NEW RICHMOND, Wis. (Aug. 7) — Live updates from Friday night’s double-heat qualifying program for the 33rd annual USA Nationals, a $50,000-to-win World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series event at Cedar Lake Speedway (results unofficial):
Seeking a sixth career USA Nationals triumph, Billy Moyer led the 8-lap pole dash from flag-to-flag to earn the pole position for Saturday night’s $50,000-to-win finale.
Moyer turned back an early challenge from Ashton Winger and survived a late-charging Brian Shirley to emerge victorious. Shirley finished 0.485 of a second behind Moyer to secure the outside pole for the 100-lapper.
Kyle Bronson briefly slid to second place by Winger on lap four but fell to fourth by the end of the circuit. The Floridian rallied to finish third.
Finish: Billy Moyer, Brian Shirley, Kyle Bronson, Ashton Winger, Brandon Overton, Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb, Jason Rauen.
Pole dash lineup
(8 laps; finish determines top 8 starters in 100)
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Ashton Winger
Row 2: Jason Rauen, Kyle Bronson
Row 3: Brian Shirley, Brandon Overton
Row 4: Jimmy Owens, Tyler Erb
Fans Fund Dash
Racing largely unchallenged from start-to-finish, Kyle Strickler was victorious in the 12-lap Fans Fund Dash reserved for drivers who accepted invitations to participate in the USA Nationals through the program that raises travel money through fan and sponsor donations.
Strickler earned $2,500 for his triumph over Rick Eckert, who finished 0.762 of a second behind in second. Ross Bailes placed third, followed by Chris Simpson and Jason Feger.
Finish: Kyle Strickler, Rick Eckert, Ross Bailes, Chris Simpson, Jason Feger, Gordy Gundaker, Stormy Scott, Bobby Pierce, Jason Papich, Scott Ward, Rusty Griffaw, Ryan Gustin.
Passing points totals
(Top 16 locked into USA Nationals feature)
1. Tyler Erb 216
2. Jimmy Owens 216
3. Billy Moyer 204
4. Brian Shirley 204
5. Jason Rauen 204
6. Kyle Bronson 192
7. Ashton Winger 192
8. Brandon Overton 192
9. Jimmy Mars 183.50
10. Frank Heckenast Jr. 180
11. Brandon Sheppard 180
12. Rick Eckert 180
13. Darrell Lanigan 171.50
14. Chris Simpson 168
15. Mike Marlar 168
16. Cade Dillard 168
17. Chad Mahder 159.50
18. Stormy Scott 156
19. Allen Murray 156
20. Dustin Sorenson 156
21. Brent Larson 156
22. Bobby Pierce 156
23. Scott Bloomquist 151
24. Kyle Strickler 147.50
25. Scott Ward 147.50
26. Ricky Weiss 147.50
27. Chase Junghans 147.50
28. Dennis Erb Jr. 144
29. Jason Papich 142.50
30. Lance Matthees 135.50
31. Ryan Gustin 135.50
32. Tim Isenberg 130.50
33. Mitch McGrath 130.50
34. Jake Timm 127
35. Ross Bailes 127
36. Rusty Griffaw 118.50
37. Jason Feger 118.50
38. Nick Anvelink 117
39. Boom Briggs 117
40. Shannon Babb 101.50
41. Daniel Hilsabeck 101.50
42. Colton Horner 93
43. Gordy Gundaker 76
44. Reid Millard 36.50
45. Jeff Massingill 32
Round 2 heat recap
Kyle Strickler executed a slider through turns three and four with two laps remaining to grab the lead from Darrell Lanigan en route to winning the second heat. … Jimmy Owens gained six spots to place third in Heat 1 while Brandon Overton picked up four spots in claiming a fifth-place finish in Heat 2. … Switching to his younger brother Trevor’s car, Gordy Gundaker returned to competition after his Round 1 flip but finished last in the second heat. … A red flag was thrown for a wild crash on lap two of the third heat that left Chase Junghans, Nick Anvelink and Reid Millard sitting in turn one and also marginally involved three other cars, including Billy Moyer. Millard climbed out but rode back to the pits in the ambulance while Junghans’s car sustained the heaviest damage. … Tyler Erb secured a runner-up finish in the third heat after swapping the second spot with Ross Bailes several times in the closing circuits. … The fourth heat ended with Kyle Bronson sliding leader Jimmy Mars in turn two, Mars ducking low off the corner to regain command and then Bronson pulled another aggressive slider through turns three and four. The two drivers rubbed together down the straightaway with Bronson winning by 0.050 of a second; afterward they traded pleasantries on the cool-down lap and Bronson told Mars’s home-state crowd, “That’s for all you Jimmy Mars fans.” … Dennis Erb Jr.’s mechanical failure with two laps to go in the fifth heat set up a spectacular finish. Jason Rauen shot by Dustin Sorenson for the lead on the restart and then flashed under the checkered three-wide to defeat Rick Eckert by 0.088 of a second and Sorenson by 0.161 of a second; Sorenson spun to a stop in turn one after settling for third place.
