(A first for Tucson Speedway, female drivers fill the top three positions in the final points standings in the Outlaw Bandolero division. Anika O’Brien (41), the track champion; Keirstin Jones (15) second; and Quinn Davis (12) third and rookie of the year / Photo Credit : Hammer Down Racing Media)
TUCSON, AZ : In a year of unprecedented events, Tucson Speedway made it’s own mark on 2020 on Saturday with a first that left three determined young ladies celebrating the end of this race season like no other.
Though the season was shortened due to the pandemic, Anika O’Brien, Keirstin Jones and Quinn Davis showed not only determination, but patience, which landed them in the top three in the final points standings in the Outlaw Bandolero division.
Though all three have been involved in some sort of altercation on the track, Jones and Davis came back from major crashes to maintain their positions in the standings.
Mechanical failures threatened to take O’Brien out of contention, but her consistency on the track landed her at the top of the podium at the end of the final race. With one win this season, O’Brien adds an Outlaw Bandolero championship to the list of her accomplishments in her five years of Bandolero racing.
Running second on Aug. 15, Jones spun out of turn one, crashing hard into the wall. She was not injured, however, she was unable to complete the race. Jones started every main event of the 2020 season which landed her in the second spot in the final point standings.
Davis, a rookie in the division, had the points lead until a hard crash in the heat race on Sept. 5. Unable to start the main event that night, Quinn fell to third in points. After many hours repairing the car, Davis returned to the final race to finish fourth in the main event. She ended the season third in points and is the 2020 Outlaw Bandolero Rookie of the Year.
Gage Jarvis had the points lead over Ashton Leonard going into the final night of racing for the Bandit Bandolero division. Maddox O’Brien, who was tied for third in points with Devin Jones at the start of the night’s events, had the pole for the feature race.
O’Brien held the lead with Jarvis moving into second at the start. Leonard, who started second, fell back to fourth.
Leonard worked his way back to the front to battle with Jarvis for second. Contact sent Jarvis spinning on the frontstretch. He was able to get back under control and spare the caution.
Leonard took over second and set his sights on O’Brien.
With two to go, Leonard made his move on the inside of O’Brien taking the lead for his second win of the season. With his first-place finish on Saturday, Leonard also took over the points lead to earn the Bandit Bandolero championship title.
Jarvis fell to second just one point behind the leader.
O’Brien broke the tie with Jones, who was involved in a wreck with Tyler Wirth as the field came to the checkered flag. Jones finished fourth, and Wirth fifth. Wirth also is the Bandit Bandolero Rookie of the Year.
Sitting first and second in points, respectively, Michael Anderson and Mike Webber started front row for the Legends’ final points race of 2020.
Webber had a jump on the start, but couldn’t shake Anderson who passed him on the outside taking the lead coming into lap two.
Nicole Grote began to close the gap on Webber on lap seven but spun coming into turn two bringing out the caution.
Justin Case moved into third on the restart.
Anderson again took charge of the field driving his No. 25 Legend to it’s second win of the season and the championship title. Webber finished second in the feature, and second overall in points.
Bill Kohn, who came into the night fourth in points, moved up to third in the final points standings with his fourth-place finish.
Grote finished the year fourth in points and is the division’s rookie of the year.
Tucson Speedway is back in action Oct. 17 with championship night for the Thunder Truck, Pro Stock and Hobby Stock divisions. Hornets are also scheduled for their second to last race of the season. For information, visit www.tucsonspeedway.com.
Tucson Speedway News by Kristi O’Brien