Mars controls all 40 laps, wins Tucson's fifth round
By Joshua JoinerDirtonDirt.com staff writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (Jan. 18) — Ending a stretch of 16 months without a Super Late Model victory, Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wis., led every lap of Saturday’s Winter Extreme main event at Tucson International Raceway to claim round five of the six-race miniseries.
Mars earned $5,000 in continuing his strong start to the season with his fifth top-five finish in five races for Tucson International Raceway’s annual January event. | Complete Winter Extreme coverage
“Finally,” Mars said of his long-awaited return to victory lane. “We had a tough-luck year last year. It’s easy to make some wrong decisions even though you think you’re going the right direction. We just kinda backed everything up and did a little thinking this winter, and it’s been good this whole week.”
Starting from the pole, Mars cruised through the first half of the race before surviving a mid-race charge from Ryan Gustin of Marshalltown, Iowa, and later keeping John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va., at bay in a six-lap run to the finish.
Blankenship settled for the runner-up finish after charging from the 10th starting spot, while Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., finished where he started in third. Gustin, while fourth-starting Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., overtook outside polesitter Justin Asplin of Birch Tree, Mo., on the final lap to finish fifth.
After running fifth for most of the race, Gustin charged to second just after the race’s halfway point and cut Mars’ straightaway lead to just a few car lengths before the race’s final caution waved on lap 34. But Gustin couldn’t keep pace after the restart and dropped back to fourth at the finish.
The 40-lap race was slowed by four cautions. The first appeared on lap 10 when Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., went for a spin while battling Will Vaught of Crane, Mo., back in the pack. The race was again slowed with 16 laps complete when Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., spun exiting turn two.
Jason Papich of Nipomo, Calif., caused the third yellow when he spun on lap 24 while battling Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., for sixth. Justin Kay of Wheatland, Iowa, slowed on lap 34 to bring out the fourth and final caution.
Notes: Mars drives an MB Customs Race Car with a Pro Power engine and sponsorship from Deppe Enterprises, S&S Transport, T.L. Sinz Plumbing, Keyes Chevrolet, Baileigh Industrial and Tim’s Automotive Machine. ... Mars’ previous Super Late Model victory came at Manitowoc Expo Speedway on Aug. 17, 2012. ... Mars earned the third Tucson victory of his career and his first since 2010. His other two Arizona victories came at Central Arizona Raceway in Casa Grande in 2008. ... The Winter Extreme miniseries concludes Sunday afternoon with a $10,000-to-win event. DirtonDirt.com is providing live video coverage of the entire program.
Winter Extreme (Jan. 18): (1) Jimmy Mars, (2) John Blankenship, (3) Billy Moyer Jr., (4) Ryan Gustin, (5) Tony Jackson Jr., (6) Justin Asplin, (7) Tim Fuller, (8) Jason Krohn, (9) Pat Doar, (10) Jason Hughes, (11) Max Blair, (12) Ricky Weiss, (13) Jason Papich, (14) Tony Toste, (15) Brandon Sheppard, (16) Justin Kay, (17) Shane Clanton, (18) Will Vaught, (19) Chris Simpson, (20) Kent Robinson, (21) Terry Phillips, (22) A.J. Diemel, (23) Billy Moyer, (24) Travis Dickes. Fast qualifier (among 56 cars): Jackson, 16.026 seconds. Heat winners: Mars, Doar, Jackson, Gustin, Asplin, Moyer Jr. Consolation winners: Diemel, Kay, Moyer.
Row 1: Jimmy Mars, Justin Asplin
Row 2: Billy Moyer Jr., Tony Jackson Jr.
Row 3: Ryan Gustin, Pat Doar
Row 4: Max Blair, Travis Dickes
Row 5: Jason Krohn, John Blankenship
Row 6: Jason Papich, Brandon Sheppard
Row 7: Ricky Weiss, Chris Simpson
Row 8: Shane Clanton, Tim Fuller
Row 9: Tony Toste, Kent Robinson
Row 10: A.J. Diemel, Justin Kay
Row 11: Billy Moyer, Jason Hughes
Row 12: Will Vaught, Terry Phillips
Consolation race results
First consolation: A.J. Diemel, Jason Hughes, Trevor Glaser, Mike Balcaen, Lonnie Parker Jr., Steven Pfeifer, Brad Williams, Rick Ortega, Marshall Miles, Dave Deetz, Bucky Andrews, Greg Jelvik, Garrett Alberson.
Second consolation: Justin Kay, Will Vaught, Morgan Bagley, R.C. Whitwell, Dave Smith, Matt Crafton, Jordan Yaggy, Dean Moore, Tyson Turnbull, Mason Zeigler, Kyle Beard.
Third consolation: Billy Moyer, Terry Phillips, Clay Daly, Nick Bartels, Lance Matthees, Chase Junghans, William Thomas, Cody Laney, Donny Schatz, Zach McMillan, Sean Bray, James Laing.
