3rd Season of Sprint Car Bandits Series Closes with Thrilling Night of Racing Atop an Insanely Fast LoneStar Speedway
Kilgore, TX (09/30/18) by DarinShort.com. Twenty-one NCRA 360C.I. Sprint Car Bandits series teams rolled through the pit entrance on Saturday night to find an insanely fast LoneStar Speedway growling back at them saying ‘come and get it.’
Sam Hafertepe and his track crew had the surface set for full-tilt, and it did not disappoint. Drivers would flat-foot the high banked 1/3 mile track with lap times in the 13-second bracket all night long.
Yet, there was only a combined total of two yellow lights during the entire racing event.
But that didn’t mean it went without some hair-raising moments.
21 teams would roll out on the track for the 25-lap finale, with young Scott Evans earning the pole position after accumulating the most finishing and passing points in the heat races. Fellow youngster Michael Day would line up outside front row after a strong run in his heat race.
Marcus Thomas would line up third. And yes, this is the same Marcus Thomas that earlier this season had experienced a very serious wreck at a sprint car race in Louisiana and has sat out the season recovering.
You certainly wouldn’t know that he had been out of a race car for months, as he drove masterfully the entire night.
As the feature event took the green flag, Michael Day bolted out to a strong lead with Marcus Thomas getting by Evans for second.
Thomas would then track down Day and the two would swap the lead several times before Thomas would take the point cleanly around lap 7.
But about a half of a lap later, a car would get crossed up and the race went into yellow flag conditions. Without the lap being completed, the running order reverted back to the last completed lap.
On the restart, Day would once again pace the field. In no time, Thomas would continue his cat-and-mouse game and the two would swap the lead a few times more before Thomas would get completely clear of Day and jump out to a 5-car lead.
The race continued green until around lap 14 when Dustyn Welch’s engine caught a brief fire, forcing the field to closed-red flag conditions. The brief fire extinguished itself, with the driver A-OK, and the race quickly resumed.
There were still 18 cars running on the restart and in only four laps the leaders were experiencing heavy lapped traffic. In the meantime, great runs through the field by Dale Wester and Chance McCrary would keep fans busy trying to keep up with all of the happenings.
During the high-speed lapped traffic game, Day would continue to catch Thomas as the field was shredding through lapped cars, and then things got real very quickly.
Two lapped cars were directly ahead of the leader Thomas, who chose the higher groove on corner three entry, and with Day poised to make a pass for the lead, the fast closing rate on the lapped cars coupled with Day getting on the binders to get whoa’d down, resulted in Day getting into the left rear tire of Thomas. As the pair came down the frontstretch, the air quickly escaped Thomas’ tire and he was forced pit-side for the remaining handful of laps.
There was no need for a caution, as Thomas would cleanly and carefully get off the track, and Day would take the checkers first. Scott Evans performed brilliantly throughout the event, garnering his best-ever Sprint Car Bandits series finish, coming home in second. 2018 Sprint Car Bandits series champion Colby Estes would earn a very stout third-place finish as he was battling with Evans in the closing laps.
Dale Wester would climb from 11th to finish in 4th, with Tyson Hall rounding out the top five.
After experiencing a tight sprint car in his heat, young Chance McCrary would set a blistering pace throughout the event, coming from 17th to finish 6th.
And part of what makes the Sprint Car Bandits series different than many, is what happened immediately after the feature race.
As the top finishers of the feature race lined up in their customary Sprint Car Bandits style for driver awards and interviews, when Michael Day jumped out of his car in victory lane, in a true showing of sportsmanship, he skipped victory lane and walked directly into the infield, and walked right up to Marcus Thomas and apologized for getting into him in that heavy lapped traffic incident late in the race.
Day commented to the appreciative LoneStar fans: “I had a run on Marcus going in to corner three with those lap cars directly ahead and knowing the race was about over, I wanted to crowd him a bit, but I sure didn’t mean to get into him like I did.” The LoneStar crowd gave him a big round of applause – as they know they had just witnessed a relative rarity in this sport of dirt track racing with this showing of good sportsmanship.
The Sprint Car Bandits series is cultivating a really strong group of drivers with a new attitude of racing hard, yet with the utmost respect for the sport itself. And we’re super proud at the series of where we were at just three years ago to where we are at now – and where we are going.
In a closed pre-race driver/owner meeting, SCB teams were given a roll-out of the 2019 SCB series initiatives and plan – and it was met with resounding support directed back to the series from those teams. In a later press release we will divulge the details of those initiatives and roll out the 2019 season to everyone. Note that our existing rules package is going to remain essentially identical to the past three seasons.
If you are a sprint car driver that is interested in learning more about our 2019 game plan and how you can become a series driver, I would highly suggest contacting one of the Sprint Car Bandits teams that raced last night for details. But I would recommend you do this quickly, as we had resounding support for our new series initiatives – which are only available ‘while supplies last’ to a couple more qualified teams.
Thank you again to everyone that supported this event and for LoneStar Speedway for giving the drivers such a fantastic facility to showcase their skills on. The checkers flew in the Sprint Car Bandits series feature last night at 9:40pm, giving the traveling teams ample time to return home at a decent time.
Heat race winners last night were Tyson Hall, Scott Evans and Gary Floyd of San Angelo.
Here’s your unofficial finishing order (click www.SprintCarBandits.com in the days to come for official results and points): Michael Day ($2,000), Scott Evans, Colby Estes, Dale Wester, Tyson Hall, Chance McCrary, Jacob Harris, Gary Floyd, Will Eggimann, Brad Wesp, Tyler Harris, Claud Estes III (who also received the Sprint Car Bandits series ‘Most Popular SCB Driver’ award, as voted upon by his fellow drivers, presented and sponsored by MowTime and owner Lynn McCrary), Josh Hawkins, Junior Jenkins (be watching our site/Facebook page to see his great looking Jason Johnson tribute wrap, as he was close friends with Jason), Marcus Thomas, Tommy Hall, Mark Zoeller, Jason Howell, Dustyn Welch, Cody Hall and Tony Russell.
We would like to thank the sponsors of the Sprint Car Bandits series: Rodd Hanna's Air Performance, A&M Glass Service, Palm Harbor Homes, Kustom Craft Exhibits, Gen-Tech at FixYourGenerator.com, Mow Time in Farmersville, RockAuto.com, Pro-Tech Service Co., Scott Baylor Racing Engines, American Elevator Technologies, South Dallas Battery & Electric Co., Gary Floyd Homes, Utility Trailer of Dallas, Inc., DFW Urethane, Valvoline Express Care of Seagoville, www.ShopTheBOSS.com , www.DarinShort.com and the SCB points fund is sponsored by Smiley’s Racing Products & Hoosier Tire Southwest.
If your business is interested in getting involved with the SCB series, please contact [email protected] . There are effective programs available for all sizes of budgets.
LoneStar Speedway still has two big events left on the 2018 schedule, with the Elite Non-Winged Sprint Series championships on Saturday, November 10th and the highly popular LoneStar Topless Turkey Nationals for the COMP Cams Super Dirt Series on Saturday afternoon, November 24th. A full compliment of quality LoneStar divisions will be on each racing card. Click www.LoneStarSpeedway.com for more details.
Be watching for the 2018 Sprint Car Bandits series recap, which will include details about the 13 different winners – with age ranges spanning over 30 years.
For event pictures, go to ‘Sprint Car Bandits’ on Facebook and you will find lots of them posted within this press release post.
Here's Junior Jenkins tribute wrap to fallen friend and racer Jason Johnson: