Darland Doubles Up in Winter Challenge!
Lonnie Wheatley, PEORIA, Ariz. (January 26, 2014) – Indiana’s Dave Darland added his second consecutive Winter Challenge triumph in wire-to-wire fashion by taking the $3,000 winner’s share in Sunday night’s 30-lap USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Car feature event atop the 1/3-mile Canyon Speedway Park clay oval.
Gridding the feature field outside the front row, Darland led throughout to take the checkered flag ahead of a charging Charles Davis, Jr., who emerged from a wild battle for runner-up honors in Darland’s wake.
“We’ve had a great car since we unloaded on Friday night and the track was in great shape again,” Darland commented after his triumph in the third of six Winter Challenge rounds aboard the Casey Minks No. 1x entry.
With Darland taking Sprint Car honors, Ricky Thornton, Jr., matched him by topping the IMCA Modified ranks for the second night in a row. Ty Warner took Pure Stock honors for the second night as well as did Brenden Priest in the Mod Lites, with Tyler Seavey victorious in the Micro Sprints.
While Casey Shuman led the non-wing Sprint Car feature field to the green flag from the pole position, fellow front row starter Darland battled into the lead on the opening round then rode the high side of the 1/3-mile oval the rest of the way for his second win in a row after an early exit from the Friday night opener.
While Darland raced to the victory virtually unchallenged, the action in his wake was wild with Shuman holding down the runner-up slot before slipping to fifth in the final circuits after a late caution shuffled the top ten.
Just two cautions slowed Darland’s fast pace out front, including one after seven laps for a Mitch Mack spin in turn two and then one with just nine laps remaining when Colby Copeland and Dalten Gabbard got together in turn four. Copeland had held down the third position until slipping back after the initial caution.
With Shuman, R.J. Johnson, Stevie Sussex and Josh Pelkey on Darland’s tailtank on the lap 22 restart, it was sixth-runner Charles Davis, Jr., making the bottom of the track work to his advantage as he raced up to second by the 27th round and fell just a few car-lengths shy of Darland at the stripe.
Pelkey made his way around Shuman on the 28th lap to snare the show position behind Darland and Davis, Jr., with Ryan Bernal rallying from ninth to fourth in the final rounds.
Shuman rounded out the top five with reigning USAC Southwest champion R.J. Johnson in sixth. Aaron Reutzel raced from 20th to snare seventh with Sussex, Joshua Hodges and 19th-starter Mike Martin completing the top ten.
In the 25-lap IMCA Modified feature, Ricky Thornton, Jr., emerged from an early battle for the lead to take the win handily over 16th-starter Jesse Williamson with Tim Ward, Ryan Roath and Chris Olexicwiez in the top five.
Ty Warner took the lead from Speedy Madrid four laps into the Pure Stock feature and went to post the victory ahead of Madrid and John Parmeley.
For the second night in a row, Brenden Priest snared Mod Lite feature honors on the last lap over Chaz Baca, Jr., while Tyler Seavey became the third different winner in as many night of Micro Sprint action ahead of Jacob Hawkins and Dave Van Ess.
Canyon Speedway Park’s Winter Challenge resumes with Round Four on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.
Canyon Speedway Park
Winter Challenge Round Three Results:
USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Cars:
First Heat (8 Laps): 1. 5-Tye Mihocko, 2. 12j-Josh Grady, 3. 51-R.J. Johnson, 4. 4-Stevie Sussex, 5. 20-Shon Deskins, 6. 51x-Jimmy Crawford, 7. 55nm-David Dykes, 8. 45-Jason Grady.
Second Heat (8 Laps): 1. 74-Colby Copeland, 2. 21x-Casey Shuman, 3. 12-Josh Pelkey, 4. 92-Mitch Mack, 5. 73-Nic Faas, 6. 11c-Michael Curtis, 7. 21a-Aaron Reutzel.
Third Heat (8 Laps): 1. 1x-Dave Darland, 2. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 3. 111-Ryan Bernal, 4. 5d-Dalten Gabbard, 5. 74x-Josh Hodges, 6. 99-Brady Bacon, 7. 16-Mike Marin.
“A” Feature (30 Laps): 1. 1x-Dave Darland, 2. 50-Charles Davis, Jr., 3. 12-Josh Pelkey, 4. 111-Ryan Bernal, 5. 21x-Casey Shuman, 6. 51-R.J. Johnson, 7. 21a-Aaron Reutzel, 8. 4-Stevie Sussex, 9. 74x-Josh Hodges, 10. 16-Mike Martin, 11. 73-Nic Faas, 12. 99-Brady Bacon, 13. 5-Tye Mihocko, 14. 11c-Michael Curtis, 15. 45-Jason Grady, 16. 20-Shon Deskins, 17. 51x-Jimmy Crawford, 18. 12j-Josh Grady, 19. 55nm-David Dykes, 20. 74-Colby Copeland, 21. 5d-Dalten Gabbard, 22. 92-Mitch Mack.
Lap Leaders: Dave Darland 1-30.
“A” Feature (25 Laps): 1. 5m-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 2. W5-Jesse Williamson, 3. 4tw-Tim Ward, 4. 45-Ryan Roath, 5. 88c-Chris Olexicwiez, 6. 37-Mike Jergens, 7. 4T-Troy Heupel, 8. 23jr-Chris McCurdy, Jr., 9. 8T-Ty Rogers, 10. 25c-Rusty Corneliusen, 11. 99c-Jesse Sobbing, 12. 8c-Chad Anderson, 13. 44-Jason Noll, 14. 19sb-Lance Mari, 15. 3x-Jason Briese, 16. 14r-Donald Robinson, 17. 90.5-Tommy Fain, 18. L8-Bryan Schultz, 19. 75jr-Chaz Baca, Jr., 20. 19x-Jay Foster, 21. 24-Mike Martin, 22. 222-Larry Hood.
“A” Feature: 1. 90-Ty Warner, 2. 15-Speedy Madrid, 3. 92p-John Parmeley, 4. 28-Mike Herrera, 5. ACE-Doug Porter, 6. 08-Tyler Vache, 7. 54f-Guy Fite, 8. 22x-Richard Valrude, 9. 17m-Troy Mikkleson, 10. 96-Richard Shelly, 11. 5m-Zack Madrid.
“A” Feature: 1. X-Brenden Priest, 2. 75-Chaz Baca, Jr., 3. 77x-Austin Kuehl, 4. 55-Nick Gann, 5. 30-Lexus Gann, 6. 36-Mike Smith, 7. 9-Mark Hammill.
“A” Feature: 1. 82-Tyler Seavey, 2. 12-Jacob Hawkins, 3. 6-Dave Van Ess, 4. 2-Dennis Carrier, 5. 57-Kyle Huttenhow, 6. 41-Colton Hardy, 7. 94-Cassie Klenkie, 8. 8-Aaron Miller, 9. 42-Kenny Hilton, 10. 32-Ryan Lindhorst, 11. 55-Greg Pritts, 12. 53-Joe Pitts, 13. 45-Brandon Selph, 14. 89-Garrett Guilkey.