Mars Captures First Win of 2010 in Wild West Shootout Opener

By Ryan Neuharth

TUCSON, Ariz - January 9. Picking up right where he left off the 2009 season, Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wisconsin wheeled his way from the pole to the opening night win of the 2010 Wild West Shootout.

Mars would earn the pole for the night's 30-lap, $3000 to win main event after starting last and winning his heat race, gathering the most passing points of the 52 competitors who filled the USA Raceway pit area. Mars grabbed the lead at the drop of the green with six time SWDRA Champion Lonnie Parker, Jr taking second from the outside front row. John

Anderson would slot third followed by Matt Aukland, and Randy Korte in the early laps.Korte would jump from fifth to third on lap two as Kelly Boen swapped sixth with Rob Mayea and Billy Moyer made his way into the top 10 from 12th. With five down Mars was quickly stretching his advantage as Parker and Korte battled high and low for the runner-up position while Heckenast, Jr now having cracked the top five. The race's first caution appeared on lap six when Winnipeg, Manitoba driver Mike Balcean erupted in a cloud of smoke on the front stretch and ended his evening.

Mars lead the field back to green on the Delaware double file restart as Parker, Jr continued to hold off the charge of Korte. John Anderson still had a hold of the fourth position as Kelly Boen jumped from seventh to fifth and the series all-time winningest driver Terry Phillips was now 10th from 18th. The yellow would appear for the second time for a spinning Jeremy Payne on lap eight. On the restart, Korte made the move to second on lap nine as Boen now took the forth spot from Anderson and set his sights on the top three.

Terry Phillips was on the man on the move as the Springfield, MO pilot dispatched Matt Aukland on lap eight, Billy Moyer on lap nine and Heckenast, Jr on lap 10 to now find himself in seventh. That trio would race two and three wide for position as Boen now began to put serious heat on Parker, Jr for the number three spot. Boen would grab that spot on lap 13. Half way home Mars continued to lead followed by Korte, Boen, Parker, Jr, and Anderson rounding out the top five. A great four car battle for the sixth spot, now occupied by Phillips, was ragging as Moyer, Rob Mayea and Heckenast, Jr swapped seventh through ninth lap after lap.

Anderson and Parker, Jr would swap fourth twice on lap 16 and race side by side until Anderson finally secured that spot two circuits later, and Phillips moved Parker, Jr back another spot on lap 19 to now find his way into the top five with 10 to go. The battle was now on for sixth as both Moyer also found their way past Parker, Jr on lap 19 while Mayea and Heckenast, Jr staged their own personal battle to stay locked in the top ten with just ten laps remaining.

Mars began to encounter the back of the field as Boen moved ever closer to Korte and the two raced side by side to finish off the 20th circuit and begin lap 21. Boen would make the high side work to his advantage and was now in the lead chase position, slowly reeling in Mars as the top two picked their way through the slower lapped traffic. With just five to go Mars again stretched the advantage as Korte moved back in on Boen. Anderson, Phillips, Moyer, Heckenast, Jr, Parker, Jr and now Pat Doar from his 19th starting spot was ninth with Mayea rounding out the top ten.

Caution would appear once again on lap 28 for a slowing Lance Matthees, and again on the restart as Brad Looney and John Lowry founded themselves making contact and spinning in turn two. Moyer and Korte would jump to the outside on the restart and find it beneficial as Korte snagged second from Boen and Moyer jumped from sixth to fourth in a three wide fight with Anderson and Phillips. Up front it was all Jimmy Mars as he cruised to his first feature win of 2010 and his third career Wild West Shootout checker flag.

Mars' #28 is sponsored byBSB Manufacturing / Chevytown / Deppe Enterprises / Wiles Driveshafts / Baileigh Industries / Pro Power Racing Engines / MB Customs Chassis

Former Wild West Shootout Late Model champion Pat Doar from New Richmond, Wisconsin survived several early event wrecks and then went on to dominate the Open Wheel Modified 25-lap feature event for his first career Wild West Shootout Modified win.

Veteran Sherman Barnett from El Paso, Texas ran away with the Super Stock main event.

Results - Wild West Shootout Night #1:

A-Main: 1. Jimmy Mars, 2. Randy Korte, 3. Kelly Boen, 4. Billy Moyer, 5. John Anderson, 6. Terry Phillips, 7. Frank Heckenast, Jr, 8. Lonnie Parker, Jr, 9. Pat Doar, 10. Rob Mayea, 11. Eric Turner, 12. Matt Aukland, 13. Chris Shannon, 14. Clay Daly, 15. Brad Williams, 16. Don Shaw, 17. John Lowry, 18. Brad Looney, 19. Lance Matthees, 20. Andrew McKay, 21. Joey Moriarty, 22. Jeremy Payne, 23. Mike Balcean, 24. Mike Kirby



Heat 1: Mike Balcaen, Chris Shannon, Terry Phillips, Jeremy Payne, Brad Seng, Bo Doard, Adam Crippen, Grant Junghans, Paul Mueller



Heat 2: Jimmy Mars, Clay Daly, Billy Moyer, Jr, Pat Doar, Will Vaught, Mark Carroll, Dan Henrickson, Logan Drake, Jeff Biffle



Heat 3: Rob Mayea, John Anderson, Matt Aukland, Joey Moriarty, Andrew McKay, Brad Williams, Art Lacy, Darrell Nelson, Blaine Doppler



Heat 4: Randy Korte, Billy Moyer, Lonnie Parker, Jr, Lance Matthees, Ronnie Rihn, Bucky Andrews, Jimmy Jelvik, Jack Sullivan, Rylan Long



Heat 5: Frank Heckenast Jr. , Don Shaw, Eric Turner, Mike Kirby, Cory Hemphill, Dean Moore, Rob Sanders, David Vennard



Heat 6: Kelly Boen, Brad Looney, Steve Drake, John Lowry, Jeremy Thornton, Bill Bartells, Tommy Hussek, Jamie Throckmorton



B-Main 1: McKay, Doar, Matthees, Payne, Moyer, Jr, Seng, Moore, Rihn, Crippen, Throckmorton, Hussek, Biffle, Vaught, Andrews, Lacy, Nelson, Sullivan, Long



B-Main 2: Phillips, Shaw, Lowry, Williams, Carroll, Thornton, Junghans, Mueller, Drake, Hemphill, Henrickson, Sanders, L. Drake, Bartells, Jelvig, Dord, Doppler, Vennard

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