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Bella Flooring America Challenge Cup A High-Speed Showdown At CNS

September 30th, 2023 (Dacono, CO)

Since 1975, the Challenge Cup has been the pinnacle of racing here at Colorado National Speedway, and the 48th running on September 30th, 2023, was one for the history books. Our loyal fans and drivers weren’t deterred even as rain tried – and ultimately failed – to put a damper on our most prestigious event on Saturday night and were absolutely thrilled when the green flag finally dropped. Not only was the Challenge Cup champion crowned, but three overall champions earned their place in CNS lore, as the Figure 8s, Super Late Models and Super Stocks wrapped up their 2023 seasons with a bang.


Bella Flooring America Super Late Models

Feature 1 – 25 Laps

Ed Vecchiarelli put the No. 18 race car to the point in a hurry for the short Feature precursor to this year’s Challenge Cup. However, he wasn’t uncontested for long, as Chris Eggleston’s No. 22 surged into second place. The top six settled into a single file line as Eggleston stayed on Vecchiarelli’s bumper, while the No. 3C of Cassidy Hinds battled her way into fifth and settled in to stalk the leaders. Michael Scott’s No. 82 found speed on the outside line, trying to make it work as he pressured the No. 11R of Darren Robertson for third place. Scott shot past Robertson while Eggleston tried to do the same to Vecchiarelli, but the latter was able to maintain his position. The battle between Robertson and Scott didn’t cool off as the faster leading cars caught lapped traffic. As Eggleston finally clawed past Vecchiarelli, Robertson also mounted a charge past Scott. Then, trouble: Vecchiarelli’s race car abruptly slammed the backstretch wall as the right front tire let go. The dominant race car was towed off, leaving Eggleston to defend the lead against Robertson on the restart. He sliced to the front while Robertson laid claim to second place, and Hinds looked around Scott for third, until she found herself in the sights of Brett Yackey’s No. 32 machine. Yackey captured the position at the line, while Eggleston went onto win, pulling Robertson across the stripe behind him.


Feature 2 – Challenge Cup – 100 Laps

With not only the Challenge Cup bragging rights but the overall SLM championship on the line, 14 race cars took the green flag for the feature event. Bruce Yackey’s No. 12 led the first lap, until the No. 89 of Zach Morris slipped past him to lead. Bruce Yackey continued to fall back and surrendered another position to Hinds, who was on a tear and galloped right up to Morris’s rear bumper, made slight contact with him, and took control of the race. Brett Yackey entered the picture, pressuring Morris for P2, stringing out the top five single-file. Hinds continued to show the way, while Brett Yackey tried to fend off Eggleston for fourth. A single-car incident saw the No. 98 of Shannon Flick spin to the infield alone, and the race stayed green. Brett Yackey put Morris in his rearview, and Eggleston followed him through, and the two set after Hinds up front. Slowly, Brett Yackey began to reel in Hinds, while Morris slipped further backward into fifth, behind the No. 2Y of Brian Yackey.


Meanwhile, Brett Yackey’s No. 32 continued to track Hinds for the top spot. Morris did battle with Robertson and for fifth place, while Scott entered the conversation, looking for an opening, but the fight was decided when Morris’s race car presented with an apparent mechanical issue and slowed to a crawl along the outside lane before retiring. Up front, Brett Yackey finally caught Hinds and put her behind him, allowing her to fall into the clutches of Eggleston as they navigated lapped traffic. That worked in Hinds’ favor, as she was able to keep Eggleston at bay behind a slower car. Eggleston then found himself at the mercy of Brian Yackey. However, he was able to ditch the No. 2Y and renewed his efforts to pass Hinds, sealing the deal just past the halfway point.


The field became strung out, although Scott threw his No. 82 to the high side again, doing all he could from fourth place to catch Hinds by working the uppermost lane with gusto. Brett Yackey checked out, ticking off laps as the uncontested leader, while Scott again tried to reel in Hinds, swinging close to the wall as he finally passed her. He continued to work the high side, throwing his race car as close to the wall as he dared to catch the leaders, who became mired in lapped traffic, allowing Eggleston to narrow the gap slightly. Lapped cars battling side-by-side, however, proved to be too much for Eggleston to overcome, and he had to back off and allowed Brett Yackey to open a comfortable lead once again.

Scott’s choice of the high line proved to be his undoing, as he flew a little too close to the sun, tapping the front stretch wall. He began to lose ground, although he was able to stay in it and found his unconventional groove near the wall again, setting after Brian Yackey for third. They got abreast of each other, until Scott once again tapped the front stretch wall, forcing him to back out of the fight. Lining up again, with three to go, Scott made a showy, top-lane pass on Brian Yackey, while Brett Yackey continued to lead Eggleston by nearly ¼ of the track. The checkered flag dropped on Bett Yackey’s No. 32, having gone flag-to-flag with no cautions.


Not only was Brett Yackey able to celebrate his second Challenge Cup victory, he earned the overall championship after a stellar season.

