O’Neil Tames Modified Field In Arizona

Jake O'Neil celebrates his modified win Sunday at Arizona Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)
Jake O'Neil celebrates his modified win Sunday at Arizona Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)

SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. – The Mesilla Valley Transport and Border Tire Modifieds presented by Arizona Differential portion of the Wild West Shootout on Sunday was dominated by Jake O’Neil.

The Arizona driver led all the 25 laps despite the feature being slowed by five caution flags, however O’Neil was able to retain the lead during each ensuing restart.

The final caution flag waved on lap 23, setting up a two-lap shootout to the finish. O’Neil remained unfazed, sprinting to the checkered flag and collecting the $2,000 payday by .729 seconds over Tyler Peterson. Clint Johnson, Rodney Sanders and Brooks Strength completed the top-five finishers on Sunday.

The fourth-place finish clinched the 2021 Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout championship for Sanders.

The RHRswag.com X-Mods presented by Barnett Harley-Davidson had the most thrilling and unpredictable main event of the night on Sunday.  Brennan Gave led the beginning of the 25-lap feature ahead of Lance Schill with Brock Gronwold in striking distance.

Everything changed when the race’s second caution flag waved on lap 15, as it erased Gave’s healthy lead and setup a rash of cautions and restarts.  Schill and Gronwold were both able to work their way around Gave on the ensuing restart and unfortunately for Gave, he and Preston Carr made contact at the exit of turn four on lap 17, causing Gave to pound the turn one wall.  The damage ended Gave’s night and relegated him to finish 20th.

Schill now found himself leading over Carr, Andy Bryant, Shane Sabraski and Jason VandeKamp. However, Schill’s time out front was short-lived, as Carr was able to work his way by him on lap 22.  At the exact moment that Carr passed Schill, he got loose at the exit of turn four and nearly spun out.  Having made an excellent save, Schill had a horrible angle for the entrance of turn one and completed a full 360-degree spin, collecting Bryant.  Bryant was able to continue and finished 12th, but the incident ended Schill’s night, crediting him with 19th.

Sabraski wasted little time on the final restart, successfully passing Carr and cruising to win his second feature of the week in the RHRswag.com X-Mod division presented by Barnett Harley-Davidson.

Carr had a spin of his own before the checkered flag dropped and was credited with finishing 15th on Sunday, though that was plenty for him to clinch the X-Mod points championship. VandeKamp, Gronwold, Zach Brom and Chris Hawkins completed the top-five finishers.