Round 2 heat results
First heat finish: Mike Marlar, Brandon Sheppard, Jimmy Owens, Mitch McGrath, Jake Timm, Brent Larson, Shannon Babb, Daniel Hilsabeck, Rusty Griffaw.
Second heat finish: Kyle Strickler, Darrell Lanigan, Ashton Winger, Ricky Weiss, Brandon Overton, Ryan Gustin, Scott Bloomquist, Stormy Scott, Gordy Gundaker.
Third heat finish: Frank Heckenast Jr., Tyler Erb, Ross Bailes, Billy Moyer, Tim Isenberg, Nick Anvelink, Scott Ward, Chase Junghans, Reid Millard.
Fourth heat finish: Kyle Bronson, Jimmy Mars, Brian Shirley, Cade Dillard, Bobby Pierce, Chris Simpson, Lance Matthees, Boom Briggs (DNS) Jeff Massingill.
Fifth heat finish: Jason Rauen, Rick Eckert, Dustin Sorenson, Jason Papich, Jason Feger, Chad Mahder, Allen Murray, Colton Horner, Dennis Erb Jr.
Round 1 heat recap
Heat 3 runner-up Tyler Erb emerged as the leader in the passing points standings after the first round of qualifying, accumulating 108 points to top Stormy Scott (105), Jason Rauen (104), Billy Moyer (100), Dennis Erb Jr. (100), Jimmy Owens (100), Brandon Overton (100), Chris Simpson (98), Allen Murray (98) and Chase Junghans (98). … After apparently breaking a driveshaft, Jeff Massingill slammed the outside wall between turns three and four on the opening lap of Heat 2 and collected Shannon Babb. Massingill’s car was towed off while Babb limped to the pit area with significant right side and nosepiece damage to his XR1 Rocket car. … Gordy Gundaker escaped injury following a Heat 3 crash that saw him bounce in turn three, absorb a hit from Tyler Erb and flip into the outside wall before landing upside down. “I’m pretty sure somebody ran into me,” Gundaker told pit reporter Ruben Mireles while also asking, “Who was it?” After walking back to the pit area, Gundaker came back on the track during the red flag and found Tyler Erb sitting between turns one and two to chat about the incident. … WoO points leader Brandon Sheppard struggled to pick up two spots for a fifth-place finish in Heat 3, leaving him 22nd in passing points after Round 1. His run included a lap-five scrape with Nick Anvelink that sent the Wisconsin driving spinning in turn two and a lap-eight near-collision with Brent Larson in turn four that cost him fourth place to Jason Rauen. … Thursday-night feature winner Brandon Overton was the most convincing heat victor, running away with the fifth prelim off the pole position.
Round 1 heat results
First heat finish: Billy Moyer, Chris Simpson, Scott Ward, Rusty Griffaw, Kyle Bronson, Frank Heckenast Jr., Jake Timm, Colton Horner, Kyle Strickler.
Second heat finish: Stormy Scott, Allen Murray, Scott Bloomquist, Lance Matthees, Jimmy Mars, Dustin Sorenson, Tim Isenberg, Shannon Babb, Jeff Massingill.
Third heat finish: Dennis Erb Jr., Tyler Erb, Brent Larson, Jason Rauen, Brandon Sheppard, Boom Briggs, Jason Papich, Nick Anvelink, Gordy Gundaker.
Fourth heat finish: Jimmy Owens, Brian Shirley, Ashton Winger, Bobby Pierce, Rick Eckert, Ricky Weiss, Daniel Hilsabeck, Mitch McGrath (DNS) Reid Millard.
Fifth heat finish: Brandon Overton, Chase Junghans, Chad Mahder, Cade Dillard, Ryan Gustin, Darrell Lanigan, Mike Marlar, Jason Feger, Ross Bailes.
