Local Superstars Shine
MESQUITE, Tx. (March 18th, 2017) – The Friday night portion of the 44th Annual Spring Nationals are in the books. Throughout the night, a host of local talents jumped behind the wheel of the 700+ hp Lucas Oil Sprint Cars. Local superstars like: Chad Wilson, Logan Payne, Austin Mundie, Tucker Doughty, Dale Wester, Zane Lawrence, Dalton Stevens, Raven Culp, and Martin Edwards; even former local star Sam Hafertepe, Jr. of Sunnyvale, TX, is the reigning Champion of the series, and was the winner of Preliminary Night action.
One of the more standout performances, was by local short-track-ace Chad Wilson. Wilson (who won his first ever race at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in 2016) received a shot to drive the Griffith-owed 17g machine for the weekend. Wilson capitalized on the opportunity, by winning and out running National talents in heat race action like: Seth Bergman, Wayne Johnson, and female Canadian star - Alex Hill (who was involved in a wreck on the initial start). Wilson went on to place 3rd in his qualifier, but in Main Event action, Wilson suffered front wing damage, which destroyed the handling characteristic of the 700+ hp beast. Wilson suffered the damage while dicing with 4 other racers on the half-mile track. Wilson pulled a wheel-stand off of turn number 2, and when the race machine landed, the impact caused the front wing braces to sustain damage. This damage arched the wing (usually arched down for downforce) up, and created a situation where the wing began to lift the front end of the car up. Wilson continued to fight the car, as it continuously pulled wheel-stands, lap after lap. Wilson maintained a top-10 running position, but after several laps of trying to hold onto the car at 140mph, Wilson decided it was a smart decision to pull off of the racing surface, and ended up being scored 18th with a DNF.
The other performances by local superstars were impressive as well. Defending track champion, Dalton Stevens, made his Lucas Oil Sprint Car debut. During heat race action, Dalton had his hands full, adapting to a machine with 200 more horsepower than his usual South Dallas Battery & Electric IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car. However, Stevens diced it up with National Championship Contender – Oklahoma’s Blake Hahn. Stevens was running in the 3rd position, as Hahn stalked the 99x for several laps, in a battle between cat and mouse. Stevens (who admits that his motor under the hood, is not on the same level as some of the National racers) was doing all that he could to defend his hometown turf. Dalton was holding off one of the best drivers in America for several laps, but throughout the big turn 3 and 4 section of the track, Hahn got the run on Stevens, and threw an impressive slider on Stevens entering turn 1. Stevens attempted to cross-over the 52 car, but Hahn grabbed the cushion of the Devil’s Bowl Speedway, and powered off to maintain the spot. Stevens ended up 4th in his first ever Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car heat race, which placed him in a Qualifier; in his Qualifier he placed 9th, which negated the 99x to B-Main action. Stevens would run strong, but come up just one spot short of making the Main Event, finishing 4th.
Solid performances by other local drivers like Tucker Doughty, were very impressive as well. Doughty in the Blaine’s Motor Supply 2x machine, placed 2nd in his heat race event. In that heat race event, Doughty chased Sprint Car Legend – Johnny Herrera in the 45x machine, and was giving chase, to one of the greatest drivers in sprint car history. Doughty went on to dice it up with National racers – Matt Covington and Blake Hahn in his Qualifier, ending up in the 4th spot. Doughty faced issues in his Main Event effort though, finishing 17th with a DNF. Other locals like: Martin Edwards, Logan Payne, Austin Mundie, Raven Culp, and Dale Wester; suffered a collaboration of issues ranging from: handling, mechanical, and equipment failures. Local young talent, Zane Lawrence (who picked up his first full size sprint car feature win at the age of 14 at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway) got upside down in a big way at the beginning of his heat race. You can rest assure that the young star and the other local stars, will return tonight with a sense of vengeance, to show what they can do when the green flag falls.
The locals that did not shine on the first night of Spring Nationals 44 action, have shown the ability in the past, to give a threat to the National racers of the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars. Even the former local star, Sam Hafertepe Jr., won the Preliminary Night, and is currently the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Champion. Drivers like Hafertepe are proof, that some of the greatest drivers in America, are located right here in the DFW Motorplex. The conclusion of the 44th Annual Spring Nationals – Matt Clevenger Memorial, is tonight at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX. Tonight the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Cars are joined by the South Dallas Battery & Electric IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars and the high-powered USRA Modifieds. Gates will open at 5pm, with racing scheduled to start at 8pm. For tickets and more information, give us a call @ (972) 222-2421. For up to the minute updates, pictures, and videos; follow us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DevilsBowl.