Stockon Strikes on Oval Nationals Night One

PERRIS, Cal. (November 9, 2017) – One can never underestimate the power of momentum.

After capturing his first USAC National Sprint Car win of the year just five nights earlier at the Western World Championships, Chase Stockon rode that wave of momentum from Arizona to southern California to top the opening night of the 22nd Annual Oval Nationals atop the ½-mile Perris Auto Speedway clay oval.

Stockon gunned into the lead at the drop of the green flag and then fought off strong challenges from C.J. Leary to post his second win a row with Brody Roa filling out the podium in third.

“C.J. pushed me pretty hard,” Stockon said in victory lane.  “I just drove as hard as I could to try to win this thing.”

Racing into the lead from the front row outside, Stockon kept Leary at bay much of the way until the latter began to pressure for the point as traffic approached soon after the midway point.  Leary closed in and rallied by on the top side of turns three and four on lap 20, only to have Stockon slip back by the next time around.

“I got by him, I’m not really sure how he got back by,” Leary commented afterward.

Dicing through traffic, Stockon held Leary off until the race’s second and final caution flew to set up a three-lap dash to the stripe.

“I knew those last three laps were going to be like qualifying laps to the end,” Stockon said.

Stockon nailed it with the assessment and nailed the final three laps to take the win with Leary settling for runner-up honors.  “If it would have stayed green, I think we had a better chance to win,” Leary said.

Roa stayed within striking distance throughout, settling for third at the checkered flag.  “We’re clicking right now and making good decisions, we’re happy about it,” Roa commented.

Kevin Thomas, Jr., crossed the stripe fourth with 12th-starter Tyler Courtney rounding out the top five.

The Vitals…       

Series:  USAC Sprint Cars

Track:  Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)

Car Count:  43

Quick Time:  Kevin Thomas, Jr., put down the night’s best time at 16.303 seconds.

Qualifying Moments:  Matt McCarthy biked it getting into turn one and went for a rough tumble that ended his night.

Heat Winners (starting position in parentheses):  Chad Boespflug (1), Chris Windom (3), R.J. Johnson (4), Logan Williams (1), Austin Liggett (2).

Heat Moments:  Leading USAC/CRA contender got his front end knocked down when Tommy Malcolm got out of shape exiting turn four a lap into the second heat race; Riding sixth with two laps to go, Tyler Courtney went top shelf to rally into third with Brody Roa slipping into the fourth and final transfer in the last corner after contact from Robert Ballou as Dave Darland was shuffled out as well; Dennis Gile fought off Brady Bacon for the fourth and final transfer in the final heat.

“B” Main Winner (starting position in parentheses):  Justin Grant (2).

“B” Main Moments:  The “B” Main ran off in non-stop fashion with T-Mez ripping the top of three and four to take the fourth and final transfer away from Gardner with the white flag in sight.

“A” Main Cautions:  Two

10 Laps – After starting third, Josh Hodges goes up in smoke just as the leaders were approaching traffic.

27 Laps – Dennis Gile comes to a stop in turn two.

“A” Main Hard Charger:  Chris Windom got the official $500 Hard Charger bonus by racing from 15th to seventh although Damion Gardner tried to exorcise some of own demons of the night by rallying to eighth from his provisional starting position of 24th for true passing honors.

The Box Score…

Qualifying:  1.9k-Kevin Thomas, Jr. 16.303, 2. 4-Damion Gardner 13.312, 3. 11-Justin Grant 16.428, 4. 91r-Brody Roa 16.573, 5. 30-C.J. Leary 16.576, 6. 19az-Thomas Meseraull 16.633, 7. 10-Richard Vander Weerd 16.659, 8. 74x-Josh Hodges 16.673, 9. 12-Robert Ballou 16.679, 10. 2-Austin Williams 16.696, 11. 32-Chase Stockon 16.715, 12. 17gp-Dany Faria, Jr. 16.718, 13. 51-R.J. Johnson 16.741, 14. 23c-Tyler Courtney 16.744, 15. 92-Jake Swanson 16.758, 16. 19s-Hunter Schuerenberg 16.774, 17. 5-Chris Windom 16.780, 18. 4s-Mike Spencer 16.822, 19. 73-Dave Darland 16.847, 20. 63-Brady Bacon 16.909, 21. 81-Michael Pickens 16.973, 22. 5m-Max Adams 16.999, 23. 52-Isaac Chapple 17.044, 24. 44-Cody Williams 17.047, 25. 56-Austin Liggett 17.047, 26. 69-Chad Boespflug 17.066, 27. 5x-Tommy Malcolm 17.100, 28. 39e-Kyle Edwards 17.150, 29. 5J-Logan Williams 17.169, 30. 13-Dennis Gile 17.202, 31. 16-Mike Martin 17.226, 32. 98v-Verne Sweeney 17.256, 33. 88-Jace Vander Weerd 17.304, 34. 42-Stevie Sussex 17.355, 35. 52v-Trent Williams 17.387, 36. 4g-Chris Gansen 17.478, 37. 21-A.J. Bender 17.499, 38. 98-Jeremy Ellertson 17.550, 39. 7k-Ronnie Gardner 17.551, 40. 90-Randy Waitman 17.632, 41. 73T-Carson Macedo 18.261, 42. 72-Gary Marshall, Jr. 18.446, 43. 28m-Matt McCarthy NT. 

