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By Lance Jennings

PEORIA, AZ – NOVEMBER 23, 2014... Securing the lead from Casey Shuman on lap twenty-two, Ryan Bernal of Hollister, California claimed the opening night of the “47th Annual Sands Chevrolet Western World Championships. For Bernal, Thursday’s $2,000 victory at Canyon Speedway Park his first career USAC SouthWest Sprint Car triumph. Hard Charger Bryan Clauson, Shuman, R.J. Johnson, and C.J. Leary chased the 2-time USAC Western Classic Sprint Champion to the checkered flags.

Piloting Mike Phulps #56 Tri-L Mandarin Ranch / Core Power ART, Ryan Bernal took command from pole-sitter Gary Taylor on the second lap and set a blistering pace on the 1/3-mile oval. By mid-race, Shuman challenged the leader and grabbed the top spot on the twenty-first circuit. Bernal countered the move and stormed to his first win in the “Copper State.” Earlier in the program, Ryan scored third in his heat race and ranked fifth in passing points.

Driving the Tony Stewart Racing/Curb-Agajanian #20X Chevy Performance machine, Noblesville, Indiana’s Bryan Clauson earned the night’s “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors by racing to second from eighteenth. The former USAC National Champion placed twenty-sixth in the nightly passing points after running sixth in his heat race and claiming second in the second semi-main.

After chasing down Bernal to take the lead on lap twenty-one, Casey Shuman of Indianapolis, Indiana scored third in the Western World feature. Racing the Hockett/James #75 Factory Kahne / Lucas Oil Maxim, Shuman ran second to Josh Hodges in his heat race and sat third in passing points.

Charging from fourteenth, Phoenix’s R.J. Johnson took fourth at the finish line. Piloting Bill Michaels’ #77M Kodiak Products / Beal’s Auto Body Sherman, the SouthWest point leader was seventeenth in overall passing points after taking fifth in his heat race and winning the first 12-lap semi-main.

C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Indiana scored fifth at Canyon Speedway Park after starting nineteenth. Racing the family owned #30 Leary Construction / Green-Tech Lubricants DRC, Leary was fifth in his heat race, claimed third in the first semi-main, and ranked twenty-third in the nightly passing points.

Peoria’s Mike Colegrove took his fourth heat race victory of the year in the opening 8-lap event. Driving the family owned #17M Precision Tile / Ellis Race Cars entry, Colegrove ranked seventh overall in passing points before finishing twentieth in the 30-lap main event.

Tom Ogle of Surprise won the night’s second 8-lap heat race. Piloting his #48 RSS Industries / JT Engineering RSS, Ogle entered the feature seated eighth in passing points before a nasty flip over the turn one wall. Officially scoring nineteenth, Tom walked away from the incident but his car suffered heavy damage.

Tijeras, New Mexico’s Josh Hodges claimed his third heat race win of the campaign in the third 8-lap event. Racing the family owned #74X Parts Plus / Mesilla Valley Transportation Maxim, Hodges was second in passing points and finished twenty-first in the main event after an early exit.

“Chargin” Charles Davis Jr. of Buckeye won the program’s fourth heat race. Driving the Massey Motorsports #50 RSS Industries / MP Environmental RSS, Davis ranked ninth in passing points and ran sixth in the main event after starting ninth.

Westfield, Indiana’s “The Madman” Robert Ballou claimed victory in the night’s fifth 8-lap heat race. Piloting his #12X Blakesley Auto / Cliffon Services Maxim, Ballou was the night’s leader in passing points and finished eighth in the feature after starting sixth.

“The Radio Flyer” Bruce St. James of Phoenix won his first semi-main of 2014. Racing his #7K Woodland Auto Display / Weld Racing Maxim, St. James finished fourth in his heat race, ranked twentieth in passing points and took fourteenth in the feature after starting sixteenth.

The USAC SouthWest Sprint Car Series thanks Sunoco Race Fuels, Hoosier Tire, Racers Advantage Store, and the Hose Advantage Store for their support. For more information on the group, visit www.southwestsprintcars.com, www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SouthwestSprintCars).
November 20, 2014 - Peoria, Arizona - Canyon Speedway Park - 47th Annual Sands Chevrolet "Western World Championships"

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Mike Colegrove (#17M Colegrove), 2. Shon Deskins (#20 Deskins), 3. Ryan Bernal (#56 Phulps), 4. Tye Mihocko (#5 Mihocko), 5. Josh Shipley (#2 Bishop), 6. Mike Martin (#16 Martin), 7. Matt Lundy (#98 Lundy), 9. Mark Morin (#28 Morin). NT

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Tom Ogle (#48 Ogle), 2. Jake Swanson (#92 Sertich), 3. Mike Spencer (#7M Priestley), 4. Casey Buckman (#04G Cook), 5. Chris Windom (#22B Weber), 6. Bryan Clauson (#20X TSR-Curb/Agajanian), 7. Andy Reinbold (#19 Underwood), 8. Bradley Terrell (#5V VanLare). NT

THIRD HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Josh Hodges (#74X Hodges), 2. Casey Shuman (#75 Hockett/James), 3. Gary Taylor (#1ST BRAT), 4. Matt Mitchell (#37 Mitchell), 5. C.J. Leary (#30 Leary), 6. Dalten Gabbard (#77 Gabbard). NT

FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Charles Davis Jr. (#50 Massey), 2. Matt Rossi (#02 Rossi), 3. Brady Bacon (#99 BBR), 4. Bruce St. James (#7K St. James), 5. R.J. Johnson (#77M Michaels), 6. Dave Darland (#73 Ford), 7. Jon Stanbrough (#20S Deskins). NT

FIFTH HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Robert Ballou (#12X Ballou), 2. Brian Hosford (#32B Weber) 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (#17RW Dutcher), 4. Josh Pelkey (#12 Allen), 5. Aaron Reutzel (#87 Reutzel), 6. Colby Copeland (#74 Williams), 7. Michael Curtis (#11C Turner/Wheeler). NT

FIRST SEMI: (12 laps)
1. Johnson, 2. Bacon, 3. Leary, 4. Windom, 5. Copeland, 6. Darland, 7. Shipley, 8. Reinbold, 9. Curtis, 10. Terrell, 11. Buckman. NT

SECOND SEMI: (12 laps)
1. St. James, 2. Clauson, 3. Mitchell, 4. Stanbrough, 5. Thomas, 6. Pelkey, 7. Reutzel, 8. Gabbard, 9. Martin, 10. Lundy, 11. Morin.

FEATURE: (30 laps – With Starting Positons)
1. Ryan Bernal (2nd), 2. Bryan Clauson (18th), 3. Casey Shuman (4th), 4. R.J. Johnson (15th), 5. C.J. Leary (19th), 6. Charles Davis Jr. (9th), 7. Gary Taylor (1st), 8. Robert Ballou (6th), 9. Mike Spencer (14th), 10. Chris Windom (21st), 11. Matt Mitchell (20th), 12. Tye Mihocko (10th), 13. Shon Deskins (11th), 14. Bruce St. James (16th), 15. Brian Hosford (13th), 16. Matt Rossi (3rd), 17. Brady Bacon (17th), 18. Jon Stanbrough (22nd), 19. Tom Ogle (8th), 20. Mike Colegrove (7th), 21. Josh Hodges (5th), 22. Jake Swanson (12th). NT
**Ogle, Bacon and Deskins flipped during the feature

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Taylor, Laps 2-20 Bernal, Lap 21 Shuman, Laps 22-30 Bernal.
HARD CHARGER: Bryan Clauson (18th to 2nd)