Feature 1: No. 22, Chris Eggleston

Feature 2 – Challenge Cup: No. 32, Brett Yackey

2023 SLM Champion: No. 32, Brett Yackey


Pueblo Bank & Trust Super Stocks

Feature 1 – 10 Laps (20 Scheduled Laps)

Points leader Brent Cave took command of the race in the No. 9 machine, pulling Jordan Abeyta’s No. 23 along with him. Chris Cox sent the No. 49 after them both, and the top three raced in tight formation, while the No. 4 of Chris Jordan snatched fourth place from the No. 11W of Scott Long. Cox used the high line to take the lead. Rain began to pepper the windshields of the race cars on Lap 8, but the drivers stayed standing on the throttle until the skies really opened up on Lap 10. The race was declared official, and Chris Cox the winner.

Feature 2 – 25 Laps

Ian Clark’s No. 82 started on the pole, while Cave and Abeyta, first and second in points respectively, started sixth and seventh. However, it would be the No. 11W of Long who would lead the first lap, until the No. 97 of Kyle Stidham shot next to him and battled into P1 just three laps in. Cox, who started mid-pack, locked onto Jordan No. 4, surging past Clark and also putting Jordan in the rearview. Meanwhile, Abeyta had faded to 10th place. On Lap 8, Cox pulled side by side with Long for second, while Stidham continued to pace the field. Cox took second and lined up Stidham for a shot at the lead.


The No. 62 of Amber Giles, a lapped car, proved to be an obstacle, stalling the leaders. Stidham was able to stay out front, albeit not for long. Cox nosed to the outside, but got loose, losing momentum as Cave and the No. M60 of Morris Christner caught the top three. Then, Cox took charge and swept into the lead using the high line, catching Stidham off-guard, who could only watch as the No. 49 sliced past him. Christner passed Cave for fourth, while Cox led comfortably over Stidham. Cox flashed across the stripe for his second Feature victory of the night, while Cave, who quietly finished fifth, was crowned overall champion, and Clark burned it down as the Rookie of the Year.

Feature 1: No. 49, Chris Cox

Feature 2: No. 49, Chris Cox

2023 SS Champion: No. 9, Brent Cave

2023 SS Rookie of the Year: No. 82, Ian Clark


Take 5 Oil Change Figure 8s

Feature 1 – 15 Laps

The No. 17 of Harry Livermore Jr. showed the way for the first lap, but before he could set a decent pace, the No. 52 driven by Jared Wall went for a spin, collecting four other cars. The No. 74 of Sam Faus was damaged and pulled into the pits. Livermore picked up the lead again on the restart, but the No. 15 of Jereme Wall shot past the No. 08 of Travis Sanders to take over second place, putting pressure on Livermore up front. Just four laps in, The X became a factor for the leaders as slower traffic traversed the crossroads, while Jereme Wall navigated around them and made the pass for the lead, leading the strung-out field through The X once again. The No. 03 of Zay Martinez swerved to the left to avoid getting struck by Adam Gastineau’s No. 97, cutting the course in half to save his hide. Then, Sanders got together with the No. 67 of Kaleigh Swenson, spinning and sending the field scattering to avoid them. When the race restarted, Jereme Wall reassumed the lead, although his race car was quickly felled by a mechanical failure, forcing him to slow on the front stretch and ultimately retire, handing the lead back to Livermore – at least, until the No. 3 of Michael Wolfe Jr. overtook him. He was followed by Jared Wall, who kept Wolfe in a bumper lock for the top spot. Rounding the final turn, the two drivers raced neck-and-neck, Wolfe hugging the apron to avoid Jared Wall’s advance on the way to his first F8 Feature victory.


Feature 2 – 20 Laps

Things got off to an interesting start even before the green flag had dropped, as Jereme Wall returned to the track in a backup car: none other than the winning No. 49 SS of Chris Cox, with the orange numbers taped over to read “15” on the doors. He started in the rear, while the No. 13 of Frank Gastineau started on the pole. At the green, the No. 97 of Adam Gastineau went for a neat spin, opening the door for Sanders to lead the first lap, even as several race cars experienced issues and caused a yellow flag. When things got underway after a series of starts and stops to address said issues, the No. 71 of Isaac Martinez wore out Sanders’ bumper trying to reel hm in. Jared Wall took it two-wide for second place. Before the battle could be decided, Swenson and Frank Gastineau made contact, wrecking with such intensity that the two race cars were not able to separate and required extensive work to peel them apart. Sanders maintained the lead on the restart and endured contact from Martinez, which slowed both cars and opened the door for Jared Wall to take the lead, pulling Wolfe through with him and leaving Sanders and Martinez to fight for third.


Eventually, the two got together again after a brief caution, causing another short yellow flag, which saw Jereme Wall pull off to change a tire in his F8 stand-in machine. Jared Wall captured the lead over Wolfe again, though the field had to rein it in under a yellow flag as two more cars made contact. Things finally got going again, and Martinez challenged Wolfe over second place. Their battle allowed Jared Wall to take off, and they weren’t deterred from their fight, despite almost wrecking into other race cars dodging through The X. Martinez got the position, following Jared Wall as he shot across the stripe to claim the win. Meanwhile, Jereme Wall celebrated as champion, despite completing the season in a race car that had never seen a lap of the F8 course prior to him taking control.

