Brown Back in Victory Lane

Brian Brown

"It’s been an awesome start to the year, but the last couple of nights haven’t been good." (Photo: Dave Shank)

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Race Results

Brian Brown ousted the field in the Yuma Valley Showdown at Cocopah Speedway for his first World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series win since 2015. It was a race where track position was key and Brown had just that by starting on the pole of the 30-lap Feature event. Donny Schatz grabbed his tenth top-five of the season with a runner-up finish.

By winning the Craftsman Club Dash, Brian Brown was awarded the pole position — a starting position that proved to be invaluable. At the drop of the green flag, the Grain Valley, MO-driver quickly jumped out to an early lead over the 24-car field.

“This is awesome, we’ve had a rough couple of nights,” said Brian Brown. “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 the fourth position.

The field started to search for more moisture on the track and eventually saw the groove move from the top of the 3/8th-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 Donny Schatz. “Everyone’s tires were bald and it was one groove in Turns 1 and 2 but Turn 3 and 4 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 event. The No. 13 of Clyde Knipp and Shane Stewart tangled in Turn 4; 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 first win of the 2017 season and his third career World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series win.

After experiencing motor issues during qualifying, Daryn Pittman and the No. 9 Great Clips Kasey Kahne Racing team changed power plants before the heat race. Pittman was able to qualify into the Feature event through the Last Chance Showdown to start 22nd on the field. The KSE Hard Charger gained positions during the feature to finish 14th.

The World of Outlaws head east for a stop at the Arizona Speedway for the Arizona Desert Showdown on Saturday, April 8th to wrap up the spring Western swing before making their way back to Texas for a make-up show at Gator Motorplex on Thursday, April 13th and Devil’s Bowl for a two-night event on April 14 and 15. For tickets visit WorldofOutlaws.com/Tickets or call 844-DIRT-TIX.

 

Related Topics:

World of Outlaws, Brian Brown

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