Zomer, Sheppard, Johnson Grab Wins on Wild Night at Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals
A near-capacity crowd stuck around for Friday's Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte and were treated to a wild night of racing that saw first time winners and seasoned veterans hoist coveted World Finals trophies.
Dusty Zomer, Brandon Sheppard and Danny Johnson earned A-main feature wins in the wee morning hours of Saturday morning after rain and several red flags delayed the second day of World Finals action.
Despite the late hour, thousands of fans from 48 states and five foreign countries remained in the grandstands and were treated to the most competitive field of racing in the World Finals' nine-year history.
Zomer was able to hold off Greg Hodnett in the final nine laps to claim his first career World of Outlaws victory at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The impressive performance marked only Zomer's second top-five finish of the 2015 World of Outlaws season. Finishing second was Greg Hodnett, followed by Stevie Smith, Brad Sweet and Bryan Clauson rounding out the top-five.
Trey Starks and Joey Saldana brought the field down to the green flag to kick-off Friday's World of Outlaws Sprint Car A-Main action at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. The first caution of the feature came on lap 2, when Danny Lasoski spun in-between Turns 3 and 4. On the restart, it was once again, Starks and Saldana leading the way.
On lap 5, the caution was thrown for Brian Brown slowing out of Turn 4, but simultaneously, two-time Charlotte winner, Sammy Swindell and Bill Balong crashed in Turn 1. Balong took a wild ride as he got airborne and landed on his side. The red flag was displayed for clean-up. Bill Balong was able to walk away from his destroyed race car under his own power.
By lap 9, Starks and Saldana, battling for the lead, began to catch heavy traffic. Just as Saldana dove underneath Starks to challenge for the top spot, the caution came back out on lap 12 for Shane Stewart spinning in Turn 4. While under caution, race leader Trey Stark suffered a mechanical failure, forcing him to surrender the lead and drive back to the pit area.
Stark's bad luck was good fortune for Saldana, who inherited the lead with Dusty Zomer lining up beside him on the restart. Once the field took the green flag, it was World of Outlaws veteran and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie, Rico Abreu, making ground through the field.
Three laps later, the final caution of the feature came out for Tyler Courtney crashing in Turn 1. As race leader, Joey Saldana drove into Turn 3, his left side board flew off, ending his chances at a fifth victory in Charlotte, paving the way for Zomer.
"I got a good start on one of the restarts there," Zomer said. "I started sixth and shot right to third. That put me in position when those other guys had some trouble. Track position with these guys is huge, especially on a track like this that's super-fast."
In World of Outlaws Late Model Series action, Sheppard had the car to beat from the outset. With the 2015 Late Model Series championship already clinched, Shane Clanton, had nothing to lose starting outside of the polesitter, Sheppard.
Clanton used each of the race's four caution flags to keep the pressure on Sheppard, but was unable to pass the Illinois racer who won the 30-lap feature by 0.634 seconds.
"It was kind of a last-minute deal," Sheppard said of even getting the chance to drive at the Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals. "We just put it all together. I came up Monday to get my seat fitted. I was originally just going to crew for them and when I got here (crew chief Randall (Edwards) said, 'why don't you drive.' I guess it was a good decision.
"It's an amazing feeling to win here in front of this huge crowd and at this facility. It's just amazing."
Shortened to 30 laps due to time constraints, the A-main was marred by four cautions. As cars jockeyed for position behind him, Sheppard never wavered. Lap traffic on lap 13 was the only thing that seemed to slow Sheppard and allow second-place finisher Clanton to keep contact with the leader. As they two battled for the win, they faced fierce competition from Chris Madden and Darrell Lanigan. When the checkered flags few, Madden, Lanigan and Josh Richards rounded out the Top 5.
In the Super DIRTcar Series Modified feature, it was "The Doctor", Danny Johnson, taking the checkered flag and earning his second straight Bad Boy Buggies World Finals victory. After a restart on lap 4, Johnson was able to take the lead away from pole sitter, Jimmy Phelps in Turn 4, and he never looked back.
The second caution of the feature came out on lap 11 when Stewart Friesen was slow on the track. On the restart, Johnson lined up on the high side, with Phelps on the inside. Johnson capitalized on a strong restart, which allowed Billy Decker to follow him and move into the second position. With 20 laps completed, the feature came down to Johnson, Billy Decker and Larry Wright. The three drivers mimicked each other as they navigated through lapped traffic.
