(Image Credit: Pat Grant)
MESQUITE, Texas “To finish first, you must first finish” is very applicable quote from legendary driver, Rick Mears, when talking about the race Saturday night at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway as John Carney II held off several attempts from Sammy Swindell for the win in the 43rd annual Winter Nationals with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network.
With the rubber down on the Devil’s Bowl, the race was about patience. Falling to second on the initial start, the caution brought the field back to a complete restart as four cars tangled on the front stretch.
Gluing the Lubbock Wrecker Service No. 11x to the hub, Carney was chased the first lap by Sammy Swindell before the caution flew upon completion of the opening lap for Travis Rilat who rolled to a stop exiting the third turn.
“I pretty much knew after I messed up on the first start, that if I ever gave him [Sammy] the bottom, he’d be able to beat me,” said Carney. “With the track conditions like this, the win is pretty much a gift to myself but I’ll take it either way.”
At speed, Swindell all but pushed Carney around the famed half-mile. Never falling more than three car lengths from the No. 11x, Swindell’s biggest opportunity to advance came on Lap 10. Missing the line, Carney slide wide off the second turn. With a haze of blue following, Swindell ran the nose of the Acme Graphix No. 3s to Carney’s left rear but would have to roll out of the throttle to avoid the Hoosier climb.
All but beating the bumper off the No. 3s trying to rattle the El Paso native, Carney would not be shaken for his first career Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network A-Feature win. Carney is the 136th overall winner in Lucas Oil ASCS competition and fifth first time winner in 2016.
“It’s a shame, we showed him where the line was. I had it on the start, and I knew what to do and where to go but we definitely had a faster car,” said Swindell who crossed the checkered flag 0.388 seconds behind Carney.
“My corner speed was so much better, and to be able to run up behind someone that close, you usually lose the front end real bad but our car was able to just stay there and run with him. I was surprised at how good it was being that close too, but if we could have ever gotten out in the open; I was gone.”
Riding third start to finish was Johnny Herrera.
“It was 25 laps, and I knew it was going to be hard on tires so I could have run up there and been on their back bumpers and ran third, or stayed conservative and been there if they bumped wheel and missed the rubber so I just rode.”
Sam Hafertepe, Jr. trailed Herrera to the line with Aaron Reutzel coming across fifth. From ninth, Tony Bruce, Jr. was able to get to sixth with Andy Shouse digging his way from 17th to seventh. Brandon Long crossed eighth with Logan Forler mounting an impressive charge from 18th to ninth. Joe Wood, Jr. ended up rounding out the top-ten. Wood was one of the few drivers to try the high line.
Saturday’s finale of the 43rd Devil’s Bowl Winter Nationals saw 45 drivers checking in. Five Heat Races were topped by Josh Baughman, Alex Hill, Sam Hafertepe, Jr. Jamie Ball, and Kevin Ramey. Qualifiers were won by Scottie McDonald, Tony Bruce, Jr. and Brandon Long. A pair of B-Features saw Andy Shouse and Logan Forler with wins. The night’s only provisional was used by Brandon Hanks.
The next event for the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network will be the Fall Fling at Creek County Speedway in Sapulpa, Okla. on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5.
For continued updates on the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network, log onto http://www.ascsracing.com.
ASCS National / ASCS Red River
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – Mesquite, Texas
43rd annual Winter Nationals – Night 2
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Car Count: 45
Event Count: 47
Author: ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series