By LONNIE WHEATLEY
SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ – Canada’s Ricky Weiss cashed in on the opening leg of the 12th Annual Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by O’Reilly Auto Part by racing to a $5,000 Super Late Model victory in Saturday night’s headliner atop the 1/3-mile FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway.
After surrendering the point prior to midway to Chris Simpson, the Manitoba racer rallied back by on the high side in the closing rounds to top the initial round of Black Diamond/Club 29 Super Late Models presented by M&W Transportation competition.
“This is a great field, it’s the best of the best and feels good to be here,” Weiss said in Hoker Trucking Victory Lane.
While Weiss enjoyed Super Late Model victory lane, Ricky Thornton, Jr., and Scott Bintz visited Hoker Trucking Victory Lane in Wild West Shootout action as well by besting the USRA Modifieds and X-Modifieds, respectively, as a total of 139 cars filled the pit area for the first of six rounds of competition over the next eight days.
In the Black Diamond/Club 29 Super Late Models presented by M&W Transport feature, Weiss lead the initial 17 circuits before Simpson slipped by on the low side exiting turn two on the 18th round.
But, as Simpson approached lapped traffic in the latter stages, Weiss spied an opportunity to pounce back on the lead.
“We closed on the 18 car (Chase Junghans), he moved to the top and pulled away,” Weiss related. “I moved up there not thinking it would be that good, but I found out it was a lot better.”
Weiss raced back around Simpson on the high side to take command for keeps on the 34th round, putting himself in line for a potential Keyser Manufacturing $250,000 bonus for the driver that can top all six rounds.
Iowa’s Simpson settled for runner-up honors, commenting that, “It sucks leading that many laps and losing like that, but all in all it was a good night.”
Tennessee’s Mike Marlar filled out the podium in third with Brandon Sheppard and Garrett Alberson rounding out the top five.
Chandler, Arizona’s Ricky Thornton, Jr., picked right up where he left off last year, racing to victory lane in the 25-lap MVT/Border International USRA Modified presented by Arizona Differential feature event after topping last year’s Wild West Shootout points.
After three aborted starts, fourth-starter Thornton, Jr., split the front row of Josh Angst and Matt Leer at the outset en route to a wire-to-wire triumph in the non-stop affair.
“They didn’t give me as much room after the first couple of restarts, I think I just wanted it more,” Thornton, Jr., said in victory lane. “The car was really good on the restarts and then we went to the bottom, we were geared for that and not the top.”
It worked out well for Thornton, Jr., as he cruised out front the entire distance with Lucas Schott taking runner-up honors ahead of Stormy Scott, who rallied from 12th to the show position in the early rounds. Angst and Justin Kay rounded out the top five.
In RHRSwag.com X-Mods presented by Barnett Harley-Davidson action, Jamestown, North Dakota’s Scott Bintz found his way back into victory lane by wiring the field from the pole position in the 20-lapper.
“I didn’t think I’d ever get back here,” Bintz exclaimed in Hoker Trucking Victory Lane. “It has been a long dry spell at the Wild West Shootout.”
Bintz left little doubt about this one, leading the duration to the stripe ahead of Cole Searing, Lucas Roden, Stephen Muilenberg and Shawn Fernkes.
The Wild West Shootout continues at FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway on Sunday with racing action set to go green at 5:00 p.m. with ensuing rounds to follow on Wednesday, January 10, and then Friday through Sunday, January 12-14.
A $5,000 winner’s share is up for grabs for the Super Late Models through the opening five nights of competition before the stakes are upped to $13,000-to-win for the January 14 finale.
Advanced tickets may be purchased online at www.wildwestshootout.net/schedule/ and ticket pricing/purchasing information can be found at www.wildwestshootout.net or by calling the Wild West Shootout office at 520-664-2074.
Wild West Shootout Hotel Information can be found at http://www.wildwestshootout.net/fan-info/lodging-2/ or by calling La Quinta Inn & Suites at 480-844-8747. The La Quinta Phoenix Mesa West is located at 902 W. Grove in Mesa, AZ.
Saturday and Sunday races will go green at 5 p.m. with Wednesday and Friday events starting at 7 p.m.
