Bryan Clauson Newest Oval Nationals Sprint Champ
PERRIS, CA -RIS- Bryan Clauson did an all 'nighter' after the race Friday, driving from Perris, California to Glendale, Arizona and back to get a new engine for his car. In Friday nights race his sprintcar engine had seized and blown causing a wreck during the second of three nights of racing in the 2015 edition of the “Budweiser Oval Nationals”. When he returned Saturday morning his crew had the car chassis apart and ready to put back together. All this 'thrashing' paid off in Bryan's first Oval Nationals win.
It had seemed to be Robert Ballou's race to lose as he had dominated the first two nights. The question was who could stop Ballou and the answer was Robert Ballou. That was his his assessment of the race after his fifth place finish. On lap 19 while fighting for second place with Thomas Meseraull he jumped the cushion in the fourth turn and lost two places. Although he appeared undamaged he had broken a shock absorber and his handling was off for the rest of the race. “I got too impatient.” He said after the race. He also indicated that he was confident he had everyone covered up until that point.
Kevin Thomas Jr. had started on the outside of the front row and lead from the start. Meseraull had been directly behind him at the start and had taken second place from Dave Darland on the second lap. After three early incidents where Josh Hodges broke an engine, debris was on the track and Ryan Bernal and Aaron Farney tangled the race enjoyed an extended period of green flag racing where Thomas lead easily and Ballou worked his way past Dave Darland and Thomas Meseraull to take second place. Meseraull had not given up and when Ballou jumped the cushion on lap 19 he was back in second.
It was on lap 23 that it went wrong for Kevin Thomas Jr. A brake rotor came apart and his car skidded in turn two. Meseraull slid into him but kept going to pass him. Meseraull appeared to have the lead but then turned into the work area to end his night. The collison with Thomas had almost completely crushed the exhaust header on the left side and ended his race.
This put Clauson into the lead and Robert Ballou back into second. On the restart Darland passed Ballou for second and then Damion Gardner took third from Ballou two laps later. Ballou fought back but Gardner finally came out on top while Clauson ran off to a 3 second lead in only a few laps. Very near the end of the race Tracy Hines took fourth from Ballou.
After the race there were a lot of long faces, as would be expected in a race where two drivers had retired while leading and where the odds on favorite blamed himself for his failure. Before the race Bryan Clauson had said how this race was one of his big missing wins in his sprintcar career and how he and his crew had worked just to be in the race after the problems on Friday. It was an emotional win framed by emotional loses and a night which will will long be remembered.
In the preliminaries Dave Darland won the dash race for the top six competitors from nights one and two. He was followed by Thomas, Meseraull, Hines, Bacon and Ballou in that order and that was the starting order for top six. Heat winners were Jon Stanbrough, Brody Roa, Aaron Farney and Chris Windom. Chase Stockon and Justin Grant were winners of the twin B features.
Robert Ballou left Perris with a 60 point lead over Dave Darland in the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Series while Damion opened up a 45 point lead over Michael Spencer in the AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Standings. Both series conclude with the "Western World Championships" in Tuscon, Arizona in a week.
AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: November 14, 2015 - Perris, California - Perris Auto Speedway - 20th "Budweiser Oval Nationals" - Presented by All-Coast Construction
QUALIFICATIONS:(Top 6 in points excluded - No Points) 1. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.575; 2. Justin Grant, 5, Baldwin-16.610; 3. Damion Gardner, 4, Alexander-16.713; 4. Bryan Clauson, 63, Dooling/Hayward-16.739; 5. Josh Hodges, 74X, Hodges-16.821; 6. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.920; 7. Chase Stockon, 32, 32/TBI-16.958; 8. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-16.972; 9. Jon Stanbrough, 81, Stanbrough-16.989; 10. Matt Mitchell, 37, Mitchell-17.050; 11. Aaron Farney, 15F, Farney-17.102; 12. Ronnie Gardner, 12A, Allen-17.107; 13. Ryan Bernal, 56, Phulps-17.140; 14. Brody Roa, 48, Leonard-17.198; 15. Jake Swanson, 92, Sertich-17.224; 16. Chris Windom, 21X, Pollock-17.266; 17. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.285; 18. Mike Spencer, 50, Chaffin-17.295; 19. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-17.326; 20. Chad Boespflug, 04G, Cook-17.380; 21. Geoff Ensign, 3F, Finkenbinder-17.405; 22. Danny Faria, 4D, Gansen-17.424; 23. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.464; 24. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.467; 25. Max Adams, 5M, Adams-17.503; 26. Lee Dakus, 75, Dakus-17.507; 27. Mitch Wissmiller, 36, Springstead-17.518; 28. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-17.600; 29. Kyle Edwards, 51E, Tafoya-17.633; 30. Parker Colston, 64, Gore-17.649; 31. Matt Rossi, 02, Rossi-17.730; 32. Verne Sweeney, 98JR, Tracy-17.800; 33. Tommy Malcolm, 5X, Napier-17.870; 34. David Bezio, 37X, Bezio-17.892; 35. Jeremy Ellertson, 98, Ellertson-17.923; 36. Logan Williams, 5J, Jory-17.958; 37. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-18.091; 38. Koby Barksdale, 12B, Blair-18.281; 39. Randy Waitman, Y69, Waitman-18.613; 40. Mike Collins, 04, Collins-18.761; 41. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-19.109.
