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April 30th, 2022

The 2022 season at Colorado National Speedway kicked off like a lion on April 30th as drivers battled it out at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Opening Night event. Four divisions took to the track for Saturday night’s races, and each one brought the excitement to the fans in true CNS fashion for the iconic Coloradan racetrack’s 57th consecutive season.

Elite Diesel Service Figure 8's
Adam Gastineau in the No. 97 machine led the Figure 8s field to green for the division’s 20-lap feature race, setting the tone for a thrilling CNS season. However, a yellow flag was thrown on the first lap due to the No. 74 of Sam Faus, who suddenly fell off the pace with an issue. The green flag dropped once again, and Gastineau’s No. 97 came under fire of the No. 18 of Dennis Stepanich III for the lead only a few laps in. Stepanich made the pass and set out to put some distance between himself and Gastineau, but a caution slowed the field as the No. 38 of Cassidy Creekmore went for a spin heading into “The X.” Soon after the restart, the No. 11 of Joe Gastineau and the No. 08 of Travis Sanders got together, but the cautions did little to stall the efforts of Dennis Stepanich III in the No. 18 machine.

Enter the No. 17 of Harry Livermore Jr., who began to reel in the No. 18 of Stepanich and started to close the gap as traffic began to meet in The X. Livermore sent his No. 17 after Stepanich's No. 18, but the No. 52 of Jared Wall suddenly entered the battle for second place. Wall and Livermore got together, and both drivers ended up at the rear of the field as a result. Wall was a man on a mission, setting his sights on the front of the field once more while Stepanich's No. 18 held down the lead.

With five laps left, trouble found the No. 18 machine. The No. 64 of Michael Kephart spun out entering The X as Stepanich charged full throttle through the pack. Dodging a few cars headed the other direction, Stepanich didn’t see the No. 64 until it was too late, and the two collided, eliminating Stepanich's hopes of winning the feature event. The No. 08 of Sanders took over the lead with the No. 52 of Wall and the No. 17 of Livermore in hot pursuit. However, on the last lap, Livermore contacted Sanders, opening the door for Wall’s No. 52 to win.
Feature: 52 Jared Wall
Fast Dash: 08 Travis Sanders

Pueblo Bank & Trust Super Stocks
The No. 1NE of Troy Whittar started on the pole for the Super Stocks 25-lap feature event, but his position at the front of the field was quickly threatened by the No. 9 machine driven by Brent Cave. Cave began to cut the distance between himself and the No. 1NE, while the No. 49 of Chris Cox lurked behind them. The race stayed clean until the No. 21R machine driven by Robert Hoard found trouble in Turn 4, slowing the Super Stocks field with 11 laps left on the board.

The restart allowed the No. 49 of Cox a clear shot at Whittar’s No. 1NE race car. When the green flag dropped, the No. 49 of Cox and the No. 1NE of Whittar broke away for the lead, battling neck-and-neck for the better part of the last nine laps. Whittar was determined not to back down, but Cox was just as determined to make the pass and hold him off. Then, on the last lap, he found the groove and made it stick, and Cox put the No. 29 in Victory Lane, holding off a valiant charge from Whittar’s No. 1NE machine to take the checkered flag.
Feature: 49 Chris Cox
Fast Dash: 1NE Troy Witthar
Dash: 98 Natalie Wilson
Quick Time: 9 Brent Cave 19.270

Sunoco Race Fuels Grand American Modifieds
The night was all about the No. 48 of Ed Vecchiarelli. After setting the night’s Quick Time, Vecchiarelli showed the way to the green flag for the 30-lap Grand American Modifieds feature. He easily distanced himself from the rest of the field while they did battle behind him. The field was bunched up about 10 laps in as the No. 12 of Michael Simpson went for a spin off Turn 4, but he managed to keep his car out of too much trouble, and the race quickly restarted – but not for long.

With 15 laps left on the board, a dramatic wreck in Turn 1 unfolded, as three cars piled into one another. The No. 37 of Landon Birney contacted the No. 9 of CJ Wilson, collecting the No. 41 of Eric Vos. The wreck prompted a short red flag while the track crew worked to haul away the damaged race cars, but thankfully, every driver exited their vehicles safely. When the race went green again, Vecchiarelli’s No. 48 easily found the point once more, outclassing the rest of the field on his way to the checkered flag, leading every lap with ease.
Feature: 48 Ed Vecchiarelli
Fast Dash: 51 Kyle Clegg
Dash: 2 Jim Douglas
Quick Time: 48 Ed Vecchiarelli 16.624

Mountain States Fire Protection Super Late Models
The Super Late Models closed out Opening Night at CNS with a 40-lap feature race. Cassidy Hinds in the No. 3C nabbed the pole position, fending off a charge from the No. 18 of Eddie Vecchiarelli for the lead. However, Hinds wasn’t able to stay ahead of the No. 18, and Vecchiarelli assumed the point only a few laps in.

