McCreadie tops Anderson for $5,000 win at Tucson
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com managing editor
TUCSON, Ariz. (Jan. 15) — Taking advantage when outside front-row starter John Anderson slipped out of USA Raceway's low groove on the 17th lap, Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., took the lead through turns three and four and raced to a $5,000 victory in the second round of the sixth annual Wild West Shootout. | Complete WWS coverage
Anderson led the first half of the 30-lapper from outside the front row, but when a lapped car held his preferred line, Anderson entered turn three too high and opened the door for McCreadie. A lap-23 caution gave McCreadie clear racetrack the rest of the way, and he raced to a victory in just his third career start in a Warrior Race Car.
Anderson, a three-time WWS winner from Omaha, Neb., settled for second while polesitter Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., was third. Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., was fourth and Don O'Neal of Martinsville, Ind., rounded out the top five on an overcast afternoon when track officials played hurry-up amid lingering rain sprinkles.
McCreadie, who started third and grabbed the second spot from Moyer on the 10th lap, was considering an outside move on Anderson just past the unsanctioned race's midpoint.
"Honestly, I was gonna, because I thought, 'There's no points, there's no nothing here. It's ($5,000). So what's it matter if you run fifth if you're at least giving it a shot,' " the 37-year-old McCreadie said. "But right when I wanted to go around him, he started running wide down the straightaway — which I don't think I ever could've passed him on the outside — but he was running wide down the straightaway and then I just rode, and it just happened that he got pinned with a lapped car and just slipped up a little. We just happened to be there."
Anderson, looking for his first victory on the Arizona miniseries since back-to-back triumphs in 2008 at Central Arizona Raceway in Casa Grande, knew the slip would change the race's outcome.
"Leading there's pretty tough, but I knew we had a good car because I fired off there before it started streaking up with some rubber," Anderson said. "But he's obviously one of the best, and I was probably being a little too careful with the lapped car and it kind of cost me."
McCreadie stretched away from Anderson over the final laps while Moyer settled for third at the 3/8-mile oval.
"I hate to start on the pole and get beat, but that's racing," Moyer said. "John got me on the start and I was underneath Anderson there coming down the back straightaway, and (with) one slipup, I drove too hard into the corner the next time and let McCreadie get me. We weren't the best car. We'll take a third."
McCreadie's victory gives him instant success in making his second chassis switch over the past 12 months. After a guest appearance in the Warrior house car last November, McCreadie decided to go with the Knoxville, Tenn.-based manufacturer for 2012. His 13th-to-fifth run in Saturday's opener boosted his hopes, and Sunday's victory lifted the team's confidence higher.
"Last night, I thought we were decent, so that lifted a lot of pressure," McCreadie said. "Because any time you make a major, major decision, for my own career, much less the money that Sweeteners Plus and (team owners) Ann and Carl Myers are putting behind this team, you better hope you're right because it's a lot of money you're playing with.
"I appreciate (Warrior's) Sanford (Goddard) and everybody back at the shop. This deal, like I said, looked good on paper. They put the car together, we came down and put our motors in it and scaled there and did it their way to see how it works. We've adjusted it my way to the track. We've got a nice blend right now."
McCreadie and nearly 70 other racers take two nights off before returning to action Wednesday for a $3,000-to-win event, the third in the six-race miniseries at USA Raceway. Hot laps are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and racing for 7 p.m. DirtonDirt.com's live pay-per-view is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Feature notes: McCreadie's car has a Pro Power engine and sponsorship from Sweeteners Plus, Integra Shocks, FK Rod Ends, CV Products and GW Performance. ... The payday will make his trip back to New York a little cushier than the crew's 40-hour truck ride. "I'm flying home," McCreadie said. "I won tonight. I can fly home now. Before I couldn't. I get to fly, the poor guys gotta drive." ... The victory was McCreadie's first in a Late Model since July 28 at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y. ... A few drivers dabbled with the high groove, but virtually everyone ended up running down low. The track's usually racy daytime surface wasn't at its best because the rain showers forced a hurry-up program that prevented the occasional breaks typically used to manicure the track. ... The race's lone caution appeared when Ronny Lee Hollingsworth slowed with a flat right-rear tire on lap 23; he pulled to the pits. ... Randy Korte, running back in the pack, pulled to the infield on the fourth lap.