FIRST HEAT:(10 laps - no points) 1. Stanbrough, 2. Bernal, 3. Hodges, 4. A.Williams, 5. Ensign, 6. Bender, 7. Edwards, 8. Adams. 2:53.02
SECOND HEAT:(10 laps - no points) 1. Roa, 2. R.Vander Weerd, 3. Mitchell, 4. Spencer, 5. Dakus, 6. Faria, 7. Colston, 8. Grant. NT
THIRD HEAT:(10 laps - no points) 1. Farney, 2. D.Gardner, 3. Swanson, 4. Stockon, 5. Johnson, 6. C.Williams, 7. Rossi, 8. Wissmiller. 2:52.82
FOURTH HEAT:(10 laps - no points) 1. Windom, 2. Clauson, 3. Leary, 4. R.Gardner, 5. J.Vander Weerd, 6. Boespflug, 7. Liggett, 8. Sweeney. 2:52.24
SUPER SIX DASH:(6 laps - no points) 1. Dave Darland (#71P Phillips/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Kevin Thomas Jr. (#17RW Dutcher), 3. Thomas Meseraull (#66 Amati) 4. Tracy Hines (#4X Hines), 5. Brady Bacon (#69 Dynamics) , 6. Robert Ballou (#12 Ballou). 1:46.52
FIRST SEMI:(12 laps - no points) 1. Stockon, 2. Hodges, 3. Leary, 4. Swanson, 5. Johnson, 6. J.Vander Weerd, 7. Ensign, 8. Bezio, 9. Bender, 10. Edwards, 11. L.Williams, 12. Sweeney, 13. Ellertson, 14. Barksdale, 15. Bell, 16. Collins, 17. Waitman. NT
SECOND SEMI:(12 laps - no points) 1. Grant, 2. Spencer, 3. Boespflug, 4. A.Williams, 5. C.Williams, 6. R.Gardner, 7. Rossi, 8. Mitchell, 9. Adams, 10. Colston, 11. Dakus, 12. Gansen, 13. Liggett, 14. Faria, 15. Malcolm. NT
FEATURE:(40 laps) 1. Bryan Clauson, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Damion Gardner, 4. Tracy Hines, 5. Robert Ballou, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Jon Stanbrough, 8. Chris Windom, 9. Chase Stockon, 10. Brody Roa, 11. Justin Grant, 12. Richard Vander Weerd, 13. C.J. Leary, 14. Chad Boespflug, 15. R.J. Johnson, 16. Mike Spencer, 17. Austin Williams, 18. Jake Swanson, 19. Cody Williams, 20. Logan Williams, 21. Matt Mitchell, 22. Kevin Thomas Jr., 23. Thomas Meseraull, 24. Ryan Bernal, 25. Aaron Farney, 26. Josh Hodges. NT
**Malcolm and Liggett flipped during the second semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-22 Thomas, Laps 23-40 Clauson
NEW AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS: 1-Ballou-2,090, 2-Darland-2,030, 3-Stockon-2,002, 4-Bacon-1,895, 5-Stanbrough-1,724, 6-Thomas-1,649, 7-Windom-1,517, 8-Leary-1,378, 9-Hines-1,342, 10-Grant-1,219.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-D.Gardner-1,266, 2-Spencer-1,221, 3-R.Vander Weerd-1,169, 4-Swanson-1,035, 5-A.Williams-1,024, 6-Roa-984, 7-Mitchell-799, 8-C.Williams-760, 9-L.Williams-663, 10-Bernal-563.
NEXT AMSOIL USAC NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: November 19 - Tucson, AZ - USA Raceway - "Western World Championships"
Results Courtesy USAC
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