Clauson and Hagen Take Friday Western World Wins!
Lonnie Wheatley, PEORIA, Ariz. (November 15, 2013) – Bryan Clauson and Darren Hagen stepped to the forefront during the second night of preliminary action at the 46th Annual Sands Chevrolet Western World Championships presented by Racers Advantage Store by taking Friday night feature wins atop the 1/3-mile Canyon Speedway Park clay oval.
Clauson led all the way to take Friday’s USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Car honors while Hagen topped a hotly-contested Honda USAC National Midget feature.
A total of 83 different cars, including 50 Sprint Cars and 33 Midgets, battled it out over the course of Thursday and Friday’s preliminary action to set the stage for Saturday’s Western World Championships finale.
USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars:
The second half of the USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Car field took to the track on Friday night with Bryan Clauson proving too tough to handle in the 30-lap main event atop a Canyon Speedway Park clay oval that he has found to his liking over the past 12 months.
The defending Western World non-wing Sprint Car champion rallied from eighth to win his heat and then sixth to top his qualifying race to earn the pole position for the main event.
But, when the original green flag flew, Clauson immediately slipped back to third behind fellow front row starter Tracy Hines and fourth-starter Chad Boespflug. Before the opening lap could be completed though, the red flag flew for Dustin Cormany’s turn two tumble.
Hines again got a slight jump on the ensuing restart, but Clauson battled back down the backstretch and surged into the lead through turns three and four.
After wading through a pair of cautions in the initial handful of circuits and then one more with ten laps to go, Clauson raced to the checkered flag unchallenged for his eighth win of the season at CSP and 24th overall including 17 in Sprint Car action.
Clauson held a healthy advantage throughout aboard the No. 20 machine, taking the checkered flag a straightaway ahead of 2011 Western World champ Hines.
Hines held off a late charge from Jon Stanbrough, nipping him at the line for runner-up honors. After starting sixth, Stanbrough took fourth from Casey Shuman on the 16th round and then disposed of Boespflug for third by the 20th circuit.
While Stanbrough claimed the show position, Boespflug took the fourth and final lock-in position aboard the New Mexico-based No. 74x Hodges entry.
After starting 11th, Kevin Thomas, Jr., made a last-lap run around Shuman to snare fifth, with Shuman, 16th-starter Rick Ziehl, Geoff Ensign, Tye Mihocko and Michael Curtis completing the top ten.
Shuman, Clauson and Stanbrough topped heat race action for Friday night’s 23 Sprint Car competitors with Clauson, Jason Grady and Boespflug victorious in qualifying race action. Grady was running fourth in the early stages of the feature before mechanical issues on a lap five restart forced him pitside.
The red flag flew three laps into the first Qualifying Race when Josh Pelkey hooked the turn three cushion and went for a wild ride through the retaining fencing. Pelkey was uninjured but done for the night in Sprint Car action.
Honda USAC National Midgets:
Darren Hagen emerged atop a fiercely-contested 30-lap Honda USAC National Midget feature that put the wraps on two full nights of qualifying action.
In a race that featured four official lead changes, Hagen held the top spot the final dozen circuits and beat Brady Bacon to the line despite a last-lap bobble in turns one and two that nearly opened the door.
After original front-row outside starter Chris Windom pulled to the pit area with mechanical gremlins, Hagen moved from the fourth starting position to the front row outside and gunned into the initial lead ahead of pole starter Rico Abreu.
Abreu battled back on the high side to take command on the third round and set the pace until Hagen took advantage on a lap ten restart after an Andrew Felker stoppage brought out the caution flag.
While Bacon chased the lead duo of Abreu and Hagen in the early stages, he slipped back to fifth after a bobble on lap nine. Bacon battled back with a strong move past Abreu and Dave Darland to claim second on the 13th round and went to work on Hagen for the lead.
Bacon’s persistence paid off with a move into the lead on the 17th round, only to have Hagen battle back in front with a nice move off the bottom of turn four on the 19th circuit.
Hagen led the remaining distance aboard Shane Hmiel’s No. 56 with Okie shoes Bacon and Christopher Bell in tow. A Hagen miscue on the final lap nearly changed the outcome, but the Riverside, CA, native took the checkered flag with a 0.157-second advantage.
