Shirley Tops Wild West Shootout Practice Night
Aaron Clay, QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. (January 10, 2020) – It was a brisk night in the desert, as nearly 100 total cars hit the FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway track surface for practice night, in preparation for the 2020 Keyser Manufacturing Wild West Shootout, presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts.
The 3/8-mile bullring located in Queen Creek started with plenty of moisture in the surface, a sign of the track preparation completed by Johnny Stokes and Scott Woodhouse, leading up to this weekend’s action. The facility also received a heavy amount of rain, by Arizona standards, throughout the week, making for damp grounds throughout the pits and parking lot.
Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill., was the only driver to crack the 14-second bracket during Friday night’s practice, a feat he accomplished early in the evening while the track was still retaining that moisture. Shirley ripped a 14.995 second lap around Arizona Speedway, aboard the Bob Cullen Racing owned Rocket XR1 Chassis, topping the other 41 Late Model drivers who took laps.
The track became dry-slick nearly all the way to the wall, by the conclusion of practice. These conditions proved exciting to watch, as drivers did their best to run the high line while trying to keep from jumping the cushion and tagging the wall. However, speeds did slow down a touch by the end of the night, due to the slickening track conditions.
There were no major incidents to speak of during practice, save for a few drivers getting too high and crumpling their right-rear quarter panels on the wall. Don Shaw of Ham Lake, Minn., lost an engine early in the session, ending his practice night. Unfortunately, this was Shaw’s second expired engine of the brief year, after losing one in Vado, New Mexico last weekend. It is unknown if Shaw will attempt to acquire another engine or whether it would arrive in time, for him to compete in Saturday night’s opener.
The 14th annual Wild West Shootout begins on Saturday, with cars scheduled to begin hot laps at 3:00pm local time (5:00pm Eastern). Online sales of single and multi-day tickets are underway for the popular miniseries, which will pay over $200,000 in purses over six nights of Super Late Model, Modified and X-Mod racing with tripleheaders set for Jan. 11, 12, 15, 17, 18 and 19. Fans can pick up their advanced tickets by visiting http://www.wildwestshootout.net/schedule/, and it’s worth noting that an adult, advanced six-day package gets a free one-day pit pass upgrade along with a free seat cushion.
Fans and competitors planning trips to FK Rod Ends Arizona Speedway can also now book rooms at the Wild West Shootout’s official hotel, Hyatt Place Phoenix Gilbert, located approximately 20 minutes from the track in Gilbert, Ariz. Call 1-888-591-1234 or visit www.HyattPlaceGilbert.com to schedule your stay.
For more information on the 14th annual Wild West Shootout, please visit www.WildWestShootout.net
The Wild West Shootout is made possible by Keyser Manufacturing, O’Reilly Auto Parts, FK Rod Ends, Dirt Track Bank, Black Diamond Race Cars, Shaw Trucking, Schaeffer Oil, SportTruck RV, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Border Tire, Arizona Differential, RHRSwag.com, Barnett Harley Davidson, Shocks by Hammer, Hoker Trucking, Premier Waste Services, MidWest Sheet Metal, Rodeo Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, VP Racing Fuel, Hoosier Racing Tires, Pro Power Engines, Penske Racing Shocks, Five Star Graphix, Beaver Stripes, Gorsuch Performance Solutions, Screven Motor Speedway, Total Ag Solutions and DirtonDirt.com.