Heat One (10 Laps – Top 4 Advance to “A” Main):  1.69-Chad Boespflug (1), 2. 19s-Hunter Schuerenberg (3), 3. 32-Chase Stockon (4), 4. 9k-Kevin Thomas, Jr. (6), 5. 4g-Chris Gansen (8), 6. 81-Michael Pickens (2), 7. 16-Mike Martin (7), 8. 19az-Thomas Meseraull (5), 9. 73T-Carson Macedo (9).

Heat Two (10 Laps – Top 4 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 5-Chris Windom (3), 2. 5m-Max Adams (2), 3. 17gp-Danny Faria, Jr. (4), 4. 5x-Tommy Malcolm (1), 5. 10-Richard Vander Weerd (5), 6. 98v-Verne Sweeney (7), 7. 72-Gary Marshall, Jr., 8. 4-Damion Gardner (6). DNS: 21-A.J. Bender.

Heat Three (10 Laps – Top 4 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 51-R.J. Johnson (4), 2. 4s-Mike Spencer (3), 3. 52-Isaac Chapple (2), 4. 74x-Josh Hodges (5), 5. 11-Justin Grant (6), 6. 88-Jace Vander Weerd (7), 7. 98-Jeremy Ellertson (8), 8. 39e-Kyle Edwards (1). DNS: 28m-Matt McCarthy.

Heat Four (10 Laps – Top 4 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 5J-Logan Williams (1), 2. 44-Cody Williams (2), 3. 23c-Tyler Courtney (4), 4. 91r-Brody Roa (6), 5. 73-Dave Darland (3), 6. 12-Robert Ballou (5), 7. 42-Stevie Sussex (7), 8. 7k-Ronnie Gardner (8).

Heat Five (10 Laps – Top 4 Advance to “A” Main):  1. 56-Austin Liggett (2), 2. 92-Jake Swanson (4), 3. 30-C.J. Leary (6), 4. 13-Dennis Gile (1), 5. 63-Brady Bacon (3), 6. 52v-Trent Williams (7), 7. 2-Austin Williams (5), 8. 90-Randy Waitman (5).

“B” Main (12 Laps – Top 4 Advance): 1. 11-Justin Grant (2), 2. 12-Robert Ballou (5), 3. 10-Richard Vander Weerd (4), 4. 19az-Thomas Meseraull (3), 5. 4-Damion Gardner (1), 6. 2-Austin Williams (6), 7. 63-Brady Bacon (8), 8. 73-Dave Darland (7), 9. 81-Michael Pickens (9), 10. 16-Mike Martin (11), 11. 52v-Trent Williams (15), 12. 88-Jace Vander Weerd (13), 13. 39e-Kyle Edwards (10), 14. 42-Stevie Sussex (14), 15. 73T-Carson Macedo (21), 16. 98-Jeremy Ellertson (18), 17. 21-A.J. Bender (17), 18. 7k-Ronnie Gardner (19), 19. 98v-Verne Sweeney (12), 20. 4g-Chris Gansen (16), 21. 90-Randy Waitman (20), 22. 72-Gary Marshall, Jr. (22). DNS: 28-Matt McCarthy.

“A” Main (30 Laps): 1. 32-Chase Stockon (2), 2. 30-C.J. Leary (4), 3. 91r-Brody Roa (5), 4. 9k-Kevin Thomas, Jr. (6), 5. 23c-Tyler Courtney (12), 6. 12-Robert Ballou (10), 7. 5-Chris Windom (15), 8. 4-Damion Gardner (26-Prov), 9. 11-Justin Grant (7), 10. 19az-Thomas Meseraull (8), 11. 51-R.J. Johnson (11), 12. 10-Richard Vander Weerd (9), 13. 92-Jake Swanson (13), 14. 4s-Mike Spencer (16), 15. 63-Brady Bacon (25-Prov), 16. 17gp-Danny Faria, Jr. (1), 17. 69-Chad Boespflug (21), 18. 19s-Hunter Schuerenberg (14), 19. 44-Cody Williams (19), 20. 56-Austin Liggett (20), 21. 52-Isaac Chapple (18), 22. 5x-Tommy Malcolm (22), 23. 5J-Logan Williams (23), 24. 5m-Max Adams (17), 25. 13-Dennis Gile (24), 26. 2-Austin Williams (27-Prov), 27. 74x-Josh Hodges (3).

Lap leaders:  Chase Stockon 1-19, C.J. Leary 20, Stockon 21-30.