However, a caution on lap 22 for a wreck involving Erick Rudolph and Carey Terrance bunched the field back up for an epic finish underneath the lights in Charlotte. Once again, Johnson got another great restart. Wright also had a great jump, and he was able to pass Decker for the second position.
In the end, Johnson claimed his second win at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Wright was the runner-up. Decker finished third, while Matt Sheppard and Stewart Friesen finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Racers return for a full Saturday racing program for all three divisions, with a $12,000-to-win main event for both the World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series and World of Outlaw Late Model Series and $8,000-to-win main event for the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds. Gates open at 3 p.m. and opening ceremonies are scheduled at 4:45 p.m.
Single day tickets are available for just $49 for adults and $15 for kids 13 and under. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online.
Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds
B-Main #1 (10 laps): 1. H. J. Bunting; 2. Pat Ward; 3. Jessey Mueller; 4. Rich Scagliotta; 5. Dave Blaney; 6. Jeremiah Shingledecker; 7. Tim Kerr; 8. Joe August, Jr.; 9. Kenny Tremont; 10. Dave Rauscher; 11. Vic Coffey; 12. Danny Johnson, Jr.
B-Main #2 (10 laps): 1. Tim Fuller; 2. Mike Mahaney; 3. Brian Gleason; 4. Gary Tomkins; 5. Matt DeLorenzo; 6. Yan Bussiere; 7. Tom Sears, Jr.; 8. Brett Hearn; 9. Randy Chrysler; 10. Bob Sarkisian; 11. Tyler Siri; 12. Vince Vitale.
A-Main (30 laps): 1. Danny Johnson; 2. Larry Wright; 3. Billy Decker; 4. Matt Sheppard; 5. Stewart Friesen; 6. Tyler Dippel; 7. Brett Hearn; 8. Jimmy Phelps; 9. Duane Howard; 10. Pete Britten; 11. Frank Cozze; 12. Gary Tomkins; 13. Pat Ward; 14. H. J. Bunting; 15. Max McLaughlin; 16. Chris Hile; 17. Keith Flach; 18. Carey Terrance; 19. Tim Kerr; 20. Rick Laubach; 21. Rich Scagliotta; 22. Erick Rudolph; 23. Bill Pauch, Jr.; 24. Mike Bowman; 25. Tim Fuller; 26. Craig VonDohren; 27. Mike Mahaney; 28. Mat Williamson.
World of Outlaws Late Model Series
Heat Race #1 (10 laps): 1. Chris Madden; 2. Justin Labonte; 3. Frank Heckenast, Jr.; 4. Dennis Franklin; 5. Brandon Overton; 6. Casey Roberts; 7. Willie Milliken; 8. Chris Brown; 9. Jason Wagner; 10. Bob Gordon; 11. Kyle Pierce; 12. Tim Shaffer; 13. Dan Stone; 14. Kelly Guy.
DNS: Kenny Pettyjohn
Heat Race #2 (10 laps): 1. Darrell Lanigan; 2. Mason Zeigler; 3. Austin Smith; 4. Will Vaught; 5. Boom Briggs; 6. Greg Satterlee; 7. Matt Westfall; 8. Josh Rice; 9. Dennis Erb, Jr.; 10. Pancho Lawler; 11. Nick Davis; 12. Jim Rasey; 13. Earl Pearson, Jr.; 14. Donny Schatz.
Heat Race #3 (10 laps): 1. Chub Frank; 2. Steve Francis; 3. Mike Marlar; 4. Chris Simpson; 5. Donald Bradsher; 6. Gary Stuhler; 7. Garrett Alberson; 8. Joey Coulter; 9. Brian Ledbetter; 10. Austin Kirkpatrick; 11. Dale McDowell; 12. Austin Hubbard; 13. Brian Ligon.
