I-30 Speedway’s 35th Annual Short Track Nationals Set For This Weekend

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The annual pilgrimage to “The Natural State” is under way as I-30 Speedway’s 35th Annual Short Track Nationals takes place this weekend atop the high-banked, ¼-mile clay oval.

And the list of potential win suspects continues to grow for the $15,041-to-win event as the likes of past event winner Sam Hafertepe, Jr., 16-year-old phenom Ryan Timms, California sensation Justin Sanders and Canada’s Dylan Westbrook are among the latest to add their names to the mix.

Add in the fact that Thursday’s appetizer, the ASCS Mid-South $5,646-to-win 15th Annual Ralph Henson Tribute event, along with ideal weather conditions makes for a perfect weekend of Sprint Car racing.

Five time Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour champion Hafertepe, Jr., of Sunnyvale, Texas, finally snared his first STN crown in 2020 after serving as bridesmaid on three previous occasions with runner-up finishes. Hafertepe, Jr., joins previous winners Blake Hahn, Tim Crawley and Wayne Johnson among those looking to add another STN triumph to the ledger.

Oklahoma City’s Timms has burst on to the Sprint Car scene in a big way in 2022 with nine sprint car wins along with a pair of midget triumphs and raced to a runner-up finish in just his second World of Outlaws start one day after his 16th birthday in August.

A perennial frontrunner in California, Aromas, California’s Sanders joins forces with the Swindell Speedlab No. 39 for his STN debut. Sanders currently sits atop the Rod End Supply Winged 360 Sprint Car Power Rankings with 11 triumphs and raced his way into the Knoxville Nationals feature event in August in his debut aboard the No. 39 Sprint Car.

Westbrook, a Hills Racing teammate to Hafertepe, Jr., ranks among the nation’s top 360-ci Sprint Car racers as well with a pair of ASCS National Tour triumphs among his seven wins this season. The Scotland, Ontario racer picked up an ASCS National win at I-30 Speedway in 2021 and posted a top-five finish in the 2020 STN championship finale.

With the entry count already hovering about the 50 mark, more are expected over the next several days with the pre-entry deadline that includes a driver pit pass on Tuesday, September 27.

Blake Hahn made it three STN wins in the past four years with a late move past Jordon Mallet last year, matching Steve Kinser’s three STN titles in the early years of the event while Hall of Famers Sammy Swindell and Gary Wright lead the way with five and four victories, respectively.

Other drivers with multiple STN wins include Paul McMahan and Tony Bruce, Jr., with single wins posted by the likes of Hafertepe, Jr., NASCAR star Christopher Bell, reigning World of Outlaws champion Brad Sweet, Jason Meyers, Jason Johnson, Tim Montgomery, Jason Sides, Mike Ward, Tim Crawley, Wayne Johnson, Pete Butler, Terry Gray and John Gerloff.

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