Wild West Shootout (second round): (1) Tim McCreadie, (2) John Anderson, (3) Billy Moyer Jr., (4) Jimmy Mars, (5) Don O'Neal, (6) Billy Moyer, (7) Will Vaught, (8) Shane Clanton, (9) Brad Looney, (10) Shannon Babb, (11) Terry Phillips, (12) Chris Simpson, (13) Lonnie Parker Jr., (14) Ross Camponovo, (15) Ricky Thornton Jr, (16) John Lowrey, (17) Robert Sanders, (18) Justin Kay, (19) Scott Ward, (20) Scott Creel, (21) Bub McCool, (22) Dean Moore, (23) Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, (24) Randy Korte. Heat race winners (among 68 cars): Phillips, Moyer Sr., Clanton, Camponovo, Anderson, Vaught. Consolation winners: Hollingsworth, Korte, Kay.
Preliminary finishes below (unofficial):
It appears the Late Model feature will start about 4:40 p.m. MST. ... With clouds and fog draping the nearby mountains, light sprinkles have been falling starting about 3:45 as officials try to hurry on with the show. ... Billy Moyer Jr., son of last night's winner Billy Moyer, starts on the pole alongside John Anderson, who outran Moyer Jr. in heat race action. ... Consolation winners were polesitters Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Randy Korte and Justin Kay. ... The final lap of the second consolation had a multicar crash back in the pack; Jason McBride got the worst of it, his No. 77 towed off the track. ... Morgan Bagley feared getting an earful from crew chief Randall Edwards after getting into an infield tire barrier in his heat race, damaging the car's nose. But Edward said he's not too bothered if Bagley runs into problems so long as he's heading to the front, as he was. "Aw, hell," Edwards said. "The best of 'em's done it." Unfortunately, Bagley's afternoon ended when he was caught up in another scramble in the first consy. ... Ross Camponovo, who starts sixth in the main event after winning a heat race, figured the high side was worth a try in his prelim. "I said, 'Hell, I don't have nothing to lose," the Mississippi youngster said. "We have to get a little better for the feature. We need some more sidebite." ... Reigning MARS DIRTcar Series champ Brad Looney starts 11th in the car he damaged heavily last season in a wall-crunching accident at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill. Looney replaced the car's front clip by himself during the off-season, and he's reintroducing it to the track at Tucson. "We were a little skeptical there might be more issues" with the car, Looney said, but it's performed fairly well. Looney is among drivers who hope there's no rain at a track that rarely sees a rainout. "It's already fast enough," he said. ... New Mexico driver Marc Herrera scratched from the day's action with engine problems.
First consolation: Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Lonnie Parker Jr., Scott Creel, Robert Sanders, R.C Whitwell, Dane Dacus, Dereck Ramirez, Tony Toste, Rob Mayea, Ron Bartels, Duke Whiseant, Rick Shafer, Paul Guglielmoni, Don Shaw.
Second consolation: Randy Korte, Ricky Thornton Jr., Scott Ward, Dean Moore, Steve Isenberg, Jon Kirby, Clay Daly, Jason Papich, Brant Kehrer, Leon Henderson, Justin Asplin, Garrett Alberson, James Chavez Jr., Paul Mueller, Todd Frank, Matt Micheli.
Third consolation: Justin Kay, Chris Simpson, John Lowrey, Bub McCool, Tim Isenberg, Ricky Weiss, Jeff Provinzino, Nick Bartels, Trevor Glaser, Klyint Byars, John Lobb, Ray Moore, Ed Turnbull, Shane Edginton, David Vennard.
