SOMERTON, Ariz. — Brian Brown ousted the field in the Yuma Valley Showdown at Cocopah Speedway for his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory of the season.
It was a race where track position was key and Brown had just that by starting on the pole of the 30-lap event. Donny Schatz grabbed his 10th top-five of the season with a runner-up finish.
By winning the Craftsman Club Dash, Brown was awarded the pole starting position that proved to be invaluable. At the drop of the green flag, Brown jumped out to an early lead over the 24-car field.
“This is awesome, we’ve had a rough couple of nights,” said Brown, who unlike many in the field had experience on the track during the Winter Showdown. “It’s been an awesome start to the year, but the last couple of nights haven’t been good. The [crew] had a talk before the race and decided to hit the reset button. We’ve been in position to win some of these races this year, we just haven’t capitalized. To beat these guys is an honor and we’re excited to get to [Arizona Speedway] tomorrow. I can’t thank Casey General Stores, FVP and my crew enough for this.”
With Jason Sides settling into the second position from the get go, Sheldon Haudenschild tried to strike early at advancing his position with a slide job on Sides. The aggressive move didn’t stick however, proving costly as Schatz took advantage and vaulted into fourth.
The field started to search for more moisture on the track and eventually saw the groove move from the top of the three-eighths-mile oval down to the bottom. With leaders quickly approaching lap traffic, Schatz who was running third was able to get by Sides to move him into the runner-up position.
“We had a decent enough car to win but the way the track played out we had to be another row forward,” said Schatz. “Everyone’s tires were bald and it was one groove in turns one and two but turn three and four had two grooves, we just used so much tires at the end. Just happy to salvage a second-place finish.”
The only slow down on the day for World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series came on lap 25 of the 30-lap feature. The No. 13 of Clyde Knipp and Shane Stewart tangled in turn four. Stewart was able to rejoin the field, while Knipp’s night was done early as he got a tow to the infield.
On the ensuing single-file restart Brown got off to a quick restart and jumped out to a five car-length lead over the No. 15 Arctic Cat machine of Donny Schatz. Making one last-ditch effort at Brown, Schatz came up unsuccessful allowing Brown to cruise to his third career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series win.
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