Stasa Is Surprise Spring Nationals Winner
MESQUITE, Texas — Patrick Stasa led every lap to become the second first-time winner in four Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series races this season, winning the Spring Nationals Saturday night at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
Asked if he could find the words to describe the win, Stasa replied, “Oh man, there’s no way. Running against Christopher Bell; him on the high side there, I almost let him have it with the lapped cars.”
Earning the pole of the 30-lap feature, Stasa jumped to the lead over Bell, opening his advantage to over a second before the caution flag waved on lap two for the stalled No. 87 of Aaron Reutzel.
Back at speed, Stasa again began to pace away from the field with Matt Covington and John Carney II in pursuit of Bell for the runner up spot. Working past Covington for third on a lap-seven restart the El Paso driver began working on the Berryman Motorsports No. 31b, taking the position on lap 12.
A straightaway removed from the lead, slower traffic brought Carney to Stasa’s back bumper in a matter of laps. Looking to the inside-line for the pass several times on Stasa, the Young Tool No. 19 held the top spot as the dueling drivers allowed Bell to begin closing the gap.
Working off turn-four to complete lap 23, the leaders saw their night nearly coming to an abrupt end as Brandon Hanks slowed suddenly down the front straightaway. Hard on the brakes and trapped between the front stretch walls, Stasa narrowly missed the right-rear of Hanks with Carney nearly over the back of the No. 19; allowing Bell to nearly grab the lead.
“I kind of threw the Hail Mary there going down the frontstretch. They all had to check up, and it gave me a big ’ol run,” said Bell. “I drove it off into one on the top and jut got beat down there on the bottom.”
Carney worked back to second with five to go.
“I shouldn’t have been so patient on that. I wasn’t sure what to do and I really didn’t want to wreck, so I really waited a little too long and that let Bell get in there. If I would have just jammed it though there, I might have got the lead right then,” said Carney.
Carney challenged for the lead in the final two laps, but wouldn’t have enough to get around the Print Place No. 19. Christopher Bell took the final podium step. Matt Covington came from eighth to fourth with prelim night winner Tony Bruce Jr. completing the top five.
Patrick Stasa, John Carney II, Christopher Bell, Matt Covington, Tony Bruce Jr., Blake Hahn, Jason Johnson, Travis Rilat, Kolt Walker, Jeff Swindell, Martin Edwards, Johnny Herrera, Seth Bergman, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Michael Lang, Josh Baughman, Brandon Hanks, Brad Loyet, George White, Joe Wood Jr., Channin Tankersley, Aaron Reutzel, Brandon Hahn.