Perris, California…….Mike Spencer of Temecula, California kicked off the defense of his Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction win from last year by coming out on top of a late restart to win Thursday’s “Special Event” between the Southwest and West Coast Sprint Car series at Perris Auto Speedway.
Spencer moved past early leader Richard Vander Weerd on lap five and led comfortably until AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Bryan Clauson ran him down and used a turn-three slide-job on lap twenty to take the lead. Clauson led Spencer and a hard-charging Matt Mitchell as the race hit five laps to go, but an issue for a car right in front of the leaders brought out a caution with just four to go.
On that restart, Clauson got away as Spencer and Mitchell fought for second, but another yellow reappeared after just a lap, setting up a three-lap run to the checkers.
Clauson again hit the bottom in one and two, as he had before, but this time Spencer jumped to the top and gained enough momentum to throw a slider for the lead into turn-three. It stuck, and the perennial CRA Series champion held off all challenges over the final two laps to win in the Roy Miller Freightlines – Sander Engineering #7 Maxim/Priestley.
“It wasn’t looking good for a while, but we’ve been on the other end of that and lost them late, so we’ll take it for sure. I was loose at the end of the race, so I decided to go to the top where there was some grip. I could see Matt (Mitchell) get to my outside the restart before, so I knew it must be decent. I figured I’d try it, and my dad gave me a signal that the bottom was good enough for a slider into three. I hit that and got a good drive across the center, and after that I just did a slide-job pattern and it was actually pretty fast,” Spencer said.
As Mitchell threw a slider for second on the final set of corners, Clauson bobbled on the cushion and got into the wall, pirouetting and ending his night in a precarious spot atop turns three and four. Meanwhile, Mitchell raced away to score second in the MPD Racing – A.R.T. Enterprises #37 Maxim/Priestley.
“I didn’t need the yellow at lap 26, because we were better on the long run. It took me a couple laps to get going again around the top. I know for sure we were catching Mike (Spencer) on the long run before that. Bryan just had lost his momentum and left the bottom open on the last corner and we were able to come home second,” Mitchell said.
Ryan Bernal raced among the top-five throughout the race before coming home third in the Metal Works – Red Line Oil #56 Maxim/S&S.
“I was sitting back, watching those guys at the end, thinking something big might happen. I struggled to figure out where everybody was going and where I needed to be at the beginning, but once we got in a rhythm up top, we could pick off some cars,” Bernal said.
Brody Roa started 21st after transferring from one of the B Mains and rallied to finish fourth in the BR Performance – HD Industries #91R Spike/RC, and Jon Stanbrough came from 17th to finish fith in the Berry Pack – King Racing Products #73 Spike/Raney.
USAC WEST COAST/SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR “SPECIAL EVENT” RACE RESULTS: October 31, 2013 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway – 18th Budweise “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction
QUALIFYING: 1. Charles Davis, Jr., 50, Massey-16.739; 2. Bryan Clauson, 16B, Martin-16.767; 3. Mike Spencer, 7, Priestley-16.851; 4. Jon Stanbrough, 73, Ford-16.902; 5. Johnathon Henry, 17, Henry-16.949; 6. Shon Deskins, 20, SDR-16.966; 7. Troy Rutherford, 11, Rutherford-17.004; 8. Danny Faria, Jr., 17v, Faria-17.035; 9. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-17.045; 10. Landon Hurst, 179, Hurst-17.136; 11. Ryan Bernal, 56, Phulps-17.137; 12. R.J. Johnson, 77M, Michaels-17.160; 13. Jimmy Crawford, 3x, Crawford-17.169; 14. Colby Copeland, 74, Williams-17.223; 15. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.242; 16. Mike Martin, 16, Martin-17.265; 17. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-17.285; 18. Cory Kruseman, 21K, Kruseman-17.297; 19. Don Gansen, 7G, Gansen-17.348; 20. Bruce St. James, 7K, St. James-17.361; 21. Tom Hendricks, 14K, Kruseman-17.364; 22. Dennis Howell, 62, Howell-17.394; 23. Victor Davis, 13, Davis-17.416; 24. Bob Ream, Jr., 8, BRaT-17.457; 25. Brody Roa, 91, BR-17.467; 26. Jeff Sibley, 18, Watt-17.487; 27. J.J. Ercse, 14, Springstead-17.533; 28. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-17.548; 29. A.J. Bender, 12, Bender-17.578; 30. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.601; 31. Trent Williams, 52, Williams-17.639; 32. Andy Reinbold, 19, Underwood-17.645; 33. Austin Stone, 29, Coffman-17.730; 34. Kenny Perkins, 0, Perkins-19.313; 35. Stevie Sussex, 57, Stone-NT (time of 17.401 disallowed).
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Mitchell, 2. R. Vander Weerd, 3. C. Davis, 4. Hendricks, 5. Roa, 6. Crawford, 7. Henry, 8. Stone, 9. Bender.
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Kruseman, 2. Deskins, 3. Howell, 4. Martin, 5. Copeland, 6. Hurst, 7. C. Gansen, 8. Sibley, 9. Perkins.
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Bernal, 2. Spencer, 3. Rutherford, 4. J. Vander Weerd, 5. D. Gansen, 6. Sussex, 7. Williams, 8. V. Davis, 9. Ercse.
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Johnson, 2. Ream, 3. Faria, 4. Martin, 5. Ennis, 6. St. James, 7. Reinbold, 8. Stanbrough.
DASH: (4 laps) 1. R. Vander Weerd, 2. Faria, 3. Spencer, 4. Bernal, 5. Rutherford, 6. C. Davis, 7. Deskins, 8. Clauson.
FIRST B MAIN: (10 laps) 1. Stanbrough, 2. Hurst, 3. Roa, 4. Copeland, 5. Sussex, 6. Stone, 7. St. James, 8. Ercse, 9. Williams, 10. Bender.
SECOND B MAIN: (10 laps) 1. D. Gansen, 2. Henry, 3. Crawford, 4. Reinbold, 5. Ennis, 6. C. Gansen, 7. V. Davis, 8. Sibley.
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Mike Spencer, 2. Matt Mitchell, 3. Ryan Bernal, 4. Brody Roa, 5. Jon Stanbrough, 6. R.J. Johnson, 7. Troy Rutherford, 8. Richard Vander Weerd, 9. Jace Vander Weerd, 10. Mike Martin, 11. Dennis Howell, 12. Bryan Clauson, 13. Tom Hendricks, 14. Bob Ream, Jr., 15. Don Gansen, 16. Danny Faria, Jr., 17. Charles Davis, Jr., 18. Cory Kruseman, 19. Johnathon Henry, 20. Jimmy Crawford, 21. Landon Hurst, 22. Shon Deskins.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 R. Vander Weerd, Laps 5-19 Spencer, Laps 20-27 Clauson, Laps 28-30 Spencer.
NEXT USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR RACE: November 14-16 – Peoria, Arizona – Canyon Speedway Park – 46th Annual “Western World Championships”
NEXT USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE “SPECIAL EVENT”: November 14-16 – Peoria, Arizona – Canyon Speedway Park – 46th Annual “Western World Championships”