QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — Kicking off the Copper Classic at Arizona Speedway, the San Tan Ford ASCS Desert Non-Wing Series welcomed a stout field of 30 drivers with Stevie Sussex capturing his fifth career victory with the Arizona-based non-winged sprint car tour.
Starting off with the front row tangling and collecting three other cars in the process, with everyone managing to stay upright, the second shot at the start was also a no go as a driver came to a stop on the backstretch as the field went green.
Needing two more chances to get rolling, Tyler Most took off with the race lead while Gile and Sussex pursued through the opening laps.
Working top shelf over Sussex, the No. 13 of Gile began reeling in the No. 13 to take the point by 0.004 seconds on lap five.
Slowed with seven laps complete, Most shot to the bottom on the restart but Gile would hold the spot with Stevie Sussex following to second. Shifting lines on lap nine, Stevie rolled the hub of the first and second turns. Getting the bite needed, the No. 12 took the point as the field completed the 10th lap.
Low in one and two, high in three and four, Sussex moved his advantage to over two seconds as slower traffic came into play with just under 10 laps to go.
Fighting with lapped cars, but still maintaining a comfortable lead, the dynamic changed as the caution lights came back on lap 18. Slowed again a lap later, Most tried the bottom to no avail as Gile and Cling raced past.
Slowed one final time with three laps to run as R.J. Johnson and Tyler Most saw their night’s end with failed tires, the restart yielded much of the same for Stevie Sussex.
Taking the white flag, the coming checkered flag would have to wait for one last caution. Keeping the field at bay for two more laps, Sussex grabbed the win by 1.506 seconds.
Racing hard for second, Sterling Cling and Dennis Gile made contact with both able to keep rolling through the final lap. Cling held on for second with Shon Deskins third from 14th.
Rolling from 18th, Aaron Jones grabbed fourth with Randy Nelson going from 11th to fifth.
Feature (25 Laps): 1. 12-Stevie Sussex; 2. 34C-Sterling Cling; 3. 20-Shon Deskins; 4. 22G-Aaron Jones; 5. 9X-Randy Nelson; 6. 13-Dennis Gile; 7. 2-Joshua Shipley; 8. 17-Joe Scheopner; 9. 7-Mason Keefer; 10. 0-Jonas Reynolds; 11. 3Y-Pete Yerkovich; 12. 8K-Kala Keliinoi; 13. 7X-Ryan Murphy; 14. 21C-Brian Chamberlain; 15. (DNF) 4T-Josh Castro; 16. (DNF) 3-Tyler Most; 17. (DNF) 30-RJ Johnson; 18. (DNF) 9-Josh Pelkey; 19. (DNF) 51-Ronald Webster; 20. (DNF) 72-AJ Hernandez; 21. (DNF) 7K-Bruce St James; 22. (DNF) 25AZ-Rick Shuman; 23. (DNF) 7W-Wayne Siddle; 24. (DNF) 34-Dustin Burkhart