The race stayed green even as the No. 46 of Eric Blackard went for a neat little spin on the backstretch, but he was able to gather it back up and resume without further incident. Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, Vecchiarelli’s No. 18 had a new challenger for the lead, as the No. 08 of Jace Hansen set sights on the race win. Vecchiarelli managed to prevent Hansen from making the pass, but as the leaders came up on lapped traffic, the gap between them began to shrink. With five laps left, Hansen caught Vecchiarelli, and the two race cars touched briefly heading into Turn 1, but both drivers managed to keep their machines under them and continued to battle for the lead. The No. 08 of Hansen made the pass and didn’t look back, leading Vecchiarelli across the finish line to become the first Super Late Model victor of the 2022 season.
Feature: 08 Jace Hansen
Fast Dash: 05 Nicholas Cooper
Dash: 12 Bruce Yackey
Quick Time: 18 Eddie Vecchiarelli 15.662


Super Late Models
  1. 08 Jace Hansen - Evans

  2. 18 Eddie Vecchiarelli - Brighton

  3. 05 Nicholas Cooper - Loveland

  4. 24 Cody Dempster - Parker

  5. 89 Zach Morris (R) - Greenwood Village

  6. 43 Kody Vanderwal - LaSalle

  7. 78 Colton Crocker - Brighton

  8. 87 Tim Trostel III (R) - Thornton

  9. 12 Bruce Yackey - Greeley

  10. 32 Brett Yackey - Greeley

  11. 3C Cassidy Hinds - Arvada

  12. 61 Matt Martinez - Parker

  13. 37 Ethan Hunter - Colorado Springs

  14. 27 Roger Avants - Littleton

  15. 26 Dylan Jones - Vail, AZ

  16. 07 Daniel Mares (R) - Aurora

  17. 98 Shannon Flick - Colorado Springs

  18. 2 Royal Scott - Fort Collins

  19. 46 Eric Blackard - Lakewood

Grand American Modifieds
  1. 48 Ed Vecchiarelli - Brighton

  2. 24 Nathan Gasser - Fort Lupton

  3. 51 Kyle Clegg - Hudson

  4. 89 Jacob Smith - Littleton

  5. 17 Holly Claark - Colorado Springs

  6. 28 Paul Deines - Hudson

  7. 2 Jim Douglas - Colorado Springs

  8. 68 Forest Smith - Bellvue

  9. 66 John Seely - Parker

  10. 9 CJ Wilson - Penrose

  11. 1G Don Geist - Colorado Springs

  12. 6 Scotty Scott (R) - Arvada

  13. 12 Michael Simpson - Ryder, ND

  14. 37 Landon Birney - Cheyenne, WY

  15. 41 Eric Vos - Wheatridge

Super Stocks
  1. 49 Chris Cox - Keenesburg

  2. 1NE Troy Witthar - Arvada

  3. 9 Brent Cave - Brighton

  4. 86 Tim Coate - Highlands Ranch

  5. 23 Jordan Abeyta - Denver

  6. 99 Sam Messerll - Thornton

  7. 55 Damian Lockhart - Hudson

  8. 98 Natalie Wilson - Cheyenne

  9. 24M Scott Miller - Hudson

  10. 21R Robert Hoard - Cheyenne

  11. 97 Kyle Stidham (R) - Brighton

  12. 90 Alex Rodriguez - Phoenix, AZ

  13. 4G Brian Galvin Jr (R) - Byers

  14. 53 David Noah - Lakewood

  15. 4 Chris Jordan - Mead

  16. 21 Chris Nelson - Arvada

  17. 7 David Robinson - Johnstown

Figure 8
  1. 52 Jared Wall - Commerce City

  2. 17 Harry Livermore Jr - Denver

  3. 18 Dennis Stepanich III - Thornton

  4. 13M Isaac Martinez - Denver

  5. 67 Kaleigh Swenson - Strasburg

  6. 38 Cassidy Creekmore - Littleton

  7. 08 Travis Sanders - Aurora

  8. 97 Adam Gastineau - Aurora

  9. 11 Joe Gastineau - Centennial

  10. 64 Michael Kephart - Commerce City

  11. 74 Ssam Faus (R) - Lakewood


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