QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — Don Shaw came to the 12th annual Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout thinking he’d be pleased with a couple of solid runs.
But after winning Wednesday’s midweek event at FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway, his second straight miniseries victory, the 54-year-old driver from Ham Lake, Minn., suddenly is in position to win $100,000 (five victories), $25,000 (four victories) or $10,000 (three victories) from title sponsor Keyser’s lucrative bonus program.
While Shaw was happy to talk about his second straight $5,000 victory — surviving potential trouble after his engine shut down as he took the checkered flag — he simply smiled when asked about a potential bonus.
“Let’s take one step at a time,” said Shaw, who notched his third career Wild West Shootout victory after starting fourth.
Inheriting the lead when Cade Dillard wrecked amid traffic, Shaw led the final 19 laps and took the checkers nearly a half-second ahead of sixth-starting Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., in the third of six miniseries events, winning on a hammer-down surface after topping slick-track conditions Sunday.
“I worked on the car a little bit and got it pretty neutral now. It seems like it’s good both directions here. I gotta a little bit of a break tonight, it looked like (Dillard) wiped out in lapped traffic there, so that definitely helped.”
As for Shaw's engine, “it shut off right when I crossed the flagstand, so I don’t know what happened. Something up in the motor compartment. … Bobby was chomping at the bit probably.”
Illinois had two drivers on the podium as Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., improved 10 positions to finish third. Miniseries points leader Mike Marlar of Winfield, Tenn., who held the second spot on lap 20-21 before Pierce went by, was fourth and 11th-starting Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., finished fifth.
Polesitter Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, ended up sixth. He led the first eight laps but got sideways exiting turning two and gave up the lead to Late Model rookie Cade Dillard of Robeline, Pa.
Dillard built a 2.3-second lead in three laps, but his race ended as he crossed under the flagstand on the 12th lap when he tangled with the slower car of Justin Duty. Dillard’s car was sent into a spin heading toward turn one and his demise lifted Shaw into the lead.
Pierce, making his third start for North Carolina-based Dunn-Benson Motorsports, said the aerodynamics of most drivers running the high-side cushion made his car a handful.
“It’s kinda tricky. I was kind of hoping that Don would make a mistake there, but he just kept it smooth the whole time … He did a great job,” Pierce said. “We’ve got three more nights to go and I think we’re getting better and better figuring out this car more. Hopefully one of these nights we can get in that Hoker Trucking victory lane.”
Sheppard posted his third top-five finish of the miniseries.
“I’ve made a few bad calls on setups and stuff, but I think we’re definitely getting a lot better,” Sheppard said. “Tonight the track was a little bit more my style, but I think that even, once it gets slick, you know the few changes we’ve made on it will be a lot better for the slick, too. So I’m really excited to get back at it Friday.”
Besides the caution for Dillard, three other yellows slowed the action between laps 19-25. The race was slowed on lap 19 Billy Franklin slowed in turn two while Austin Theiss spun exiting turn four on lap 21. With five laps remaining, Rob Mayea got into the guardrail to draw a yellow.
Arizona’s final off-day is Thursday with action returning Friday for another $5,000-to-win Super Late Model feature highlighting a three-division program. The miniseries wraps up with a $5,000-to-win event Saturday and the Shaw Trucking-sponsored $13,000-to-win finale on Sunday.
Notes: Ricky Weiss of Headingley, Manitoba, set fast time on his first qualifying lap, but his hit the backstretch wall on his second lap and suffered right-side damage that kept him out of his heat race; he attempted to run the consolation race but broke a driveshaft and wasn’t able to start. … Ryan Gustin started outside the front row of the first consolation race and lost a left-rear wheel on the initial start.
Preliminary results and notes:
Row 1: Chris Simpson (32), Austin Theiss (7D)
Row 2: Cade Dillard (97), Don Shaw (42s)
Row 3: Mike Marlar (157), Bobby Pierce (32)
Row 4: David Breazeale (54), Rob Mayea (37)
Row 5: Joey Moriarty (51), Garrett Alberson (01)
Row 6: Chase Junghans (18), Tony Toste (91)
Row 7: Brandon Sheppard (B5), Clint Smith (44)
Row 8: Austin Siebert (16), Billy Franklin (17)
Row 9: Mike Maresca (7mm), Scott Ward (37)
Row 10: Mike Spatola (89), Pat Doar (90)
Row 11: Clay Daly (32B), Kyle Beard (87)
Row 12: Terry Phillips (75), Justin Duty (15)
(12 laps; top four transfer)
First consolation: Mike Maresca, Mike Spatola, Clay Daly, Terry Phillips, Tanner Kellick, Lyndon Bolt, Kolby Vandenbergh, Casey Skyberg, Thomas Hunziker, Ed Peters, Terry Carter, John Brinkley, Ryan Gustin.
Second consolation: Scott Ward, Pat Doar, Kyle Beard, Justin Duty, John Cornell, Dustin Bluhm, Eric Mass, Cody Barnett, Justin Kay, Jon Ortega, Ricky Thornton Jr. Scratched: Rodney Sanders, Ricky Weiss.
(12 laps; top four transfer)
Row 1: Clay Daly, Ryan Gustin
Row 2: Terry Carter, Mike Maresca
Row 3: Terry Phillips, Mike Spatola
Row 4: Tanner Kellick, Lyndon Bolt
Row 5: R.C. Whitwell, John Brinkley
Row 6: Casey Skyberg, Thomas Hunziker
Row 7: Ed Peters, Dave Deetz
Row 8: Kolby Vandenbergh
Row 1: Pat Doar, Scott Ward
Row 2: Dustin Bluhm, Kyle Beard
Row 3: Eric Mass, John Cornell
Row 4: Justin Duty, Justin Kay
Row 5: Cody Barnett, Jon Ortega
Row 6: Carlos Ahumada Jr., Ricky Thornton Jr.