DNS: Adam Bowman
Heat Race #4 (10 laps): 1. Brandon Sheppard; 2. Chris Ferguson; 3. Jimmy Owens; 4. Chad Hollenbeck; 5. Eric Wells; 6. Mark Parks; 7. Russell Erwin, Jr.; 8. Walker Arthur; 9. Tim McCreadie; 10. Jordan Yaggy; 11. Dale Hollidge; 12. Jeff Wolfenbarger; 13. Dan Shepherd; 14. Greg Clark.
Heat Race #5 (10 laps): 1. Josh Richards; 2. Randy Weaver; 3. Rick Eckert; 4. Jason Feger; 5. Billy Moyer, Jr.; 6. John Henderson; 7. Paul Wilmoth; 8. Nick Latham; 9. Colton Flinner; 10. Jay Sessoms; 11. Tyler Horst; 12. Kerry King, Jr.; 13. Dean Bowen; 14. Scott Lewis.
Heat Race #6 (10 laps): 1. Shane Clanton; 2. Jonathan Davenport; 3. Morgan Bagley; 4. Scott Bloomquist; 5. Chase Junghans; 6. James Rice; 7. Cody Mahoney; 8. Ross Robinson; 9. Andy Fries; 10. Dustin Mitchell; 11. Don O'Neal; 12. Allen Murray; 13. Reid Millard; 14. Max Blair.
B-Main #1 (10 laps): 1. Brandon Overton; 2. Casey Roberts; 3. Will Vaught; 4. Willie Milliken; 5. Chris Brown; 6. Matt West; 7. Donny Schatz; 8. Dan Stone; 9. Pancho Lawler; 10. Kyle Pierce; 11. Nick Davis; 12. Kelly Guy; 13. Jim Rasey; 14. Jason Wagner; 15. Josh Rice; 16. Boom Briggs; 17. Earl Pearson, Jr.; 18. Bob Gordon; 19. Gregg Satterlee; 20. Dennis Franklin.
B-Main #2 (10 laps): 1. Chad Hollenbeck; 2. Chris Simpson; 3. Eric Wells; 4. Gary Stuhler; 5. Walker Arthur; 6. Austin Hubbard; 7. Garrett Alberson; 8. Donald Bradsher; 9. Joey Coulter; 10. Dale Hollidge; 11. Brian Ledbetter; 12. Dan Shepherd; 13. Russell Erwin, Jr.; 14. Brian Ligon; 15. Jordan Yaggy; 16. Greg Clark; 17. Mark Parks; 18. Tim McCreadle.
DNS: Austin Kirkpatrick, Dale McDowell, Jeff Wolfenbarger, Adam Bowman
B-Main #3 (10 laps): 1. Jason Feger; 2. Scott Bloomquist; 3. Cody Mahoney; 4. James Rice; 5. Billy Moyer, Jr.; 6. Ross Robinson; 7. Paul Wilmoth; 8. Andy Fries; 9. Colton Flinner; 10. Tyler Horst; 11. Scott Lewis; 12. Reid Millard; 13. Dustin Mitchell; 14. Nick Latham; 15. Dean Bowen; 16. Jay Sessoms; 17. John Henderson; 18. Don O'Neal; 19. Chase Junghans; 20. Max Blair.
DNS: Kerry King, Jr., Allen Murray
A-Main (30 laps): 1. Brandon Sheppard; 2. Shane Clanton; 3. Chris Madden; 4. Darrell Lanigan; 5. Josh Richards; 6. Mike Marlar; 7. Jonathan Davenport; 8. Chub Frank; 9. Morgan Bagley; 10. Steve Francis; 11. Jimmy Owens; 12. Chris Simpson; 13. Tim McCreadle; 14. Mason Zeigler; 15. Chase Junghans; 16. Jordan Yaggy; 17. Boom Briggs; 18. Frank Heckenast, Jr.; 19. Brandon Overton; 20. Rick Eckert; 21. Scott Bloomquist; 22. Austin Smith; 23. Chad Hollenbeck; 24. Eric Wells; 25. Justin Labonte; 26. Randy Weaver; 27. Jason Feger; 28. Chris Ferguson; 29. Casey Roberts.
World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series
Heat Race #1 (8 laps): 1. Stevie Smith; 2. David Gravel; 3. Jason Sides; 4. Danny Lasoski; 5. Lucas Wolfe; 6. Stewart Friesen; 7. Dylan Cisney; 8. Randy Hannagan; 9. Sammy Swindell; 10. Tanner Thorson.
