Twice is Nice: Axsom Gets Second USAC Sprint Win & $10k Payday
2022 may be the first full USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series season for Clauson Marshall Racing driver Emerson Axsom, but his results look more like a well-seasoned veteran. Axsom earned his second-ever USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature win and a $10,000 check at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida on Saturday night. After winning two out of three feature races, he also earned the overall Winter Dirt Games XIII championship.
Axsom started the 35-lap feature race from the fourth position and spent most of the event running down front row starter Chase Stockon. Stockon led the majority of the race and utilized the high line to get a run on the field. He and the rest of the field behind him pushed the cushion higher than it had been all weekend long.
About midway through the event, Axsom switched to the low side in Turns Three and Four to get a run on Stockon. An untimely yellow flag due to Jake Swanson making contact with Robert Ballou and spinning into the infield put a stop to the first major slide job from Axsom. It also allowed Stockon the chance to defend Axsom’s new line on the ensuing restart.
“He saw me on the bottom there and moved down. I was still able to get a run on him and kind of trick him in [Turns] three and four,” Axsom said in Victory Lane. “I kind of just went for it on the bottom of [Turns] three and four and it was good. I just went down there and tried it and gained about a straightaway in two laps. That’s when I knew I had to stick to what I was doing.”
The tactical change worked to perfection as Axsom was able to hold off the field and get the victory. But there was plenty of hard-charging action happening in the pack. Second-place finisher Tanner Thorson powered his way to the podium after starting in the fourteenth position. Thorson credited his team for putting a fast car on the track, but needed a better starting spot in order to challenge for the win. “I just came up a little short,” said Thorson. “I wish we had started up a little bit farther in that race and I think we might have had a shot at the 47[BC]”.
Despite running second in the Winter Dirt Games finale, Thorson had nothing but kind words to say about the rookie with two early season wins. “Emerson [Axsom] is one badass little driver and he deserves this thing,” said Thorson. “He and his family have worked really hard with him to get him [running] good. So, I’m happy for Emerson and his family and we’ll try again next time.”
In addition to Saturday night, Axsom and the Clauson Marshall Racing team won the Thursday (Feb. 17) Winter Dirt Games feature. Their next chance to add to their win total will come on April 2nd when the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series competes at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Qualifier 1: 1. Shane Cottle 2. Brady Short 3. Landon Simon 4. Jason McDougal 5. Logan Seavey 6. Chad Boespflug 7. Charles Davis, Jr. 8. Steve Irwin 9. Jack Hoyer 10. Dallas Hewitt 11. Robert Bell
Qualifier 2: 1. Carson Short 2. Brady Bacon 3. Shane Cockrum 4. Braxton Cummings 5. Jadon Rogers 6. Matt Westfall 7. Briggs Danner 8. Kory Schudy 9. Alex Banales 10. Brandon Mattox 11. Brian Ruhlman
Qualifier 3: 1. Jake Swanson 2. Thomas Meseraull 3. Tanner Thorson 4. CJ Leary 5. Robert Ballou 6. Alex Bright 7. Cole Bodine 8. Carson Garrett 9. Josh Turner 10. Jeremy Kerzman 11. Austin Hawkins
C-Main: 1. Josh Turner 2. Robert Bell 3. Jack Hoyer 4. Jeremy Kerzman 5. Alex Banales 6. Brian Ruhlman 7. Dallas Hewitt 8. Austin Hawkins 9. Brandon Mattox
Dash: 1. Kyle Cummins 2. Chase Stockon 3. Carson Short 4. Emerson Axsom 5. Buddy Kofoid 6. Justin Grant 7. Shane Cottle 8. Jake Swanson
Semi-Feature: 1. Robert Ballou 2. Logan Seavey 3. Jadon Rogers 4. Alex Bright 5. Matt Westfall 6. Briggs Danner 7. Kory Schudy 8. Cole Bodine 9. Chad Boespflug 10. Steve Irwin 11. Carson Garrett 12. Jack Hoyer 13. Josh Turner 14. Charles Davis, Jr. 15. Robert Bell 16. Jeremy Kerzman
Feature: 1. Emerson Axsom 2. Tanner Thorson 3. Chase Stockon 4. Justin Grant 5. Brady Bacon 6. Buddy Kofoid 7. Logan Seavey 8. Robert Ballou 9. Carson Short 10. Shane Cockrum 11. Jason McDougal 12. CJ Leary 13. Kyle Cummins 14. Alex Bright 15. Jadon Rogers 16. Brady Short 17. Matt Westfall 18. Shane Cottle 19. Jake Swanson 20. Thomas Meseraull 21. Landon Simon 22. Braxton Cummings