Reigning STN champion Sammy Swindell is among the latest batch of entries as the first official green flag at I-30 Speedway’s 25th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires flies in just nine more days.
Two-time STN winner Swindell and son Kevin Swindell, a three-time and reigning Chili Bowl champion, along with the likes of Shane Stewart, Danny Lasoski and more are set to battle it out atop the high-banked, ¼-mile I-30 Speedway on October 25-27 after a Test ‘N Tune session on Wednesday, October 24.
This year’s edition of the Short Track Nationals offers up a $15,000 winner’s share with $2,500 to start the Saturday night, October 27, STN championship finale. More than $100,000 in purse money will be distributed over the course of the weekend, including nearly $80,000 in the championship feature event alone.
Last October, veteran Sprint Car ace Sammy Swindell claimed third in the Friday night qualifying feature behind Lasoski and Jason Sides before battling past Shane Stewart on the 13th lap in the Saturday night finale en route to his second STN crown and first since 1990.
Swindell’s triumph was his second top five in the past three years after rebounding from a flat tire to claim fifth in 2009 after setting the pace in the initial circuits. Along with his first STN triumph in 1990, Swindell also claimed runner-up honors in other early renditions of the event in 1988 and 1991.
Swindell has enjoyed a strong 2012 season, sitting atop the World of Outlaw win charts with a dozen triumphs while also setting a series’ best 14 quick times.
The younger Swindell, Kevin, who has split time between the Sprint Car ranks and a limited slate of ARCA Stock Car action, is set to make his first STN appearance since claiming runner-up honors as a 16-year-old in 2005. Kevin Swindell, who posted an ARCA win earlier this season, scored his first Lucas Oil ASCS National win as well this year at Salina, KS.
Perennially a top contender at the Short Track Nationals, Bixby, OK, native Shane Stewart will try to park Joe Gaerte’s No. 3g machine in the winner’s circle next Saturday night. Stewart, who reeled off his third consecutive Knoxville 360 Nationals triumph in August, has posted four STN podium finishes including runner-up finishes in 2003 and 2007 and third-place showings in 2009 and 2011.
Teaming with Nebraska car owner Mark Burch, Missouri’s Danny Lasoski has finished among the top five in the STN finale twice in recent years. Lasoski was fifth in 2008 and then fourth last year after topping the Friday night prelim.
The addition of these and several other strong contenders to the early group of entries that included the likes of Jason Johnson, Wayne Johnson, Tony Bruce, Jr., Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Johnny Herrera, Travis Rilat and more already has the 25th Annual Short Track Nationals entry list shaping up as one of the stoutest in event history.
The early entry deadline for the event is tomorrow, Wednesday, October 17. Entries submitted by then are just $150. Entries submitted after the October 17 deadline are $250. Entry forms are available at www.i-30speedway.com/flyers/stn_2011.pdf or by calling 501-455-4567. The complete entry list will be unveiled within two to three days of the October 17 early entry deadline.
The Pertinent Info:
The What: 25th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires.
The Where: I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR). I-30 Speedway is located seven miles southwest of Little Rock off I-30 Exit 126 (Alexander Road).
The When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 25-27, 2012. $15,000 to win the STN finale on October 27 with $2,500 to start the STN championship feature. Race time is 7:30 p.m. each night. Rain date is November 1-3. Test ‘N Tune session on Wednesday night, October 24.
The Format: The format introduced last year will once again be in effect. Approximately half the field will take to the track in the Thursday night qualifying event, with the other half in Friday’s qualifying event. The top three from each night will be locked into Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win, $2,500-to-start STN Championship Finale. Those six drivers will battle it out in Saturday’s Dash for Cash to determine the alignment of the front three rows of the championship main event.
Beyond that, drivers will be lined up on Saturday night in twin “B” Mains, twin “C” Mains, twin “D” Mains, twin “E” Mains and “F” Mains if necessary. Four drivers will transfer from each “F” to “E”, “E” to “D”, “D” to “C” and “C” to “B”, with seven advancing from each “B” Main to form the 20-car STN championship main event field.
The popular format of heats and qualifying races will once again be in place on qualifying nights. The top 14 in cumulative points from heats and qualifiers will be locked into that night’s main event, with two or three “B” Mains depending upon car count contested to fill out the qualifying night feature field.
Points earned in qualifying night heat races, qualifiers and features will set Saturday night’s feature lineups.
The Past Winners: Sammy Swindell (2011 and 1990), Brad Sweet (2010), Tony Bruce, Jr. (2009 and 2008), Jason Meyers (2007), Jason Johnson (2006), Tim Montgomery (2005), Gary Wright (2004, 2003, 1999 and 1995), Paul McMahan (2002), Jason Sides (2001), Mike Ward (2000), Tim Crawley (1998), Wayne Johnson (1997), Pete Butler (1996), Terry Gray (1994), John Gerloff (1993), Steve Kinser (1991, ’89 and ‘88). 1992 finale was rained out.
The Tickets: Advance tickets are on sale through Wednesday, October 24, no advance sales after that. Tickets ordered in advance are just $45 for all three nights. Day of show prices are $15 on Thursday and Friday and $25 on Saturday. To order tickets in advance or for more information, call the track at 501-455-4567 or e-mail orders to racing@I-30speedway.com. Children’s tickets will be available at the event for just $2 on both Thursday and Friday and then $5 on Saturday. There is a $1 per ticket surcharge for orders placed via credit/debit cards. Pit passes are $30 on both Thursday and Friday and $35 on Saturday.
The PPV: Can’t make your way to Little Rock, AR, for this prestigious event? For the first time ever, this year you can still catch every lap of the action on your computer via live Pay-Per-View. Just check out www.shorttracknationals.com for pricing and ordering information. Orders are being taken now.
The Trade Show & Midway: This year’s rendition of the Short Track Nationals will also include the Eighth Annual Short Track Nationals Trade Show & Midway. Fans, drivers & crews will have the opportunity to visit vendor displays, which opens at noon on Thursday and then at 9 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The deadline for guaranteed vendor space is Monday, October 22. Inquiries regarding vendor space should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding the 25th Annual COMP Cams Short Track Nationals presented by Hoosier Tires, contact I-30 Speedway at 501-455-4567.
by Lonnie Wheatley