Arizona Speedway is located just minutes from Phoenix. From Phoenix, take US 60 east to Ironwood Dr., turn right (south) and go four miles, Arizona Speedway is on the right hand side. For more information, visit www.wildwestshootout.net or call 520-664-2074.
The 2018 Wild West Shootout is made possible by Keyser Manufacturing, O’Reilly Auto Parts, FK Rod Ends, Black Diamond/Club 29 Race Cars, M&W Transport, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Border International Trucks, Arizona Differential, RHR RacingSwag, Barnett Harley Davidson, Hoker Trucking, Total Seal Piston Rings, Karl Performance, Textron Off-Road, Shaw Trucking, M&S Concrete, AR Bodies, Earnhardt Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge Ram, Pro Power Engines, VP Racing Fuel, Penske Racing Shocks and Hoosier Tires.
Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts Results
FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway – Saturday, January 6, 2018
Black Diamond/Club 29 Super Late Models presented by M&W Transportation (50 Cars):
Heat Winners: 42s-Don Shaw, 157-Mike Marlar, 7w-Ricky Weiss, 37-Scott Ward, 01-Garrett Alberson, 32-Chris Simpson.
“B” Main Winners: 18-Chase Junghans, 2T-Ryan Gustin.
Pro Power Dash Winner: 44x-Clint Smith.
“A” Main (40 Laps): 1. 7w-Ricky Weiss, 2. 32-Chris Simpson, 3. 157-Mike Marlar, 4. B5-Brandon Sheppard, 5. 01-Garrett Alberson, 6. 42s-Don Shaw, 7. 97-Cade Dillard, 8. 16-Austin Siebert, 9. 75-Terry Phillips, 10. 90-Lance Malthees, 11. 86-Kyle Beard, 12. 32p-Bobby Pierce, 13. 2T-Ryan Gustin, 14. 0-Jake O’Neil, 15. 18-Chase Junghans, 16. 89-Mike Spatola, 17. 20-Rodney Sanders, 18. 12-Nick Bartels, 19. 96rc-R.C. Whitwell, 20. 15-Justin Duty, 21. 7d-Austin Theiss, 22. 37-Scott Ward, 23. 3k-Tanner Kellick, 24. 15k-Justin Kay.
MVT/Border International USRA Modifieds presented by Arizona Differential (48 Cars)
“A” Main (25 Laps): 1. 20RT-Ricky Thornton, Jr., 2. 69-Lucas Schott, 3. 2s-Stormy Scott, 4. 99-Josh Angst, 5. 15k-Justin Kay, 6. 1s-Johnny Scott, 7. 23-Adam Kates, 8. 7a-Shane Sabraski, 9. 23x-Matt Gilbertson, 10. 44-Christy Barnett, 11. 18z-Zane Devilbiss, 12. 65x-Carlos Ahumada, Jr., 13. G17-Fito Gallardo, 14. 19-Lucas Rodin, 15. 6-Casey Skyberg, 16. 6d-Dylan Goplen, 17. 30-Matt Leer, 18. 2J-Blake Jegtvig, 19. 7k-Jason Krohn, 20. 96rc-R.C. Whitwell, 21. 2a-Casey Arneson, 22. 19sb-Lance Mari, 23. 71-Dustin Strand, 24. J17-Jake Gallardo.
RHRSwag.com X-Mods presented by Barnett Harley-Davidson (41 Cars)
“A” Main (20 Laps): 1. 1s-Scott Bintz, 2. 0-Cole Searing, 3. 19-Lucas Roden, 4. 39-Stephen Muilenburg, 5. 99-Shawn Fernkes, 6. 30-Dewayne Tesch, 7. 44JT-Jamie Torres, 8. 10c-Cole Hauglend, 9. 777-Mike Rosales, 10. 88-Nathan Smith, 11. 32-Eric Hauglane, 12. 55-Mike Hailman, 13. 57x-Chad Horst, 14. 14-Shawn Strong, 15. 51w-Ronald Webster, 16. 6c-Kalvin Caitlin, 17. 7T-Joseph Thomas, 18. 3J-Josh Cain, 19. 71-Dustin Strand, 20. 16-Jason Vanderkamp, 21. 782-Jeremiah Christensen, 22. 22-Jesse Haynye, 23. 07-Donovan Flores, 24. 6-Dean Eggebraaten.