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WHITWELL BOUNCES BACK WITH USA RACE PARK WIN

Modifieds, Pro Stocks and Factory Stocks

By: Gary Jacob
Where: Tucson, AZ
On: 04/09/2005
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Tucson, AZ -- Young R C Whitwell from Sahuarita bounced back from his engine woes of the previous weekend to lead all 20 laps in his $500 Barnett Harley Davidson dirt modified feature win at USA Race Park on Saturday night. Whitwell's Jet Mod had failed to finish the feature both nights at Casa Grande last weekend after winning four straight features the previous two weekends. Whitwell was busy on Saturday night as he also raced his dirt late model. Bumper Jones made the tow from Las Cruces NM to race in both classes and he managed second place runs in both his D&M Performance dirt modified and his dirt late model. 2004 Canyon Raceway IMCA Modified champion Shawn Zelenka joined the Tucson action and ran third ahead of previous week winner Carl Trimmer. Brian Barsness won his third straight 20 lap Pro Stock feature, finishing 1/3 of a lap ahead of Todd Izzo with Don Brown in third. B Barsness' father Randy Barsness won the 20 lap factory stock main event as he led the final 13 laps. Jeff Bennett ran third and Winter Series champion Mike McGullam bounced back from his disqualification at the previous race to finish third.

Thirty dirt modifieds were split into four heat races. Outside front row starter Corey Hosler Jr won heat 1 as he fended off a challenge from Whitwell. Whitwell had problems on the final lap and fell back to finish third behind Brad Campbell. Hosler's best lap was an 18.96. Shane Parker used an outside front row start to win heat 2 with a best lap of 19.51. Las Cruces NM long tow Royal Jones battled from sixth to finish second ahed of Dennis Fetter. Zelenka came from the rear to win heat 3 and Trimmer ran second. B Jones won heat 4 from sixth with a best lap of 18.84. Brian Gardner was second ahead of double division racer Terry Belcher Sr. Ron Kokot broke in his heat and was done for the night. The B Main was pulled off the track before a lap was scored after a series of early incidents reduced the field down to the 12 transfer cars. Alternate Mike Money tagged the main event field and ran the whole 20 lap race, but was not scored. Hosler and Parker had the front row for the 24 car feature with Wade Simmons and Whitwell in row 2 ahad of Fetter and B Campbell. B Jones shared row six with Belcher Sr. The race had to be restarted after B Campbell got out of shape in turn 4 on the first lap, sending Simmons hard into the outside wall. Fetter blew a tire, but was allowed to change it and retake his starting spot. On the next attempt, B Jones got forced into the infield and blew a tire with B Campbell, Jeremy Huebner and Belcher Sr crashing in turn 4. The race was over for both Huebner and Belcher Sr, but B Jones restarted at the rear. Hosler broke bringing the field down for the next start attempt and Zelenka spun in the incident. Finally, lap one was scored with Whitwell leading Parker, Zelenka and Fetter. Zelenka raced into second on lap 2 with his Benji Lyons sponsored mount and B Campbell was an early dropout. Tim Palmer broke for the next caution on lap 5 and Cody Cambensy fell out after spinning. Trimmer leaped from fifth to third on this restart and B Jones moved into the top five with his pass of Gardner on lap 8. B Jones then took fourth from Parker a lap later. At the midway mark, B Jones drove around both Zelenka and Trimmer to gain second. Gardner was now fifth ahead of Parker and R Jones. Terry Martzall hit the wall for the final caution with four laps to run and E K Ongley fell out. Whitwell managed to stay in front of B Jones and Zelenka for the win with Trimmer fourth ahead of Gardner, Parker, George Fronsman, R Jones, Fetter and Daniel Hutto. B Barsness was 11th in the dirt modifieds.