Bacon settled for runner-up honors for the third time in as many nights after finishing second in Thursday’s Sprint Car and Midget features, while Thursday night Midget winner Bell claimed the show position.
Abreu crossed the stripe fourth while Bryan Clauson battled forward from the 20th starting position to round out the top five. Caleb Armstrong, who earlier in the evening set fast time for the 31-car field, was sixth with Darland, Tanner Thorson, Jerry Coons, Jr., and Brad Kuhn completing the top ten.
Tyler Thomas, Bacon, Bell and Clauson topped heat race action with Kuhn winning the “B” Main.
The 46th Annual Western World Championships concludes with Saturday night’s championship slate of events for Honda USAC National Midgets and USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars going green at 7:00 p.m.
46th Annual Sands Chevrolet Western World Championships presented by Racers Advantage Store
Friday Night Results:
Honda USAC National Midgets:
Qualifying: 1. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C&A-14.218; 2. Brady Bacon, 99, Ronk-14.220; 3. Chris Bell, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.229; 4. Darren Hagen, 56, Hmiel-14.266; 5. Dave Darland, 73, Ford-14.297; 6. Chris Windom, 3, RFMS-14.300; 7. Rico Abreu, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.361; 8. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-14.393; 9. Bobby East, 4, Klatt-14.404; 10. Jerry Coons, Jr., 3F, RFMS-14.421; 11. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.434; 12. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-14.435; 13. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Johnson-14.533; 14. Parker Price-Miller, 9P, Ronk-14.539; 15. Dalton Armstrong, 7A, C&A-14.541; 16. Brad Kuhn, 10, Cook-14.552; 17. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-14.567; 18. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-14.570; 19. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-14.602; 20. Levi Roberts, 2, Roberts-14.607; 21. Trey Marcham, 37, McQueen-14.639; 22. Josh Pelkey, 12, Allen-14.654; 23. Kyle Edwards, 39x, Edwards-14.663; 24. Bryan Clauson, 39, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-14.677; 25. Andrew Felker, 11A, Felker-14.691; 26. Mike Spencer, 57, Ecker-14.709; 27. Nick Drake, 55x, Cline-14.747; 28. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-14.755; 29. Aaron Reutzel, 91A, Thomas-14.881; 30. Jake Swanson, 05, VanDyne/Swanson-14.997; 31. Rick Shuman, 22, Shuman-15.447.
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 91T-Tyler Thomas, 2. 4-Bobby East, 3. 68-Ronnie Gardner, 4. 73-Dave Darland, 5. 37-Trey Marcham, 6. 7c-Caleb Armstrong, 7. 11a-Andrew Felker, 8. 91a-Aaron Reutzel.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 99-Brady Bacon, 2. 5d-Zach Daum, 3. 3-Chris Windom, 4. 3F-Jerry Coons, Jr., 5. 12-Josh Pelkey, 6. 57-Mike Spencer, 7. 9p-Parker Price-Miller, 8. 05-Jake Swanson.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 71-Christopher Bell, 2. 67k-Rico Abreu, 3. 67-Tanner Thorson, 4. 55-Taylor Ferns, 5. 39x-Kyle Edwards, 6. 7a-Dalton Armstrong, 7. 55x-Nick Drake, 8. 22az-Rick Shuman.
Fourth Heat (8 Laps): 1. 39-Bryan Clauson, 2. 56-Darren Hagen, 3. 2-Levi Roberts, 4. 24-Tracy Hines, 5. 7-Shannon McQueen, 6. 10-Brad Kuhn, 7. 51-R.J. Johnson.
“B” Feature (12 Laps): 1. 10-Brad Kuhn, 2. 7c-Caleb Armstrong, 3. 7a-Dalton Armstrong, 4. 57-Mike Spencer, 5. 51-R.J. Johnson, 6. 7-Shannon McQueen, 7. 9p-Parker Price-Miller, 8. 12-Josh Pelkey, 9. 55x-Nick Drake, 10. 05-Jake Swanson, 11. 22az-Rick Shuman, 12. 91a-Aaron Reutzel, 13. 37-Trey Marcham, 14. 39x-Kyle Edwards, 15. 11a-Andrew Felker.