Feature 1: No. 3, Michael Wolfe Jr.

Feature 2: No. 52, Jared Wall

2023 F8 Champion: No. 15, Jereme Wall


OFFICIAL RESULTS

Super Late Models Feature 1 - 25 Laps

  1. 22 Chris Eggleston - Erie

  2. 11 Darren Robertson - Westminster

  3. 82 Michael Scott - Hillsdale, WY

  4. 32 Brett Yackey - Greeley

  5. 3C Cassidy Hinds - Arvada

  6. 2Y Brian Yackey - Greeley

  7. 89 Zach Morris - Greenwood Village

  8. 12 Bruce Yackey - Greeley

  9. 43 Kody Vanderwal - LaSalle

  10. 29 Matt Brunker - Lakewood

  11. 46M Mikey Blackard - Hays, KS

  12. 07 Daniel Mares - Aurora

  13. 18 Ed Vecchiarelli - Brighton

  14. 16 Steve Mills - CO Springs

  15. 98 Shannon Flick - CO Springs DNS 84 Matt Zwingelberg - Parker


Super Late Models Challenge Cup - 100 Laps

  1. 32 Brett Yackey - Greeley

  2. 22 Chris Eggleston - Erie

  3. 82 Michael Scott - Hillsdale, WY

  4. 2Y Brian Yackey - Greeley

  5. 3C Cassidy Hinds - Arvada

  6. 12 Bruce Yackey - Greeley

  7. 11 Darren Robertson - Westminster

  8. 43 Kody Vanderwal - LaSalle

  9. 29 Matt Brunker - Lakewood

  10. 07 Daniel Mares - Aurora

  11. 16 Steve Mills - CO Springs

  12. 46M Mikey Blackard - Hays, KS

  13. 89 Zach Morris - Greenwood Village

  14. 98 Shannon Flick - CO Springs DNS 18 Ed Vecchiarelli - Brighton DNS 84 Matt Zwingelberg - Parker


Super Stocks Feature 1 - 20 Laps

  1. 49 Chris Cox - Brighton

  2. 9 Brett Cave - Brighton

  3. 23 Jordan Abeyta - Denver

  4. 4 Chris Jordan - Mead

  5. 5W Troy Witthar - Arvada

  6. 97 Kyle Stidham - Brighton

  7. 11W Scott Long - Lymon, NE

  8. 82 Ian Clark - Wheat Ridge

  9. M60 Morris Christner - Elizabeth

  10. 7 David Robinson - Johnstown

  11. 53 David Noah - Lakewood

  12. 62 Amber Giles - Fort Collins

  13. 21 Chris Nelson - Arvada


Super Stocks Feature 2 - 25 Laps

  1. 49 Chris Cox - Brighton

  2. 97 Kyle Stidham - Brighton

  3. M60 Morris Christner - Elizabeth

  4. 11W Scott Long - Lymon, NE

  5. 9 Brent Cave - Brighton

  6. 5W Troy Witthar - Arvada

  7. 23 Jordan Abeyta - Denver

  8. 21 Chris Nelson - Arvada

  9. 4 Chris Jordan - Mead

  10. 7 David Robinson - Johnstown

  11. 82 Ian Clark - Wheat Ridge

  12. 53 David Noah - Lakewood

  13. 62 Amber Giles - Fort Collins


Figure 8 Feature 1 - 15 Laps

  1. 3 Michael Wolfe Jr - Thornton

  2. 52 Jared Wall - Commerce City

  3. 17 Harry Livermore Jr - Englewood

  4. 71 Isaac Martinez - Denver

  5. 64 Michael Kephart - Commerce City

  6. 08 Travis Sanders - Aurora

  7. 97 Adam Gastineau - Aurora

  8. 13 Frank Gastineau - Denver

  9. 67 Kaleigh Swenson - Strasburg

  10. 6C Cody Palmore

  11. 57Q Kyle Quintrall (R)

  12. 03 Zay Martinez (R) - Northglenn

  13. 8 Cassidy Creekmore - CO Springs

  14. 15 Jereme Wall - Commerce City

  15. 12 Harvey Webb Jr - Fort Morgan

  16. 74 Sam Faus - Lakewood


Figure 8 Feature 2 - 20 Laps

  1. 52 Jared Wall - Commerce City

  2. 71 Isaac Martinez - Denver

  3. 17 Harry Livermore Jr - Englewood

  4. 57Q Kyle Quintrall (R)

  5. 3 Michael Wolfe Jr - Thornton

  6. 15 Jereme Wall - Commerce City

  7. 74 Sam Faus - Lakewood

  8. 03 Zay Martinez (R) - Northglenn

  9. 97 Adam Gastineau - Aurora

  10. 67 Kaleigh Swenson - Strasburg

  11. 08 Travis Sanders - Aurora

  12. 8 Cassidy Creekmore - CO Springs

  13. 64 Michael Kephart - Commerce City

  14. 6C Cody Palmore

  15. 13 Frank Gastineau - Denver DNS 12 Harvey Webb Jr - Fort Morgan



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