Bristol Motor Speedway
Bailey on pole for USA Nationals at 34
From series reports
WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa (Sept. 14) – Lonnie Bailey captured the pole starting spot for Saturday’s $10,000-to-win, 100-lap Pepsi USA Nationals Deery Brothers Summer Series feature at 34 Raceway. Bailey, the IMCA Sunoco Late Model track champion at West Burlington during the 2007 point season, topped the first of five heat races and also posted the fast time in Friday night’s opening program.
Matt Strassheim paced the second heat and will line up outside Bailey on the front row. Also winning heats were Jason Frankel, Joey Gower and defending Pepsi titlist Mark Burgtorf. The top three finishers from each heat are locked into the field of 26. Three more will advance from both consolation races on Saturday, along with three provisionals based on point standings going into the series finale.
Completing the starting grid will be the top non-qualifier from time trials and the top non-qualifier from 34 Raceway standings this season.
Series points leader Jeremy Grady ran second in his heat. Darrel DeFrance, eight points behind Grady going into the weekend, did not qualify on opening night but is assured a starting spot in the feature.
Andy Nezworski raced his way from ninth to win the 20-lap J & J Steel Ironman Challenge, contested by the 13 drivers with perfect attendance through the series’ first 14 events. The victory paid $750.
Outside row-one starter Ben Nading led the first 15 circuits before Nezworski passed on the lower line. The only caution of the race came with three laps left and Terry Neal used the higher line to catch Nading for second following the ensuing re-start. Neal drew even with Nezworski at the white flag, but Nezworski pulled back ahead to take the checkers with Neal right behind.
The main event pays a minimum of $500 to start; Bailey earned $400 for setting fast time. Sixty Late Models checked in for first night action, the top car count during the 21st annual tour.