Temperatures have hovered in the upper 70s for most of Friday under cloudy skies with a few brief spells of light rain falling. The Cedar Lake area is under a severe thunderstorm watch and some dark clouds were visible as race time approached, but forecasts show the chance of precipitation rising to over 50 percent only after midnight. … Forty-five cars are entered in Friday’s double-heat qualifying program — the exact same turnout for last year’s USA Nationals preliminary show. … The only driver who competed in Thursday’s World of Outlaws event but isn’t entered tonight: A.J. Diemel of Elk Mound, Wis., who attempted to qualify his WISSOTA-motor car but fell short. He’s focusing on running the machine in the Cedar Lake Late Model action on Friday and Saturday. … WoO points leader and 2018 USA Nationals champion Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., experienced brake trouble in Thursday’s 30-lap feature — the fluid leaked out and left him without brakes just a couple circuits into the race — and struggled to a ninth-place finish. Following his sixth-place run in Tuesday’s WoO stop at Beaver Dam (Wis.) Raceway, Sheppard has gone back-to-back starts without a top-five finish for just the third time this season. … The top eight drivers in Friday’s passing points will run an 8-lap dash to determine the lineup for the first four rows of Saturday’s 100-lap finale. How important does USA Nationals history say it is for a driver to run the dash? No winner of the $50,000 crown jewel event has started worse than sixth since Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., came from 19th to capture the 2010 edition. … Bloomquist, who advanced from the 24th starting spot to finish 10th in Thursday’s A-main, is running the same car from his team’s stable that Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., piloted to victory in last year’s USA Nationals headliner. … Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, and his Tri-Star Engines and Transmissions team made repairs to their XR1 Rocket car that was sidelined when Gustin was sent spinning from contact with Tyler Erb of New Waverly, Texas, and was hit by Jason Papich of Nipomo, Calif., on the opening lap of Thursday’s fourth heat. Gustin’s comment immediately after the incident was certainly unique: “Race with squirrels, you get your nuts cracked,” he said before later asserting that he’s “not a Tyler Erb fan right now.” … It was announced during Friday’s drivers’ meeting that Saturday’s 100-lap feature will for the second straight year have double-file restarts for the entire distance per a decision by track management. WoO features normally go to single-file restarts with 10 laps remaining, but the USA Nationals isn’t contested under the standard WoO format and, as a result, awards only show-up points to entrants.
The 33rd annual USA Nationals weekend continues on Friday night at Cedar Lake Speedway with a World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series-sanctioned qualifying program featuring a double-heat format for the third consecutive year. With time trials scrapped, a draw will set the heat-race lineups and passing points will be tallied to determine the transfers to Saturday night’s 100-lap, $50,000-to-win finale.
The top 16 drivers in passing points following the events will lock into the 100-lapper; the top eight in the points will also line up in that order for an 8-lap dash this evening with the finish of the race setting the first four rows of the USA Nationals.
Friday’s program, which also includes the FANSFund Dash for invited drivers and a full show for Cedar Lake’s weekly Late Model division, is scheduled to begin with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. CT. Racing is set to get the green flag at 7 p.m. CT.
Round 1 heat lineups
(12 laps; passing points determine transfers)
Row 1: Billy Moyer, Rusty Griffaw
Row 2: Chris Simpson, Scott Ward
Row 3: Jake Timm, Colton Horner
Row 4: Kyle Bronson, Kyle Strickler
Row 5: Frank Heckenast Jr.
