LAS VEGAS, NV – Nov. 20, 2009 – Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis. (Late Models) and Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M. (UMP DIRTcar Modifieds) were fastest on the opening night of the inaugural Silver State DIRTcar Championships, capturing Friday’s 20-lap preliminary A-Mains at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Mars, 37, continued to shine when he visits the half-mile oval outside Sin City, winning for the fifth time in seven starts since 2007. He blasted out of the fourth starting to pass Dean Moore of Grand Junction, Colo., for the lead on lap one and never looked back in the first-ever ‘topless’ dirt Late Model event at LVMS.
Driving his own Deppe Enterprises MB Customs car for the first time at LVMS, Mars maintained an advantage of about a half-straightaway over his nearest pursuer for much of the caution-free event. He pocketed $1,000 for his 18th overall victory of a spectacular 2009 season during which the ‘Ice Man’ became the first dirt Late Model driver in history to win three $50,000 crown-jewel races in a single campaign.
“It’s been an awesome year and we’re just trying to finish it up by having some fun out here in Vegas,” said Mars, who scored his previous victories at LVMS driving Jess Anderson’s Wyoming-based car. “We tried some different things and had a pretty good car, but I wasn’t as good in (turns) three and four and I should be. We gotta do a little scratching for tomorrow night.”
Mars crossed the finish line comfortably ahead of runner-up Chris Shannon of Merced, Calif., who slipped by Trevor Glaser of Tangent, Ore., on the final circuit. Glaser, who recently returned to action from a serious early-season arm injury, controlled second from lap four until being surprised by the 2008 Western Allstars DIRTcar Late Model Series champion rounding turns three and four for the last time.
Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas, Calif., finished fourth, earning the final automatic transfer spot into Saturday night’s 50-lap Silver State DIRTcar Championships feature. The top-four finishers in Friday’s A-Main will join Saturday night’s four heat winners in a dash to determine the first eight starting spots in the $5,000-to-win headliner.
Brad Pounds of Bakersfield, Calif., advanced from the eighth starting spot to complete the top five.
Rounding out the top 10 was Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., who started 14th; John Duty of Portland, Ore.; Eddie Kirchoff of Gillette, Wyo.; 2009 Northwest I-5 DIRTcar Late Model Tour champion Jeremy Shank of Salem, Ore.; and Andy Obertello of Hollister, Calif.
A solid field of 45 dirt Late Models were signed in for the rare full-fender show at LVMS. Drivers on hand hailed from seven different states, with California (23 entrants) claiming the most representatives.
Scott, meanwhile, dominated the companion UMP DIRTcar Modified feature, leading the 20-lapper from flag-to-flag. He started from the outside pole and outgunned front-row mate Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., to assume command on the opening circuit.
An up-and-coming young driver who turns 20 next month, Scott pulled away to defeat Marlar by a full straightaway margin in a race than ran non-stop from start-to-finish. He also won a heat race to sweep the evening’s UMP DIRTcar Modified action.
Marlar, a dirt Late Model regular who traveled to Vegas to drive a Bakersfield, Calif.-based UMP DIRTcar Modified, appeared to be in trouble when he spun in his heat race. But he rallied to win the preliminary and came back strong in the feature.
Grant Junghans of Manhattan, Kans., finished third, followed by Alex Stanford of Chowchilla, Calif., and 17th-starting Kirchoff, one of three dirt Late Model drivers to pull double-duty during the Silver State DIRTcar Championships.
The Silver State DIRTcar Championships concludes on Saturday night (Nov. 21) with headline events for the Late Models and UMP DIRTcar Modifieds (30 laps/$2,000 to win).
Additional info on all of the series, sanctioning and member tracks of DIRTcar Racing is available at www.DIRTcar.com.
Late Model Preliminary A-Main Finish (20 laps):