Consolation race lineups
Top two finishers transfer to main event
Row 1: Garrett Alberson, Mike Balcaen
Row 2: Brad Williams, Jason Hughes
Row 3: A.J. Diemel, Steven Pfeifer
Row 4: Trevor Glaser, Rick Ortega
Row 5: Lonnie Parker Jr., Marshall Miles
Row 6: Dave Deetz, Greg Jelvik
Row 7: Bucky Andrews
Row 1: Justin Kay, Will Vaught
Row 2: Kyle Beard, R.C. Whitwell
Row 3: Mason Zeigler, Morgan Bagley
Row 4: Dave Smith, Rob Sanders
Row 5: Matt Crafton, Jordan Yaggy
Row 6: Joey Moriarty, Tyson Turnbull
Row 7: Dean Moore
Row 1: Nick Bartels, Billy Moyer
Row 2: Clay Daly, Terry Phillips
Row 3: Lance Matthees, Chase Junghans
Row 4: Cody Laney, William Thomas
Row 5: Zach McMillan, Donny Schatz
Row 6: Sean Bray, James Laing
Heat race results
Top three finishers transfer to main event
First heat: Jimmy Mars, Max Blair, Ricky Weiss, Garrett Alberson, Brad Williams, A.J. Diemel, Trevor Glaser, Lonnie Parker Jr., Dave Deetz.
Second heat: Pat Doar, Travis Dickes, Chris Simpson, Mike Balcaen, Jason Hughes, Steven Pfeifer, Rick Ortega, Marshall Miles, Greg Jelvik.
Third heat: Tony Jackson Jr., Jason Krohn, Shane Clanton, Justin Kay, Kyle Beard, Mason Zeigler, Dave Smith, Matt Crafton, Joey Moriarty, Deam Moore.
Fourth heat: Ryan Gustin, John Blankenship, Tim Fuller, Will Vaught, R.C. Whitwell, Morgan Bagley, Rob Sanders, Jordan Yaggy, Tyson Turnbull.
Fifth heat: Justin Asplin, Jason Papich Tony Toste, Nick Bartels, Clay Daly, Lance Matthees, Cody Laney, Zach McMillan, Sean Bray.
Sixth heat: Billy Moyer Jr., Brandon Sheppard, Kent Robinson, Billy Moyer, Terry Phillips, Chase Junghans, William Thomas, Donny Schatz, James Laing.
Heat races start straight up from qualifying
Jimmy Mars (28), Menomonie, Wis. 16.246
Max Blair (111), Titusville, Pa. 16.316
Ricky Weiss (7), Winnipeg, Manitoba 16.365
Garrett Alberson (43), Las Cruces, N.M. 16.600
Brad Williams (23), Tucson, Ariz. 16.770
Trevor Glaser (2), Tangent, Org. 16.774
A.J. Diemel (58), Elk Mound, Wis. 16.908
Bucky Andrews (23), Tucson, Ariz. 18.599
Dave Deetz (98D), Las Cruces, N.M. no time
Lonnie Parker Jr. (8p) El Mirage, Ariz. no time
Travis Dickes (6), Madison, Neb. 16.074
Pat Doar (11), New Richmond, Wis. 16.259
Chris Simpson (32), Oxford, Iowa 16.313
Mike Balcaen (10), Winnipeg, Manitoba 16.415
Jason Hughes (12), Westville, Okla. 16.610
Steven Pfeifer (11), Minot, N.D. 17.155
Marshall Miles (7), Siera Vista, Ariz. 17.675
Rick Ortega (24), Las Cruces, N.M. 18.400
Greg Jelvik (7j), Tucson, Ariz. 19.708
Tony Jackson Jr. (56), Lebanon, Mo. 16.026
Shane Clanton (25), Zebulon, Ga. 16.352
Joey Moriarty (51), Phoenix, Ariz. 16.597
Jason Krohn (7k), Slayton, Minn. 16.701
Kyle Beard (86), Trumann, Ark. 16.736
Justin Kay (15k), Wheatland, Iowa 16.821
Dave Smith (06), Edmonton, Alberta 16.884
Mason Zeigler (25z), Chalk Hill, Pa. 17.001
Dean Moore (14), Grand Junction, Colo. 17.050
Matt Crafton (88), Tulare, Calif. 17.324
Ryan Gustin (19r), Marshalltown, Iowa 16.360
R.C. Whitwell (5), Tucson, Ariz. 16.374
John Blankenship (23), Williamson, W.Va. 16.471
Tim Fuller (19), Watertown, N.Y. 16.835
Rob Sanders (10n), Bakersfield, Calif. 16.868
Will Vaught (1v), Crane, Mo. 16.988
Morgan Bagley (14m), Longview, Texas 17.040
Jordan Yaggy (77), Rochester, Minn. 17.094
Tyson Turnbull (10), Estevan, Saskatchewan 17.239
Jason Papich (91p), Nipomo, Calif. 16.685
Justin Asplin (77A), Birch Tree, Mo. 16.772
Tony Toste (91t), Pismo Beach, Calif. 16.946
Nick Bartels (27), El Segundo, Calif. 17.146
Clay Daly (32b), Watsonville, Calif. 17.210
Cody Laney (77), Bakersfield, Calif. 17.633
Zach McMillan (14z), Gladewater, Texas 17.771
Sean Bray (14), Tucson, Ariz. 18.248
Lance Matthees (90), Winona, Minn. no time
Kent Robinson (7r), Bloomington, Ind. 16.527
Billy Moyer Jr. (21jr), Batesville, Ark. 16.600
Brandon Sheppard (b5), New Berlin, Ill. 16.859
Terry Phillips (75), Springfield, Mo. 16.960
Billy Moyer (21), Batesville, Ark. 16.987
William Thomas (19), Phenix City, Ala. 17.068
Donny Schatz (15), Fargo, N.D. 17.081
Chase Junghans (18), Manhattan, Kan. 17.104
James Laing (89), Tucson, Ariz. 18.114