Steve Jones of Boise, Idaho had a career night by winning his first CarbonX Rocky Mountain Series race Saturday night in front of an enthusiastic crowd. Jones bested local hotshoe and two-time series champion Zan Sharp in a 75-lap dual. Brett Thompson finished third followed by Lynn Hardy and Thane Alderman rounding out the top five finishers in the second race of the 10-race 2010 campaign.
Jones started off his winning night by earning his first career Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Award with a quick lap of 15.004 second around the 3/8-mile ultra-fast paved oval. Brett Thompson qualified second in his Dodge followed by Lynn Hardy, John Newhouse, and Zan Sharp rounding out the top five qualifiers. Dave Minegar and Lynn Hardy collected heat race wins.
The popular RMCS full field invert put quick qualifier Jones at the rear with Eric Rhead inheriting the the the pole position. Rhead would lead the first 50 laps as he set a blistering pace that would see the first 59 laps run under green. Brett Thompson then assumed the point on lap 51 and led for 14 circuits.
Thompson and Jones waged a spirited battle from lap 51 to lap 65 when Jones finally took control of the race and led the final ten laps. The victory capped a career night for the veteran racer who eyes his first RMCS series crown.
"It was an awesome night for our team," Jones said. "Brett (Thompson) had a great car and he was a lot better off the corner than we were but we were good in the center, so we really had the momentum through the corner."
When asked what it was like starting at the back and moving through the field to the front, Jones showed his excitement. "It is something that I have always wanted to do in this series," Jones stated. "When you start at the back you are fast and we've never done it. I just latched onto Lynn Hardy and followed him trying to save my tires and once I got to the front three it got really fun."
Finish second in his first run of the season was two-time series Zan Sharp. "I am really happy considering that we just finished the car Saturday morning," Sharp said. "I have been so busy with work and other projects the time just got away from me. I will make most of the races this season but it always feels good to knock the rust off with a great run. I thank the whole team and especially Brandon Rhiel who came over from Oregon and got the car together."
Finishing third for the second consecutive event was Brett Thompson who started his second career series race Saturday night. "We were really close and I hated for that one to get away," Thompson said. "Steve was really good through the corner and that made the difference. I am thrilled for our performance so far this year and we are going to win one of these sooner than later."
The top ten finishers in the event were Jones, Sharp, Thompson, Lynn Hardy, and Thane Alderman followed by Russell Butler, Bruce Quale, Eric Rhead, John Newhouse, and Kenny Vandeham.
Jones scored 212 points for the event extended his point lead to 29-points over Thompson. Thane Alderman sits third followed Bruce Quale, and John Newhouse rounding out the top five. The next race for the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is Memorial Day May 31st back at Rocky Mountain Raceways.