Dane Dacus spent most of Saturday making repairs after a heat-race accident when he got into the wall. "Not a good way to start the year," Dacus said. Crew member Kent Taylor chimed in: "You can always blame it on aeropush." But the Lakeland, Tenn., driver took the blame. "It was just one of them deals. Dacus decided to start the season early because he expects to take a break from racing upon his wife Alicia's delivering their first child in April. ... Dean Moore of Grand Junction, Colo., knows heat-race starts can be a little dicey if there are slower cars starting up front at Tucson. "With a passing-points deal, you have to get what you can get as soon as you can," Moore said. "And that might be on the first lap." ... Nick Bartels of El Segundo, Calif., used a CT525 Crate powerplant last year at Tucson, but his No. 27 this year is equipped with a standard powerplant, but Bartels said it only puts out about 670 horsepower. "It honestly feels like the 525. It's not much better," said Bartels, who finished 13th Saturday. "It works." ... Scott Ward of Watertown, S.D., is racing as a teammate to Paul Mueller of Bismarck, N.D., pulling double duty in Late Models and modifieds at Tucson. Ward also plans to compete in the Late Model division next month at East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa, Fla.
Outside front-row starter Brad Looney got by polesitter Ricky Weiss early and cruised the rest of the way. Weiss slipped back to third, appeared to have a chance to regain second from Robert Sanders, but settled that third behind Sanders. Eighth-starting Randy Korte got up to fourth but wasn't a factor. Dennis Lickliter, driving the car formerly fielded by his late son, spun on the second lap for the prelim's lone caution.
Finish: Brad Looney, Robert Sanders, Ricky Weiss, Randy Korte, Lonnie Parker Jr., Klint Byars, Ed Turnbull, Paul Guglielmoni, Dennis Lickliter.
With the aid of a lap-six caution, last night's runner-up Will Vaught held on for a victory after starting outside the front row. Polesitter Jesse Stovall got rolling on the high side and briefly went around Vaught, but that tight battle was spoiled by the race's lone caution when James Chavez Jr. spun in turn four on the sixth lap. Vaught cruised on the restart while Stovall fought off Bub McCool, who then dropped another spot to Ronny Lee Hollingsworth on the final lap. Matt Micheli never took the green when one of his wheels bounded off the car and over the wall between turns one and two; he was towed off the track.
Finish: Will Vaught, Jesse Stovall, Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, Bub McCool, Don Shaw, Jon Kirby, Joey Moriarty, James Chavez Jr., Matt Micheli.
Sixth-starting John Anderson went around Billy Moyer Jr. on the fifth lap and led the rest of the way. Moyer, who made some key inside moves early from his fifth-starting spot, settled for second, a half-straight behind the winner. Clay Daly was third, just ahead of Scott Ward. Morgan Bagley made some noise early from his ninth starting spot, but he clipped one of the infield tire barriers, damaging the left-front part of his nosepiece that hampered his steering. He pulled to the infield. Polesitter John Lobb had a terrible start, crossing the line second-to-last on the first lap after showing some squirrelliness. Fellow front-row starter Ron Bartels had a better start, leading until losing the point to Moyer, but he dropped to a distant sixth at the finish.
Finish: John Anderson, Billy Moyer Jr., Clay Daly, Scott Ward, Rob Mayea, Ron Bartels, John Lobb, Dereck Ramirez, Morgan Bagley. Scratched: Rick Shafer.
A high-running Ross Campanovo swept into the lead on the fifth lap and raced to a victory, his first heat triumph in Tucson. Seventh-starting Shannon Babb reached second soon after but lost touch with Camponovo in finishing second. Eighth-starting Jimmy Mars got to third on the seventh lap and Dean Moore, who ran second early, was fourth. Polesitter Tony Toste led the first half of the race but shortly after losing the point, he blew a right-rear tire and pulled to the infield. Toste's teammate Jason Papich ran third early and ended up fifth.
Finish: Ross Camponovo, Shannon Babb, Jimmy Mars, Dean Moore, Jason Papich, Terry Belcher Jr., Trevor Glaser, Mark Carrell, Tony Toste. Scratched: Marc Herrera.