There were nine pro stocks and B Barsness had a perfect night as he won the heat race from an outside front row start. His best lap was an 18.94 on the 3/8 mile clay oval. Sixth starting Izzo ran second ahead of pole starter Dwayne Hogan. I want to apologize for the error in last week's story calling B Barness the winter series champion as Butch McCleskey finished one point ahead of B Barsness for the $1000 award. Larry Leetch was four points behind the winner and Izzo finished six points back. The 20 lap feature was run with just a single yellow flag and B Barsness took the lead from Brown on lap 3. Newcomer Christian Fuller missed the heat and ran just a couple laps in the feature at half speed before parking his former Mark Odgers car. B Barsness passed Brown on the inside of turn 2 on lap 3 and Izzo took third from usual street stock racer Billy Williams on lap 4. Leetch drew a blackflag for racing with his hood flapping in the breeze. B Barsness had built his lead to 1/3 lap before Williams spun for the only yellow flag on lap 10. He quickly rebuilt his lead to the same 1/3 lap margin at the checkered flag. Izzo grabbed second from Brown on the restart and chased B Barsness to the win. Brown ran third ahead of Pat D'Antonio and Hogan.

The factory stocks split 16 cars into a pair of heat races. Mike Meitzner came from the back row to win heat 1 over Jim Walker and pole starter McGullam. R Barsness won heat 2 from 4th and back row starter Matthew Mabbitt ran second ahead of Bennett. Walker led the first 3 laps of the feature with Meitzner in second. Brian Burnmeister crashed for a lap one yellow and Doug Paxson restarted in the rear after pitting with a flat tire. R Barsness settled into third and newcomer Nathan McFarland pitted with a flat after hitting the wall. Meitzner grabbed the lead from Walker on lap 4 and Walker fell back to sixth after he got into the infield on lap 6. R Barsness took over second ahead of Bennett. Making a pass on the outside on the backstretch, R Barsness took the lead from Meitzner on lap 8. Mabbitt blew a tire to trigger a tangle that ended the race for Richard Foley and Burnmeister. Meitzner pitted from second for a new tire and restarted in the rear. Bennett was now second ahead of McGullam. Meitzner rebounded to fifth on lap 14 and he got around Walker on the last lap to finish fourth. R Barsness won ahead of Bennett, McGullam, Meitzner, Walker, Terry Hill, Paxson, Chuck Skiffington and Kenny Vaughn.

On April 16, the winged sprints return to join the dirt modifieds and street stocks. Like most Arizona tracks, USA Race Park will be dark on April 23 with the Nextel Cup Series racing a Saturday night show in Phoenix for the first time.

Summary Factory Stock Heat 1-Mike Meitzner, Jim Walker, Mike McGullam, Brian Burnmeister, Charles Skiffington. Heat 2-Randy Barsness, Matthew Mabbitt, Jeff Bennett, Terry Hill, Richard Foley. Main-R Barsness, Bentt, McGullam, Meitzner, Walker, Hill, Doug Paxson, Skiffington, Kenny Vaughn, Shane Selsi, Jeff Tardif, Mabbitt, Burnmeister, Foley, Nathan McFarland. Pro Stock Heat-Brian Barsness, Todd Izzo, Dwyane Hogan, Larry Leetch, Don Brown. Main-B Barsness, Izzo, Brown, Pat D'Antonio, Hogan, Leetch, Billy Williams, Christian Fuller. Dirt Modified Heat 1-Corey Hosler Jr, Brad Campbell, R C Whitwell, Troy Hoey, Matt Phillips. Heat 2-Shane Parker, Royal Jones, Dennis Fetter, Brian Barsness, Daniel Hutto. Heat 3-Shawn Zelenka, Carl Trimmer, Wade Simmons, Terry Martzell, Jim Hurd. Heat 4-Bumper Jones, Brian Gardner, Terry Belcher Sr, Jeremy Huebner, Todd Campbell. Main-Whitwell, B Jones, Zelenka, Trimmer, Gardner, Parker, George Fronsman, R Jones, Fetter, Hutto, B Barsness, Hoey, T Campbell, Brian Clark, Martzall, Jon Lauderbaugh, E K Ongley, Cody Cambensy, Tim Palmer, B Campbell, Hosler, Huebner, Belcher Sr, Simmons.


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