1. Jimmy Mars
2. Chris Shannon
3. Trevor Glaser
4. Bobby Hogge IV
5. Brad Pounds
6. Pat Doar
7. John Duty
8. Eddie Kirchoff
9. Jeremy Shank
10. Andy Obertello
11. Dean Moore
12. Zack Forster
13. Jason Papich
14. Clay Daly
15. Mike Kirby
16. Rob Mayea
17. Nick Bartels
18. Lonnie Parker Jr.
19. Mark Carrell
20. Terry Phillips
UMP DIRTcar Modified Preliminary A-Main Finish (20 laps):
1. Stormy Scott
2. Mike Marlar
3. Grant Junghans
4. Alex Stanford
5. Eddie Kirchoff
6. Brad Pounds
7. Royal Jones
8. Bobby Hogge IV
9. Joe Carr
10. Bobby Hogge III
11. Jeff Thomas
12. Mike Villanueva
13. Mark Allison
14. Ron Shinkle
15. John DeBenedetti
16. Harry Anderson
17. Chester Kniss
DNS – Kellen Chadwick
Late Model Group 1 Qualifying Times:
1. 32s-Chris Shannon/Merced, CA 18.281
2. 14M-Dean Moore/Grand Junction, CO 18.622
3. 8P-Lonnie Parker Jr./Phoenix, AZ 18.947
4. 32B-Clay Daly/Bakersfield, CA 18.950
5. 3-Johnny Malcolm/Corona, CA 18.954
6. 99-Scott Lewis/Henderson, CO 19.087
7. 8-John Lowrey/Bakersfield, CA 19.353
8. 1-Paul Stone/Merced, CA 19.486
9. 12K-A.J. Kirkpatrick/Castroville, CA 19.538
10. 12B-Ron Bartels/El Segundo, CA 20.889
11. 99T-Eric Turner/Springfield, MO N/T
Heat 1 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Moore, Shannon, Daly, Parker, Malcolm, Lowrey, Lewis, Fitzpatrick, Stone, R. Bartels (DNS) Turner
Late Model Group 2 Qualifying Times:
1. 2T-Trevor Glaser/Tangent, OR 18.721
2. 5K-Mike Kirby/Torrano, CA 18.758
3. 7-Billy Griffin/Buena Park, CA 18.905
4. 27-Nick Bartels/El Segundo, CA 18.968
5. 00-Eddie Kirchoff/Gillette, WY 19.186
6. 30-Jeremy Shank/Salem, OR 19.289
7. 83-Kellen Chadwick/Oakley, CA 19.300
8. 96T-R.C. Whitwell/Tucson, AZ 19.358
9. 48-Jeremy Thornton/Tucson, AZ 19.370
10. 10N-Robert Sanders/Bakersfield, CA 20.033
11. 5-John Duty/Portland, OR 20.395
Heat 2 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Glaser, Kirby, N. Bartels, Griffin, Thornton, Duty, Chadwick, Kirchoff, Shank, Sanders, Whitwell
Late Model Group 3 Qualifying Times:
1. 2-Bobby Hogge IV/Salinas, CA 18.623
2. 37-Rob Mayea/Bend, OR 19.563
3. 14JR-Terry Phillips/Springfield, MO 19.569
4. 29-Andy Obertello/Hollister, CA 20.148
5. 3V-Casey Vitale/Lebanon, OR 20.383
6. 91P-Jason Papich/Nipomo, CA 20.499
7. 22G-Paul Guglielmoni/Vacaville, CA 20.539
8. 58-Jim Giardina/Riverside, CA 21.384
9. 61-J.T. Botts/Broomfield, CO 21.404
10. 136-Lisa Stroup/Redmond, OR 21.461
11. 9-Doug Thompson/Sacramento, CA 21.900
Heat 3 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Hogge, Obertello, Phillips, Mayea, Papich, Vitale, Guglielmoni, Stroup, Thompson, Giiardina, Botts
Late Model Group 4 Qualifying Times:
1. 15B-Brad Pounds/Bakersfield, CA 18.784
2. 28M-Jimmy Mars/Menomonie, WI 18.896
3. 2J-Zack Forster/Bakersfield, CA 19.139
4. H20-Jess Anderson/Gillette, WY 19.621
5. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 19.468
6. 4R-Anthony Restad/Santa Rosa, CA 20.026
7. 51c-Randy Neal/Lincoln City, OR 20.362
8. 26-Mark Carrell/Redmond, OR 20.565
9. 39-Steve Lewis/Denver, CO 20.652
10. 23-Brad Williams/Arizona City, AZ 20.780
11. 91T-Tony Toste/Arroyo Grande, CA 21.056
12. 98-Alex Stanford/Chowchilla, CA N/T
Heat 4 Finish (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Mars, Pounds, Forster, Doar, Carrell, Restad, Lewis, Williams, Anderson, Neal, Toste (DNS) Stanford
Late Model B-Main No. 1 Finish (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Parker, Duty, Kirchoff, Shank, Thornton, Malcolm, Griffin, Whitwell, Scott Lewis, Fitzpatrick, Lowrey, Sanders, Stone, R. Bartels (DNS) Chadwick, Turner
Late Model B-Main No. 2 Finish (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Doar, Mayea, Papich, Carrell, Williams, Toste, Vitale, Anderson, Steve Lewis, Neal, Stroup, Restad, Guglielmoni, Botts, Giardina (DNS) Thompson, Stanford