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Thunderbird Speedway

Stovall tops Vaught in Thunderfest opener

October 6, 2012, 7:27 am
MARS DIRTcar Series
Jesse Stovall storms around Thunderbird Speedway. (Ron Mitchell)
Jesse Stovall storms around Thunderbird Speedway. (Ron Mitchell)

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (Oct. 5) — Pole-starting Jesse Stovall of Republic, Mo., led every lap of Friday’s opening feature at Thunderbird Speedway’s second annual Thunderfest presented by Mark Martin Auto Group, withstanding several challenges by Will Vaught of Crane, Mo. | Slideshow

Stovall earned $3,000 in the race co-sanctioned by the MARS DIRTcar Series and Comp Cams Super Dirt Series. The victory clinched Stovall’s first MARS points championship.

The fifth-starting Vaught, who swept last year’s Thunderfest action, settled for second with Jon Kirby of Russellville, Ark., in third. Terry Phillips of Springfield, Mo., and Justin Zeitner of La Vista, Neb., rounded out the top five.

Stovall’s 20-lap victory came with some last-lap drama as the leader went high in turn one in lapping Cliff Morrow. The second-running Vaught went low and the drivers exited turn-two three-wide, but Stovall muscled back out front for his seventh MARS victory of the season.

Notes: Stovall’s Victory Circle Chassis is powered by a Scott Bailey Racing Engine and sponsored by Hendrick Buick-GMC-Cadillac, Hatcher Auto Body and M&M Painting and Construction. ... Stovall notched his series-leading seventh MARS victory of 2012. ... The Comp Cams Super Dirt Series title chase is a tight one. Jon Mitchell of Texarkana, Texas, entered the event with an eight-point lead on Brandon Smith, who finished eighth, four spots better than Mitchell. ... Thunderfest wraps up Saturday with a $5,000-to-win event at the former Muskogee Motor Speedway.

Thunderfest: (1) Jesse Stovall, (2) Will Vaught, (3) Jon Kirby, (4) Terry Phillips, (5) Justin Zeitner, (6) Tommy Weder Jr., (7) Justin Wells, (8) Brandon Smith, (9) Gary Christian, (10) Justin Asplin, (11) Jon Mitchell, (12) Tony Jackson Jr., (13) Shawn Knuckles, (14) Eric Turner, (15) Jon Driskill, (16) Jeff Roth, (17) Kenneth Jackson, (18) Cliff Morrow, (19) Dustin Walker, (20) Randy Roth, (21) Cole Berkenbile, (22) Jake Davis. Heat race winners (among 31 cars): Kirby, Berkenbile, Vaught, Wells. Consolation winners: Driskill, Roth.

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