Outside front-row starter Shane Clanton, using an engine borrowed from Billy Moyer after breaking a powerplant Saturday, barely held off seventh-starting Don O'Neal for the victory. O'Neal, who was up to second by halfway, was all over Clanton at the white flag and pulled alongside off of turn four heading for the checkers. Clanton took the victory by inches while Steve Isenberg was a distant third. There were no cautions.
Finish: Shane Clanton, Don O'Neal, Steve Isenberg, Jeff Provinzino, Scott Creel, Paul Mueller, Nick Bartels, Duke Whiseant, Garrett Alberson, Shane Edginton.
Sixth-starting Billy Moyer, showing the same dominance of his Saturday feature victory, blew past leader Tim Isenberg on the fourth lap and cruised to an eight-lap victory. He won by more than a straightaway over a fading Isenberg while Chris Simpson, who started on the third row with Moyer, ended up just a length back in third. Chris Shannon was further back in fourth in the caution-free prelim while home-state driver Ricky Thornton Jr. came from the tail to finish fifth. Ray Moore, who had a third-place finish last season at Tucson, was punchless in finishing last.
Finish: Billy Moyer, Tim Isenberg, Chris Simpson, Terry Shannon, Ricky Thornton Jr., Brant Kehrer, Justin Asplin, Todd Frank, Al Humphrey, Ray Moore.
Polesitter Terry Phillips led flag-to-flag, taking his first checkered flag in his new Bloomquist Race Car after years and years of wins of all types in a GRT Race Car, cruised to victory in the night's first prelim. Iowa's Justin Kay, the Corn Belt Clash driver making a name for himself at Tucson. Frank Heckenast Jr. made a key outside move over in the final laps in an attempt to go fifth to third, but he damaged the right-front corner of his car getting into the wall. Eighth-starting Tim McCreadie, in danger of finishing fifth with just a few laps left, took advantage by working under John Lowrey to finish third. The lone caution appeared on the sixth lap for tail-running David Vennard's turn-two spin.
Finish: Terry Phillips, Justin Kay, Tim McCreadie, John Lowrey, R.C. Whitwell, Dane Dacus, Jasno McBride, Leon Henderson, David Vennard.
After a two-hour delay in starting yesterday, action is nearly on schedule today. ... Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., will be gunning for his second straight victory at Tucson and his eighth over the past three seasons. He captured Saturday's opener over Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., and Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill. ... The 68-car field will be divided among seven heat races with 12 drivers transferring to the main event. The other 12 spots in the main event will be made up of four drivers apiece from three consolation races. ... New drivers in action for Sunday are Terry Belcher Jr. of Rainbow Valley, Ariz. (driving the Mike Tahtinen-owned No. 24 that was hot-lapped by Michigan's Ken Kirby on Friday), R. C. Whitwell of Tucson, Ariz. (driving the No. 23 usually driven by Brad Williams) and Dennis Lickliter (driving his own Larry Shaw Race Car fielded by Rick Butler on Saturday). ... Among those missing from action are Mike Balcaen of Winnipeg, Manitoba (his engine popped a head gasket in Saturday's prelims; the team hopes to get the powerplant fixed in time to race Wednesday), Travis Gorsuch, Williams and Butler. ... Shane Clanton borrowed a Clements powerplant from Billy Moyer's team to continue after blowing an engine in the opener. ... His Kennedy Motorsports teammate John Lobb is back in action after scratching from Saturday's racing because of a hot-laps accident. ... Billy Moyer Jr. is concerned his car's rear end was damaged in a scramble in Saturday's opener. ... Randy Korte retired from Saturday's main event only because his car's handling was too tight. ... There are 50 modifieds in action along with stock cars and super stocks. ... For the Late Models, the seven heat winners and top five drivers in passing points otherwise are locked into the feature from the heat races.
Sunday's race schedule
Heat races (laps)
Stock cars (6)
Super stocks (6)
Late Models (8)
Consolation races (laps)
Late Models (12)
Main events (laps)
Stock cars (15)
Stuper stocks (15)
Late Models (30)
Heat race lineups
Row 5: Paul Guglielmoni
Unofficial Wild West Shootout roster
00 - Randy Korte, Highland, Ill.