Row 1: Jeff Massingill, Stormy Scott
Row 2: Allen Murray, Lance Matthees
Row 3: Scott Bloomquist, Shannon Babb
Row 4: Dustin Sorenson, Tim Isenberg
Row 5: Jimmy Mars
Row 1: Dennis Erb Jr., Nick Anvelink
Row 2: Brent Larson, Jason Papich
Row 3: Tyler Erb, Gordy Gundaker
Row 4: Brandon Sheppard, Boom Briggs
Row 5: Jason Rauen
Row 1: Jimmy Owens, Brian Shirley
Row 2: Ashton Winger, Daniel Hilsabeck
Row 3: Bobby Pierce, Reid Millard
Row 4: Ricky Weiss, Rick Eckert
Row 5: Mitch McGrath
Row 1: Brandon Overton, Chad Mahder
Row 2: Chase Junghans, Ryan Gustin
Row 3: Jason Feger, Cade Dillard
Row 4: Ross Bailes, Mike Marlar
Row 5: Darrell Lanigan
Round 2 heat lineups
(12 laps; passing points determine transfers)
Row 1: Mitch McGrath, Mike Marlar
Row 2: Brandon Sheppard, Shannon Babb
Row 3: Jake Timm, Daniel Hilsabeck
Row 4: Brent Larson, Rusty Griffaw
Row 5: Jimmy Owens
Row 1: Darrell Lanigan, Kyle Strickler
Row 2: Ricky Weiss, Gordy Gundaker
Row 3: Scott Bloomquist, Ryan Gustin
Row 4: Ashton Winger, Stormy Scott
Row 5: Brandon Overton
Row 1: Frank Heckenast Jr., Tim Isenberg
Row 2: Ross Bailes, Reid Millard
Row 3: Tyler Erb, Scott Ward
Row 4: Chase Junghans, Nick Anvelink
Row 5: Billy Moyer
Row 1: Jimmy Mars, Boom Briggs
Row 2: Kyle Bronson, Cade Dillard
Row 3: Bobby Pierce, Lance Matthees
Row 4: Chris Simpson, Brian Shirley
Row 5: Jeff Massingill
Row 1: Jason Rauen, Rick Eckert
Row 2: Dustin Sorenson, Colton Horner
Row 3: Jason Feger, Jason Papich
Row 4: Allen Murray, Chad Mahder
Row 5: Dennis Erb Jr.
Tentative numerical roster
Driver (car no.), hometown
Scott Bloomquist (0), Mooresburg, Tenn.
Rick Eckert (0E), York, Pa.
Brent Larson (B1), Lake Elmo, Minn.
Tyler Erb (1), New Waverly, Texas
Brandon Sheppard (1), New Berlin, Ill.
Stormy Scott (2), Las Cruces, N.M.
Allen Murray (2M), San Antonio, Texas
Brian Shirley (3S), Chatham, Ill.
Jeffrey Massingill (6M), Keewatin, Minn.
Ricky Weiss (7W), Headingley, Manitoba
Kyle Strickler (8), Mooresville, N.C.
Tim Isenberg (9i), Marshfield, Wis.
Gordy Gundaker (11), St. Charles, Mo.
Ashton Winger (12), Hampton, Ga.
Reid Millard (14R), Jefferson City, Mo.
Nick Anvelink (15A), Bonduel, Wis.
Rusty Griffaw (16), Festus, Mo.
Shannon Babb (18), Moweaqua, Ill.
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan.
Ryan Gustin (19), Marshalltown, Iowa
Dustin Sorenson (19), Rochester, Minn.
Jimmy Owens (20), Newport, Tenn.
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark.
Daniel Hilsabeck (22H), Adel, Iowa
Jason Feger (25), Bloomington, Ill.
Dennis Erb Jr. (28), Carpentersville, Ill.
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis.
Darrell Lanigan (29v), Union, Ky.
Bobby Pierce (32), Oakwood, Ill.
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa
Scott Ward (37), Watertown, S.D.
Kyle Bronson (40B), Brandon, Fla.
Jake Timm (49), Winona, Minn.
Chad Mahder (55C), Eau Claire, Wis.
Colton Horner (56jr), Katy, Texas
Ross Bailes (58), Clover, S.C.
A.J. Diemel (58), Elk Mound, Wis.
Mitch McGrath (74), Waukesha, Wis.
Brandon Overton (76), Evans, Ga.
Lance Matthees (90), Winona, Minn.
Jason Papich (91P), Nipomo, Calif.
Cade Dillard (97), Robeline, La.
Jason Rauen (98), Farley, Iowa
Boom Briggs (99B), Bear Lake, Pa.
Frank Heckenast Jr. (99jr), Frankfort, Ill.
Mike Marlar (157), Winfield, Tenn.
6 p.m. - Drivers’ meeting
6:30 p.m. - Hot laps
- WoO Late Models
- Cedar Lake Late Models
- WoO Late Model heats Round 1 (12 laps)
- Cedar Lake Late Model heats (12 laps)
- WoO Late Model heats Round 2 (12 laps)
- Cedar Lake Late Model consolation (12 laps)
- WoO Late Model Dash redraw
- WoO Late Model Dash (8 laps)
- FANSFund Dash (12 laps)
- Cedar Lake Late Model feature (40 laps)