“A” Feature (30 Laps – Starting position in parentheses): 1. 56-Darren Hagen (4), 2. 99-Brady Bacon (6), 3. 71-Christopher Bell (5), 4. 67k-Rico Abreu (1), 5. 39-Bryan Clauson (20), 6. 7c-Caleb Armstrong (7), 7. 73-Dave Darland (3), 8. 67-Tanner Thorson (11), 9. 3F-Jerry Coons, Jr. (10), 10. 10-Brad Kuhn (16), 11. 91T-Tyler Thomas (17), 12. 4-Bobby East (9), 13. 24-Tracy Hines (12), 14. 68-Ronnie Gardner (13), 15. 11a-Andrew Felker (23), 16. 57-Mike Spencer (21), 17. 9p-Parker Price-Miller (14), 18. 37-Trey Marcham (24), 19. 7a-Dalton Armstrong (13), 20. 7-Shannon McQueen (8) 21. 55-Taylor Ferns (18), 22. 51-R.J. Johnson (22), 23. 2-Levi Roberts (19), 24. 3-Chris Windom (2). DNS: 5d-Zach Daum.
Lap Leaders: Darren Hagen 1-2, Rico Abreu 3-9, Hagen 10-16, Brady Bacon 17-18, Hagen 19-30.
USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 77-Casey Shuman, 2. 21-Tracy Hines, 3. 11c-Michael Curtis, 4. 74x-Chad Boespflug, 5. 7m-Mike Spencer, 6. 28-Jacob Hawkins, 7. 18-Dustin Cormany, 8. 41w-Rick Ziehl.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 20-Bryan Clauson, 2. 12-Josh Pelkey, 3. 3x-Jimmy Crawford, 4. 3F-Geoff Ensign, 5. 45-Jason Grady, 6. 60-Steven Harms, 7. 19-Andrew Reinbold, 8. 5-Tye Mihocko.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 20s-Jon Stanbrough, 2. 32b-Brian Hosford, 3. 16-Mike Martin, 4. 98-Matt Lundy, 5. 97-Kevin Thomas, Jr., 6. 5x-Jody Wirth, 7. 9s-Johnny Shelton, Jr.
First Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. 20-Bryan Clauson, 2. 7m-Mike Spencer, 3. 20s-Jon Stanbrough, 4. 11c-Michael Curtis, 5. 41w-Rick Ziehl, 6. 5x-Jody Wirth, 7. 60-Steven Harms, 8. 12-Josh Pelkey.
Second Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. 45-Jason Grady, 2. 77-Casey Shuman, 3. 21-Tracy Hines, 4. 5-Tye Mihocko, 5. 3F-Geoff Ensign, 6. 9s-Johnny Shelton, Jr., 7. 28-Jacob Hawkins, 8. 32b-Brian Hosford.
Third Qualifying Race (8 Laps): 1. 74x-Chad Boespflug, 2. 16-Mike Martin, 3. 97-Kevin Thomas, Jr., 4. 3x-Jimmy Crawford, 5. 19-Andrew Reinbold, 6. 18-Dustin Cormany, 7. 98-Matt Lundy.
“A” Feature (30 Laps – Starting position in parentheses): 1. 20-Bryan Clauson (1), 2. 21-Tracy Hines (2), 3. 20s-Jon Stanbrough (6), 4. 74x-Chad Boespflug (4), 5. 97-Kevin Thomas, Jr. (11), 6. 77-Casey Shuman (5), 7. 41w-Rick Ziehl (14), 8. 3F-Geoff Ensign (12), 9. 5-Tye Mihocko (13), 10. 11c-Michael Curtis (10), 11. 32b-Brian Hosford (15), 12. 28-Jacob Hawkins (22), 13. 5x-Jody Wirth (21), 14. 7m-Mike Spencer (8), 15. 19-Andrew Reinbold (19), 16. 45-Jason Grady (7), 17. 16-Mike Martin (3), 18. 98-Matt Lundy (17), 19. 60-Steven Harms (20), 20. 3x-Jimmy Crawford (9), 21. 9s-Johnny Shelton, Jr. (16), 22. 18-Dustin Cormany (18). DNS: 12-Josh Pelkey.
Lap Leaders: Bryan Clauson 1-30.