Whitwell Becomes Sixth West Coast Shootout Winner at Cocopah Speedway

by Stephanie Odom
YUMA, Ariz. (October 6) – RC Whitwell became the sixth West Coast Late Model Shootout feature event winner in just as many events as they took on Yuma, Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway for the first time in series history. Eighteen cars checked in for the inaugural event with a tight points’ battle at hand as the season nears an end.

Points’ leader Clay Daly started the night off strong aboard his Pete Van Iderstine owned #32B Victory Circle Chassis before a crank bolt broke ending his night. Joey Moriarty stepped in and offered Daly his second car for the feature event where he tagged the back of the field and had his work cut out for him to move forward and maintain his lead.

RC Whitwell of Tucson, Arizona started the feature event on the pole after qualifying fifth in his group and second in heat race action. Whitwell sat outside pole for the dash and quickly took the lead setting up his feature event position.

Arroyo Grande, California’s Jason Papich started alongside Whitwell setting the fastest lap within his group and winning his heat race. Papich went into the weekend third in points’ and one point behind his teammate Tony Toste.

Whitwell leaped out front when the green flag dropped for thirty laps of green-white-checkered racing with Chandler, Arizona’s Ricky Thornton Jr. taking over second place passing Papich in turns one and two on the first lap. Fourth in points, Rob Sanders held onto fourth place with Lonnie Parker completing the top five as they spread out before reaching lapped traffic on lap ten. Whitwell moved flawlessly as Thornton began to close the gap before they had a clear track on lap fifteen. Daly had moved his way up to thirteenth.

Whitwell continued to maintain a comfortable lead until encountering heavy lapped traffic with only four laps remaining. Thornton closed in and looked on the outside of turns three and four on the last lap for the lead but didn’t come close as Whitwell crossed the line for his fifth straight win in six starts in the Casa Grande Auto Repair/Mike and Sue owned #24.

“I gave it 110% and was lucky to start up front,” stated Whitwell in a post-race interview. “I have to thank Mike and Sue as well as Casa Grande Auto Repair.” Whitwell started the season competing with the MARS touring series where he racked up feature event wins before the team’s motor inventory depleted.

Ricky Thornton Jr., Jason Papich, Rob Sanders, Lonnie Parker, James Chavez, Nick Bartels, Dino Napier, Joey Moriarty and Anthony Madrid completed the top ten.

The West Coast Late Model Shootout will conclude their 2012 season at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Arizona on November 9th and 10th. The NASCAR weekend event will feature NASCAR’s Kenny Wallace and USAC National Champion / Indy 500 starter Bryan Clauson in Super Late Models. For more information on the event visit www.WestCoastLateModels.com or www.CanyonSpeedwayPark.com.

Chris Kearns Presents and the West Coast Shootout Late Model Series would like to thank Shannon Pump Company, Drake Farms Transportation, Toste Construction & Paving, Indiana Truck Salvage, Papich Construction, ProPower Engines, Integra Shocks, West Coast Boring, Pearsons Auto Wrecking, Victory Circle and RoadRunner Fabrication for their support this season.

1 1 24 RC Whitwell Tucson, AZ
2 3 20rt Ricky Thornton Jr Chandler, AZ
3 2 91P Jason Papich Santa Maria, CA
4 4 10N Robert Sanders Bakersfield, CA
5 7 8P Lonnie Parker Jr El Mirage, AZ
6 6 94 James Chavez Jr Tucson, AZ
7 14 27 Nick Bartels El Segundo, CA
8 5 5X Dino Napier Corona, CA
9 8 51 Joey Moriarty Phoenix, AZ
10 11 5M Anthony Madrid Phoenix, AZ
11 13 91T Tony Toste Pismo Beach, CA
12 18 32B Clay Daly Watsonville, CA
13 16 75 Tommy Malcolm Corona, CA
14 17 23 Brad Williams Tucson, AZ
15 12 96 Carla Laney Torrance, CA
16 15 77 Bill Bartels Marina Del Rey, CA
17 9 76 Chris Duchac Tucson, AZ
18 10 5K Mike Kirby Torrance, CA

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