Heat Race #2 (8 laps): 1. Dusty Zomer; 2. Shane Stewart; 3. Tim Shaffer; 4. Chase Dietz; 5. Ryan Smith; 6. Ian Madsen; 7. Sam Hafertepe; 8. Logan Schuchart; 9. Steve Buckwalter; 10. Kory Crabtree.
Heat Race #3 (8 laps): 1. Chad Kemenah; 2. Tyler Courtney; 3. Joey Saldana; 4. Dominic Scelzi; 5. Steve Kinser; 6. Brock Zearfoss; 7. Logan Forler; 8. Bradley Howard; 9. Jevon Ahner.
Heat Race #4 (8 laps): 1. Bryan Clauson; 2. Brad Sweet; 3. Donny Schatz; 4. Kerry Madsen; 5. Cody Darrah; 6. Paige Polyak; 7. Paul Nienhiser; 8. Sheldon Haudenschild; 9. Lance Moss; 10. Paul McMahan.
Heat Race #5 (9 laps): 1. Brian Brown; 2. Greg Hodnett; 3. Rico Abreu; 4. Daryn Pittman; 5. Brent Marks; 6. Jacob Allen; 7. Cole Duncan; 8. Eric Riggins, Jr.; 9. Dale Blaney; 10. Jac Haudenschild.
Heat Race # 6 (8 laps): 1. Terry McCarl; 2. Danny Holtgraver; 3. Trey Sparks; 4. Dave Blaney; 5. Bill Balog; 6. Wayne Dadetto; 7. Jason Johnson; 8. Kraig Kinser; 9. Greg Wilson.
A-Main (25 laps): 1. Dusty Zomer; 2. Greg Hodnett; 3. Stevie Smith; 4. Brad Sweet; 5. Bryan Clauson; 6. Donny Schatz; 7. Danny Holtgraver; 8. Terry McCarl; 9. Jason Sides; 10. Daryn Pittman; 11. Kerry Madsen; 12. Sammy Swindell; 13. Jason Johnson; 14. Chad Kemenah; 15. Paul McMahan; 16. David Gravel; 17. Logan Schuchart; 18. Cody Darrah; 19. Trey Starks; 20. Kraig Kinser; 21. Paige Polyak; 22. Joey Saldana; 23. Tyler Courtney; 24. Tim Shaffer; 25. Shane Stewart; 26. Rico Abreu; 27. Danny Lasoski; 28. Bill Balog; 29. Brian Brown.
B-Main (12 laps): 1. Sammy Swindell; 2. Bill Balog; 3. Cody Darrah; 4. Daryn Pittman; 5. Paige Polyak; 6. Danny Lasoski; 7. Brock Zearfoss; 8. Kerry Madsen; 9. Logan Schuchart; 10. Jac Haudenschild; 11. Ian Madsen; 12. Paul McMahan; 13. Tanner Thorson; 14. Steve Kinser
C-Main (10 laps): 1. Steve Kinser; 2. Paige Polyak; 3. Chase Dietz; 4. Ryan Smith; 5. Dylan Cisney; 6. Dave Blaney; 7. Randy Hannagan; 8. Kraig Kinser; 9. Dominic Scelzi; 10. Jason Johnson.
D-Main (8 laps): 1. Jason Johnson; 2. Randy Hannagan; 3. Paul Nienhiser; 4. Stewart Friesen; 5. Cole Duncan; 6. Bradley Howard; 7. Wayne Dadetto; 8. Lucas Wolfe; 9. Jevon Ahner; 10. Logan Forler; 11. Sam Hafertepe; 12. Jacob Allen; 13. Greg Wilson; 14. Sheldon Haudenschild; 15. Steve Buckwalter; 16. Lance Moss; 17. Kory Crabtree; 18. Eric Riggins, Jr.
Dash (6 laps): 1. Trey Starks; 2. Joey Saldana; 3. Shane Stewart; 4. Stevie Smith; 5. Greg Hodnett; 6. Dusty Zomer; 7. Terry McCarl; 8. Bryan Clauson; 9. Brian Brown; 10. Chad Kemenah.
"We had a good hot rod. It's actually the same car we had here last year, so it's a good one."