Kester
HEAT: #43 Bauldwin
SOUTHERN OUTLAW LATE MODELS ~ 16
FEATURE: #11k Jon Kirby, #25 Rob Powell, #11$ Arlen Stewart, #t2 Terry A Henson, #78 Henry Gustavus, #1x Donnie Pate, #34j Jeffery Garringer (KNP Painting Hard Charger), #48 Alan Brown, #29 Boyd Black, #79 Kenny Basco, #8c Jim Freeman, #66b Tim Baker, #4play Ben Waggoner and #65 Jeff Aitken DNS: #49er John Paul McAllister and #4play Edward Hoyer
HEATS: #11$ Stewart and #25 Powell