Row 7: Rodney Sanders, Ricky Weiss
Heat race results
(Eight laps; top four transfer)
First heat: Chris Simpson, Mike Marlar, Joey Moriarty, Brandon Sheppard, Clay Daly, Terry Carter, Terry Phillips, Tanner Kellick, R.C. Whitwell, Casey Skyberg, Ed Peters, Kolby Vandenbergh.
Second heat: Austin Theiss, Bobby Pierce, Garrett Alberson, Clint Smith, Ryan Gustin, Mike Maresca, Mike Spatola, Lyndon Bolt, John Brinkley, Thomas Huniziker, Dave Deetz.
Third heat: Don Shaw, David Breazeale, Chase Junghans, Austin Siebert, Pat Doar, Dustin Bluhm, Eric Mass, Justin Duty, Cody Barnett, Carlos Ahumada Jr.. Scratched: Rodney Sanders.
Fourth heat: Cade Dillard, Rob Mayea, Tony Toste, Billy Franklin, Scott Ward, Kyle Beard, John Cornel, Justin Kay, Jon Ortega, Ricky Thornton Jr. Scratched: Ricky Weiss.
The third of six miniseries events drew 45 Late Models; four drivers from four heats will transfer to the main event with four apiece from each of two consolation races. … Overnight rain, the first in Phoenix in 118 days, left swaths of standing water in the pits and a muddy challenge for crews early in the day. Track workers spent seven hours whipping the pits into shape. … Saturday winner Ricky Weiss was quickest in Tuesday’s practice; he’s running a backup car Wednesallday after wrecking his primary car Sunday. … Jake Davis of Hackett, Ark., ended his miniseries run after Sunday after breaking an engine. … Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., is driving the No. 90 Rocket Chassis driven by Lance Matthees over the weekend (Doar owns the car’s powerplant). … Bobby Pierce’s Dunn-Benson Motorsports team installed a Pro Power Racing Engine before Wednesday’s action; the team has traditionally run Larry Wallace engines while Pierce is a long-time Pro Power driver. … After drivers have found it difficult to see signalling crew members in the infield, officials have chalked out a pair of boxes in the infield to provide better positioning. ... Infield lighting failed during hot laps, causing a delay of about a half hour.
Time trials (unofficial)
(Heats start straightup by time)
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa, 15.295
Joey Moriarty (51), Phoenix, Ariz., 15.673
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn., 15.775
Clay Daly (32B), Watsonville, Calif., 15.836
Terry Carter (6T), Edmonton, Alberta, 15.956
Brandon Sheppard (B5), New Berlin, Ill., 16.058
Casey Skyberg (6), Rapid City, S.D., 16.151
Tanner Kellick (3k), Mer Rouge, La., 16.167
Kolby Vandenbergh (15v), Ashland, Ill., 16.202
Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo., 17.078
R.C. Whitwell (96), Tucson, Ariz., 17.204
Ed Peters (78), Eugene, Ore., 19.279
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill., 15.368
Austin Theiss (7D), Hockley, Texas, 15.431
Garrett Alberson (01), Las Cruces, N.M., 15.477
Clint Smith (44), Senoia, Ga., 15.570
Mike Spatola (89), Manhattan, Ill., 15.650
Mike Maresca (7mm), Potsdam, N.Y., 15.660
Lyndon Bolt (3x), Rapid City, S.D., 16.143
Ryan Gustin (2T), Marshalltown, Iowa, 16.276
John Brinkley (26), Prescott, Ariz., 16.541
Dave Deetz (R5), Las Cruces, N.M., 17.187
Thomas Hunziker (38), Bend, Ore., 17.203
David Breazeale (54), Four Corners, Miss., 15.133
Don Shaw (42s), Ham Lake, Minn., 15.245
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan., 15.297
Austin Siebert (16), Grandview, Mo., 15.439
Pat Doar (90), New Richmond, Wis., 15.525
Eric Mass (45), Rapid City, S.D., 15.920
Dustin Bluhm (45), Britton, S.D., 16.111
Justin Duty (15), Mulino, Ore., 16.155
Cody Barnett (18), Hesperia, Calif., 16.437
Carlos Ahumada Jr. (54), El Paso, Texas, 16.463
Rodney Sanders (20), Happy, Texas, no time
Ricky Weiss (7), Headingley, Manitoba, 14.990
Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La., 15.217
Tony Toste (91T), Pismo Beach, Calif., 15.233
Rob Mayea (37), Bend, Ore., 15.357
Billy Franklin (17), Calera, Ala., 15.441
Scott Ward (37), Watertown S.D., 15.476
Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark., 15.593
Justin Kay (15K), Wheatland, Iowa, 15.935
John Cornell (28), Phoenix, Ariz., 16.086
Jon Ortega (22), Las Cruces, N.M., 16.119
Ricky Thornton Jr. (20RT), Chandler, Ariz., no time
Steve Stultz (78), Phoenix, Ariz., no time
(All times Mountain)
4:30 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
5:30 p.m - Hot laps
Late Models (combo hot laps/time trials)
6:50 p.m. - National anthem
6:55 p.m. - Heat races
Modifieds (8 laps)
X-mods (8 laps)
Late Models (8 laps)
Modifieds (12 laps)
X-mods (10 laps)
Late Models (12 laps)
Modifieds (25 laps)
X-mods (20 laps)
Late Models (30 laps)